Pete daPixie's Reviews > King Lear

King Lear by William Shakespeare
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's review
May 01, 12

bookshelves: dramatics
Read from April 28 to 30, 2012

Lear is one of Shakespeare's plays that I have never seen performed. Hailed as one of his greatest tragedies, my two star rating is based solely upon the cold reading of the text in this book. I do not find the light poetry of A Midsummer Night's Dream, or the powerful flowing speech lines that are found in Henry V or Richard III. Shakespeare does endow this play with his genius, but the great lines arrive in short sentences:-

When we are born we cry that we are come
To this great stage of fools.

Nothing will come of nothing.

The wheel is come full circle: I am here

I am a man
More sinn'd against than sinning.

How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is
To have a thankless child!

The historical setting of King Lear is up in the air. A pre Roman Celtic land given a medieval setting and a convoluted plot. The great bard did not convey historical accuracy.
Having sampled different publications of Shakespeare, I much prefer the Oxford editions to the Penquin series.
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