King Lear

author William Shakespeare
main characters Lear and 3 daughters: Goneril, Regan, Cordelia; Gloucester and 2 sons: Edgar (good), Edmund (bastard)
main idea deals with conflict between fathers and children’ also has implications relating to pride and its consequences
Lear had intended to give all his kingdom to Cordelia until she refused to praise him false
Burgundy will not marry Cordelia bc he thinks her refusal to praise Lear is cold and unnatural false
Both Edmund and Gloucester believe that the stars rule man’s destiny false; Edmund thinks he can change his fate; Gloucester’s old man’s value
Albany respects Lear and is genuinely distressed by Goneril’s behavior true
Regan and Cornwall come to Gloucester’s castle bc they want to avoid a visit from Lear true
Lear resents Cornwall’s punishment of Kent bc Cornwall is lower in rank than Kent false
When Lear angrily departs from Gloucester’s castle into the stormy night, his daughters make no effort to stop him true
Lear’s own troubles make him kinder and more considerate of others who suffer true
Lear goes mad when he learns that Gloucester has been blinded false
In Dover, Lear refuses to see Cordelia bc he still has not forgiven her false
Edgar kills Oswald when Oswald tries to murder the king false
Albany decides to fight against France bc he fears that Lear will assume power again if France wins false
Edmund is not sure of which of Lear’s daughters he wants, so he encourages both Goneril and Regan true
Cordelia’s troops lose, but Lear is not depressed because he is happy just to be with Cordelia true
Though Edmund later repents of his orders, both Lear and Cordelia are killed by his soldiers false; Lear dies of sadness
After Lear disowns Cordelia, she marries France and goes with him
Kent is banished for protesting Lear’s disinheriting of Cordelia
Edmund cannot inherit Gloucester’s estate bc Edmund is younger than Edgar; Edmund is illegitimate; (not bc Lear intents to give the land to Goneril)
General says Lear must dismiss his knights bc the knights are rowdy and impolite; the knights are an ever-present threat to her power; (not bc the knights are sympathetic to the king of France)
the disguised Kent is hired by Lear bc Kent beats up the insolent Oswald
Lear seeks out Regan and Cornwall bc he hopes to find better treatment form them
The Fool’s major duty is to remind Lear of the folly of the king’s own behavior
Edmund tricks Gloucester into believing that Edgar had been plotting against Gloucester’s life
Goneril accuses her husband of being weak and foolishly kind
Kent is put in the stocks by Cornwal for attacking Oswald
Goneral and Regan enrage Lear when they demand he dismiss all of his knights
Gloucester defies Cornwall by concealing France’s plans to invade; aiding Lear; (not by hiding Edgar from Cornwall’s soldiers)
Edmund wins Cornwall’s favor and trust by betraying Gloucester
Lear welcomes the storm bc it keeps him from brooding on the wrongs done to him
Edgar disguises himself as a mad beggar
Goneril is attracted to Edmund bc he seems manly to her in comparison with Albany
Cornwall is morally wounded by a servant who tries to protect Gloucester
Goneril is disturbed by the news of Cornwall’s death bc Regan is now free to marry Edmund
The king of France does not fight against Regan and Goneril’s troops bc he must return to France to take care of vital business
Edgar saves Gloucester from committing suicide by pretending that Gloucester miraculously survived a fall
From the letter Oswald carried, Edgar discovers that General wants Edmund to murder Albany
When Lear awakens in Cordelia’s camp, he is sane again and deeply ashamed
Edgar gives Goneril’s letter to Albany
Which is false? Regan stabs Goneril –> Goneril actually stabs Regan then kills herself bc Edmund dies(Goneril poisons Regan and Edgar mortally wounds Edmund in a fight are both true);
At the end of the play, the kingdom is turned over to Edgar and Kent
Edmund scheming bastard son
Goneril plots her husband’s death
Gloucester old earl who misjudges his sons
Lear old man who foolishly gives up his power
Kent loyal earl disguised as commoner
Cordelia the “last and least” of Lear’s daughters
Cornwall hot-tempered, brutal duke
Edgar heir disguised as madman Tom
Albany Goneril’s moral spouse
Regan poisoned by her rival