“King Lear” by Shakespeare
“King Lear” starts with a discussion between Kent and Gloucester who were arguing about the fact that King Lear wanted to divide his kingdom. King Lear was the ruler of Britain and he made up decision to divide his throne among his three daughters – Regan, Goneril and Cordelia, though in scene I he flied into rage with Cordelia and decided to share kingdom between Goneril and Regan. In act I, scenes II-III Edmund being a bastard expressed his dissatisfaction with British society. He was willing to arrange circumstances and to make people think that Edgar, his half-brother, decided to kill Gloucester. In scenes IV-V Kent arrived to Goneril’s castle and emphasized his honesty putting himself in Lear’s way. He asked Lear to accept him to service and, finally, Lear agreed. Later the Fool arrived and tried to prove Lear that he had done great mistake and he should hand the whole power to Cordelia because she was the only daughter who loved truly loved him.
In Act II King Lear together with the Fool arrived at Regan’s castle to see whether she was pleased to meet her father. Nevertheless, Regan refused to meet her father stressing she was tired and sick after long traveling. However, Lear insisted because he was hardly able to control his emotions. He told Goneril refused to shelter him and was shocked when Regan justified her sister stating that Lear was growing old and, thus, unreasonable. Regan suggested Lear had to return to Goneril and ask for forgiveness. Then Lear begged on his knees to shelter him, but Regan refused as well. Lear had nothing to do but to curse his daughters and to rush outside where sever storm was brewing.
In act III, scenes I-III a storm was becoming stronger and stronger and Kent was seeking King Lear in vain. Kent found one of Lear’s knights who told Lear was somewhere with the Fool. Lear seemed to enjoy wandering around in the storm and, furthermore, he was pleased challenging the weather begging it to be the worst against him. Nevertheless, the Fool asked Lear to humble before daughters and ask for shelter, though Lear ignored him. In scenes IV-VI Kent found Lear and led him to the hovel through the storm. Lear refused to step inside noting that he hardly felt the storm due to mental anguish. Lear met Edgar and asked about his life before he had become a beggar. Gloucester tried to bring King Lear inside the castle and to take a shelter in small Gloucester’s property. In Scene VII Goneril is handed a treasonous letter that French Army was at Dover and she had to show this letter to Albany, her husband. Albany, in his turn, decided to send servants to punish Gloucester. As a result, Gloucester lost his eye and became blind.
In act IV, scene I Edgar is haunted by his blind father. Blind Gloucester is accompanied by an old man who brought him to the tenants of Gloucester’s father. In scene II Edmund and Goneril left their palace and Goneril wandered why her husband didn’t meet her on the way. Finally, she realized that Albany appeared to be coward and he was no longer her ally. In scene II, Cordelia, the Queen of France, received letters from Kent. In scenes IV-VI Gloucester was led towards Dover, where Lear stumbled upon him. Lear was crowed with wild flowers and he seemed to be insane. However, Cordelia together with her people were trying to find King Lear. Finally, Cordelia and Ling were re-united, though Edmund imprisoned them.
In act V scenes I-II the battle between kingdoms started. Edgar became Gloucester’s companion who led him to the shelter under the tree. Edgar decided to go into battle on King Lear’s side. Later he returned and announced that Lear’ army has been defeated and Lear together with Cordelia had been captured and imprisoned. In scene III Edmund repented all his crimes and he was determined to redress a wrong. A gentleman rushed and uttered that Goneril had committed a suicide and before death she had poisoned fatally Regan. Edmund told he had ordered his people to hand Cordelia. He was ordered to send a message to intervene, though it arrived too late. In the end Lear entered carrying his dead Cordelia in his arms. He grieved over her body slipping in and out his madness.
Shakespeare, William. King Lear. Washington: Washington Square Press, 2004.