synopsis

Short Synopsis

Lamenting the loss of his wife and lack of male issue, Leir decides to divide his kingdom among his three daughters so they might attract the most powerful husbands. He proposes a love test to secure his own beliefs.  The elder two daughters, smarting over Cordella’s obvious but demure superiority, learn of the king’s intentions […]

Act I

ACT I Shakespeare’s four most famous tragedies each have radically different dramatic structures compared to the others. Othello, perhaps the most perfectly structured of the group, or any group, goes together like a jeweler’s watch, each microscopic part building to the one climatic moment when Othello makes the mortal decision. Hamlet can be said to […]

King Lear, Starring Ian McKellen

The Play in Summary

The Two Texts of King Lear–The Quarto of 1608 and the Folio of 1623 An aging King Lear decides to abdicate and divide his kingdom among his three daughters.  He seeks a kind of oath of love before doing so, with which Goneril and Regan falsely comply.  Feeling that any statement of “most love” would […]