The Tragedy of King Lear


  • Lear, King of Britain
  • Lear’s Daughters
    • Gonerill (wife of Albany)
    • Regan (wife of Cornwall)
    • Cordelia

Cordelia and France

Act 1

Scene 1 Kent is friends with Gloucester. We are also introduced to Edmond.

King Lear comes. He decides to divide the land based on which of the daughters loves him more. Gonerill (the first daughter) says she really love him. He gives her 1/3 of the land. 2nd Daughter: Regan does the same. She says she really loves king lear. 3rd Daughter: (Lear says is Our joy)But Cordelia refuses to say. Lear is mad. She says that “I love your majesty according to my bond, no more no less” (line 87)

King Lear is angry. So he gives the 3rd daughter nothing, divide equally with the 2 other. Kent is the assistant of King Lear. He is trying to speak sense into King Lear, but then he gets fired.

King Lear talks about her 3rd daughter Cordelia with disgrace. He gives France the option to take her. King Lear gives no dowry (usually there is one).

Cordelia warns her sisters. (line 264).

The sisters discuss how unfortunate, because Cordelia was King Lear’s favorite. King Lear is losing judgment. “with what poor judgment he hath now caset her off appears too grossly” (282).

They will be affected soon as well.

Scene 2 Edmond starts of the scene with monologue. He wants the land as well. Edmond is the illegitimate son of Gloucester. So he is afraid to not have a land.

Gloucester and Edmond, Gloucester reads the letter that Edmond’s brother (Edgar) wrote to him. (1.2.45). The letter states that his brother wants to kill their father and inherit the money faster.

Edmond now is talking to Edgar. He tells Edgar that their father is acting weird. He tells him to go armed (143).

“Let me, if not by birth, have lands by wit” (155).

Scene 3 Gonerill enters the scene and finds his father striking on a gentlemen.

Scene 4 Kent is disguised. Lear is looking for his fool. Kent earns the approval of Lear in bullying Oswald.

King Lear saying when he is speaking that he is not. Gonerill is tired of his pranks. “Men so disordered, so deboshed and bold”… (195)

Gonerill accuses her of “You strike my people” (211) Lear is angry. He is saying she is lying. He says his men are “men of choice and rarest parts” (218)

King Lear is seeming to go crazy. He is angry with Gonerill, so he is going to go to Regan. “I have another daughter, who I am sure is kind and comfortable” (260)

Gonerill wants to warn her daughter, how she tells oswald to write that letter to her sister.

Scene 5 King Lear is sad, because he just wants to be a good father. “O let me not be mad, not mad, sweet heaven!” (37) Lear is angry. He is saying she is lying. He says his men are “men of choice and rarest parts” (218)

Act 2

Scene 1 Curan says about the rumors of a likely war. Dukes of Cornwall and Albany.

Edgar comes, and Edmond tells him to leave, as they see Cornwall arriving. He says like have you said something bad, because they are going after you. And so he runs away.

then, Edmond fakes his injury, and screams help for his father Gloucester. There is a villain. So Gloucester sends to get Edgar.

Regan and Cornwall come visit Gloucester. Because they are trying to hide from her father. And they are staying with Gloucester.

Scene 2 Kent sees Oswald (who was here to send a message on behalf of Gonerill) and immediately starts berating him. “A knave, a rascal, an eater of broken meats” (12). Remember, in the last act, he was the one who tripped Oswald.

Kent then challenges Oswald to a sword fight to death. Oswald is a coward and screams for help. “Help, ho, murder, murder” (37)

Edmond arrives and try to break things up. Kent keeps calling Oswald a knave.

Cornwall is here to defend Oswald. He arrests Kent and puts him “in the stocks”. He has this letter from Cordelia.

Scene 3 Edgar has successfully escaped from the chase of the men sent by his own father. He is going to act like he is a beggar to stay undercover.

Scene 4 Lear finds Kent. And tells him that it’s his own daughter that made him in the stocks.

Lear is looking to speak with his daughter Regan and her husband Cornwall. He thinks they are trying to practice running away from him. It makes him very sad. And he asks to speak with them.

She finally arrives, and Lear tells her how he can’t believe how she is acting. Lear is expecting this second daughter, Regan, agreeing with him and roasting her own sister. But that doesn’t happen. She defends her sister.

“O sir, you are old” (138) Say you have wronged her.

Lear is getting more and more angry.

Regan tells him to return to Gonerill. Oh, and then Gonerill arrives. And then Regan accepts to take Gonerill by the hand.

Lear is hurt. He asks who sent his man to the stocks, and Cornwall admits it is him. King Lear is incredulous.

Lear is feeling that everyone is turning on him. But then he thinks, “I can be patient, I can stay with Regan, I and my hundred knights”.

And Regan instantly rejects him OOF. “Not altogether so” (224) She says they are dangerous.

Lear is like, I gave you so much. And now you guys are acting like dicks to me. So he is venting (260).

Act 3

Scene 1 Kent runs into this gentleman. He talks about Albany and Cornwall are plotting against the old king. He gives the gentleman this ring if he sees Cordelia. He says that he will go seek the king now.

Scene 2 There is Lear and the Fool. Lear is realizing how he is a “poor, infirm, weak, and despised old man;” Kent arrives on the scene.

“I am a man more sinned against than sinning” (3.2.58)

Scene 3 Gloucester talking trash about his son, Edgar.

Scene 4 Fool spots someone, he thinks its a ghost. Edgar runs into the scene. Edgar doing his little act as a homeless boy.

Lear then once again says it’s because of his daughters. “Nothing could have subdued nature to such a lowness but his unkind daughters”.

Edgar saying his name is Tom, that eats the swimming frog.

So now, King Lear is taking interest with talking with the homeless man.

His wits begin to unsettle. Gloucester confesses how he is also in this case, because his son, who he loved, is trying to kill him.

Scene 5 Edmond is talking to Cornwall. It seems that he is plotting even more. He reveals to Cornwall a letter in which his father passing secrets to France. This thus undermines his father’s authority.

Cornwall now rationalizes Edgar’s behavior and desire to kill him.
Edmond gains Cornwall’s trust. He says “true or false, it hath made thee Earl of Gloucester”.

Scene 6 Glou

Scene 7 Gloucester gets captured. Regan talking. And calling him a traitor.

Cornwall takes out one of his eyeballs. Then the servant tries to defend Gloucester. The servant actually hurts him. But then Regan, wow what a bitch, kills the servant.

Then Cornwall takes out his other eye.

Gloucester realizes that Edmond betrayed him, and his son was innocent all the long.

Act 4

Scene 1 Gloucester orders the old man to get some clothing.

Gloucester talks to Edgar, not knowing it’s him and referring to him as Tom. He offers to help.

Scene 2 Gonerill receives the letter from his sister. Albany learns that Gloucester lost both of his eyes.

Scene 3 Cordelia learns that the british powers are marching towards them. Cordelia is loyal to her father, and her reasons for going back to England are because of her loyalty to her father.

Scene 4 Regan tries to seduce Oswald and to try to get this letter. “Edmond and I have talked; and more convenient is he for my hand than for your lady’s”. So Regan fully believes Edmond now and they are working together.

Scene 5 Gloucester meets King Lear.

“When we are born, we cry that we are come to this great stage of fools”.

Oswald comes to kill Gloucester, but Edgar defends his father. Oswald is like why would you defend a published traitor. Edgar proceeds by winning the battle killing Oswald.

Scene 6 Lear seems to be going crazy. He doesn’t believe Cordelia has come to visit him.

Act 5

Scene 1 Regan confronts Edmond and suspects that he is sleeping with her sister Gonerill, and, and asks him whether he has been caught by the Duke of Albany.

Edmond denies these claims and says that he cannot endure her. So we know that both sisters are in love with Edmond.

Then Edgar comes and hands a paper to the duke of Albany and that he should open it before the battle.

Finally, Edmond comes into the scene and tells Albany to get ready for battle. He then goes into a monologue about how he has sworn his love to both sisters.

Scene 2 Very short scene. Just shows that the war is happening, and we show Edgar talking to Gloucester.

Scene 3 Lear and Cordelia are captured as prisoners.

The war is over.

Albany accuses Edmond of Traitor (he got this information from the letter that Edgar gave him) Edgar comes and confronts Edmond. Accusing him of traitor. And then he injures Edmond. Gonerill sees this and is horrified, and she leaves the scene.

Edgar finally reveals his true identity.

Both sisters are dead.

Lear has cordelia in his arms, she is dead. Lear dies.