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King Lear

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King Lear

CHARACTERS:

KING LEAR: king of Britain. Heís 80 years old and heís three daughters:

_GONERIL, the eldest, wife to the duke of Albany;

_REGAN, wife to the duke of Cornwall;

_CORDELIA, a young maid. The king of France and the duke of Burgundy love her.

EARL of KENT: counsellor of the king, he has always honoured and loved him as a father. He defends Cordelia when the king is furious with her.

CAIUS: is the name of the earl of Kent when he returned to the court. King Lear doesnít know that this Caius is his once great favourite earl of Kent.



EDMUND: the natural son of the earl of Gloucester, loved by Goneril and Regan. He disinherits his brother Edgar, the real herit. Heís bad.

SUMMARY:

Lear, king of Britain, had three daughters; Goneril, wife to the duke of Albany, Regan, wife to the duke of Cornwall, and Cordelia, a young maid. Both the king of France and the duke of Burgundy wanted to marry Cordelia, and were staying in the court of Lear. The old king was tired and felt that the time had come to hand over his power to younger people. He called his three daughters to him and asked them to tell him how much they loved him, so that he would know which of his daughters loved him the most. He had decided to divide his kingdom among the three of them according to how much each one loved him. Goneril, the eldest, said that she loved her father more than she could express, that he was dearer to her than the light of her own eyes, dearer than life or liberty. The king was delighted to hear this and he believed everything she said. He gave her and her husband one third of his kingdom. Regan, his second daughter, told him that she loved her father even more than her sister Goneril, and that the love she felt for him was stronger that any of her other feelings. King Lear was delighted with his daughterís answer and so he gave her and her husband a third of his kingdom. He then turned to Cordelia. She had always been his favourite child and he expected that she would answer as her sisters had answered. Cordelia, however, was disgusted by the flattery of her sisters, because she knew that they were insincere. Her answer was that she loved her father according to her duty, neither more nor less. The king was shocked and begged Cordelia to reconsider her words. Cordelia explained that she loved her father and that he had given her life, that she loved, obeyed and honoured him, but that she could not speak as her sisters had done. She also said that if she were to get married, she would love her husband as much as she loved her father.

The king didnít give Cordelia any part of his kingdom, but he divided this third part of kingdom in two, and gave them to Goneril and Regan.

The only person who tried to speak a good word for Cordelia was the earl of Kent, but the king got furious because of these words, and exiled him. The king gave him five days to go away. If the earl was there the sixth day, he would be killed. When he left, he recommended Cordelia to the protection of the gods. Then the king called the king of France and the duke of Burgundy to know whether they would persist in their courtship to Cordelia, now that she had offended her father. The duke of Burgundy refused the marriage, but the king of France took her with him in France to be queen of that beautiful country. She cried, because she knew that her father wasnít in good hands alone with her sisters, then she left.

The king spent his time with his eldest daughter,Goneril, and he discovered the real behaviour of her: she was so evil and unkind, so different from how she showed before, that the king wouldnít believe it. She wanted him to banish his hundred knights! But the earl of Kent, knowing what the situation of his dear king was, returned to the court using a new name: Caius. He couldnít use his true name because he would have been killed. The king didnít recognise him and took him into his service. Caius began to defend in many ways his king; in so doing, the king became more and more attached to him. Caius was the only friend the king had. Lear cursed his eldest daughter for what she did: he prayed that she might never have a child or that, in the case she have, it might dead suddenly. He ordered to her husband to go away from there. The king understood how small the fault of Cordelia was in ison with her sistersí. He sent letters to Regan, but at the same time Goneril did that: so, Caius and the messenger of Goneril (a Caius enemy), met at Reganís house and began to ht (just because Caius hate this messenger, he was his old enemy). Regan discovered the two hting and sent Caius away. Theking wanted to speak with her but Goneril set her against her father! Then Lear asked Goneril to go back with her, but she refused. It began to rain, and the king was alone with his fool under the thunder andthe wind. But fortunately



Caius arrived and persuaded him to enter a little house. Lear became lunatic because of the unkindness of his daughters. The morning he embarked for France to meet Cordelia, although the earl of Kent had put over him some guardians to take care of him in his lunacy. The king met Cordelia, she kissed him, and helped him to cure from his illness.

At the same time, Goneril and Regan felt in love with a man, Edmund, son of the earl of Gloucester, because they grew tired of giving the appearance of duty. In this period Reganís husband died, so she declared her intention of wedding to Edmund, but in so doing sheprovoked the jealousy of her sister.

In fact, Goneril poisoned Regan, but, discovered by her husband, the duke of Albany, she was imprisoned. At the end, she killed herself.

The earl of Gloucester unfortunately sent Cordelia to prison, because he didnít want anyone to stand between him and the throne. So king Lear died. But before his death the earl of Kent made him understand that that Caius was himself, but the old mind of the king didnít understand. Edmund , earl of Gloucester, died in a combat with his brother; the duke of Albany, Gonerilís husband, ascended the throne of Britain after the death of Lear.





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