Summary of “King Lear” by Shakespeare

XI century, Britain. The mighty King Lear, anticipating the end of his age, decides to share his property among the daughters, who are called Goneril, Regan and Cordelia. But before sharing, the King wants to hear from the girls the words of love for His Majesty the Father.

It turned out that Gonerilia and Regan were very sly in their love for the Pope, they were the first to come out. Girls talked about a strong family dependence, that they love their father, as none of the children loved their parents. The king understood that they were not completely sincere, but he was still touched by it. But when the turn came to the beloved daughter of Cordelia, the king changed. The fact is that the girl was very honest and modest. She could not speak in public about what she felt in all colors. That’s why Cordelia spoke very dryly about her love for her father, but the king did not understand this and was furious, gave his kingdom to two daughters, and Cordelia did not get anything.


tries to calm his friend Kent, but this is ineffectual. And Cordelia turns away one of the contenders for her hand and heart, the Duke of Burgundy. And the second applicant, the King of France, on the contrary, not understanding King Lear and the Duke, suggests Cordelia to become the queen of France. The girl accepts the offer, and tells her sisters that she knows their essence, but asks to follow her father.

Count Gloucester, who had long served with King Lear, also tried to understand the reason for this decision of the king, but it so happened that Count Gloucester himself was deceived. The fact is that he had two sons, the illegitimate son Edmund and Edgar. Edmund decided to deceive the reputation of his brother in the eyes of his father. He forged the handwriting of Edgar in a letter, which spoke of his own plan to kill his father. And Edgar, he suggested that the count is doing something bad against him. The result was that Count Gloucester ordered to grab Edgar, so in fact the innocent son had to flee.

Meanwhile, by arrangement, King Lear has the right to live for a month with his daughters

who have received parts of the kingdom. The first receiving daughter was Gonerilia. But life with her was a torment for the king. Gonerilia showed her superiority over him at any opportunity, she demonstrated that she was the mistress. She also did not hide her indignation when King Lear tried to do something in his own way, and supported the servants who could yell at the father and the jester who ridiculed him. But even this the father’s humiliation did not end. Gonerilia became an orderly tone to tell her father that he would dismiss his numerous retinue. The woman was not stopped even by her husband, who was trying to protect the king. To help Lear, came Kent, who disguised himself and engaged in the service of the king.

Lear hopes for his second daughter Regan. He wrote her a letter and sent him with Kent, but at the same time, the messenger of Gonerilli was on his way to Regan. King Lear with the screams that he will take away all that he lost, goes to Regan. And while he is on the road of Regan, who is no less cowardly than Gonerilja orders to grab Kent and put pads on him. And her husband, just as his sister could not calm down. Regan does to humiliate his father, and show that he is powerless.

When Lear arrived, he, not knowing about the meanness of the second daughter, was trying to find her consolation. But he sees his servant in the pads, the king is furious. Then he realizes what his daughter really is, and the fool of the Goneril brothers said the right thing in this situation: the rich father is always a mile and on another account. Both daughters begin to put pressure on their father, deciding how much Lira is needed. And in the end, despite the storm and the wind, women put their father out of the gate.

Meanwhile, Kent in the steppe, where the storm rages, meets with the court king, from whom he learns that the war is near. Kent asks Cordelia about the king, and his misfortune. He hides the king in the hut where Edgar is hiding. Gloucester, not tossing his king in trouble, decides to hide him about what and tells Edmund. And the latter decided to take advantage of this, thereby getting rid of his father.

Gloucester takes Lyra and everyone who was with him in the haven. While Gloucester left the castle, Lear says that he wants to open Regan’s chest and see if it’s not a stone heart. He was put to bed with difficulty, after which Gloucester offers to go to Dover to protect the King, because he heard about the conspiracy against the king.

Duke of Cornwall, Regan’s husband learns about the landing of French troops. He sends with this news to the Duke of Alban’s husband, Gonerily, her and Edmund. And the Gloucester is seized, tied up and taunted, because the messenger of Gonerilli learned that the count sent the king to Dover, contrary to the order. And when Gloucester tells Regan the words that she is like a predator, he is torn out by the eye of her husband, for which the servant of Gloucester stabs the sword and receives a retaliatory wound. The Duke of Cornwall dies, but before his death he tears out the second eye. The blind and helpless Gloucester was pushed out into the street, but before that he found out that Edmund was a traitor, and Edgar was in fact not guilty.

Gloucester, not knowing what to do, says that he was blind even then, because he believed Edmund. When he said these words to him comes Edgar, who became a guide to Gloucester. The Count asks his son to take him to the precipice to dump him. Edgar agrees, but leads him just to the usual plane, and when Gloucester falls and strikes the ground, Edgar was able to convince him that he fell off the cliff and remained alive.

Meanwhile, the Duke of Alban tries to get his wife to recover, and stop doing evil. He condemns her and her sister in a crime against their father. But Goneril is not everything. She says goodbye to Edmund, who returned with her, and then they swear to each other in love. The messenger informs the duke of the death of the Duke of Carnuel, and then the husband of Gonerilli began to condemn his wife again. He wishes to thank Gloucester for such devotion to the King.

Gonerilia is more concerned that Edmund can switch to her sister who is widowed.

Meanwhile, the messenger of Gonerilli Oswald attacks Gloucester, Edgar fights him and kills him. In the pocket of Oswald, he finds a note, which is proof of the treachery of Gonerilia with Edmund. Also in it Gonerily suggests Edmund to kill her husband and to take his place.

Meanwhile, the lyre went insane, his speech is not connected. His doctors save him, plunging him into a dream, and in the meantime his third daughter Cordelia comes to him, who prays for the salvation of the pope. After awakening, Lear asks forgiveness from her daughter, kneeling.

Gonerilja, seeing next to Edmund’s sister, decides to poison her. And the disguised Edgar shows the Duke of Albania a letter found at Oswald. They agree that in case of victory, Albanian will have to call Edgar to take revenge.

And it turned out that the French won. Edmund captured Leer and Cordelia, and gave a secret order to kill them. The Duke of Albania orders Edmund to give him prisoners, which he receives a refusal. Then the duke accuses the vile sisters and Edmund of treason and declares that he knows about the betrayal of his wife. Appears Edgar, who fights his brother, without showing his face and not giving out his name. He kills Edmund, who before his death repented and asked to hurry in order to save King Lear and Cordelia. In the meantime, Gonerilia stabbed herself, and before her death she poisoned her sister. Unfortunately, the recognition of Edmund could not save Lear and Cordelia, who were inseparable.

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Summary of “King Lear” by Shakespeare