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King Lear

King Lear

William Shakespeare
Edited, fully annotated, and introduced by Burton Raffel
With an essay by Harold Bloom
Copyright Date: 2007
Published by: Yale University Press
Pages: 256
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt1njmgx
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  • Book Info
    King Lear
    Book Description:

    King Lear, one of Shakespeare's darkest and most savage plays, tells the story of the foolish and Job-like Lear, who divides his kingdom, as he does his affections, according to vanity and whim. Lear's failure as a father engulfs himself and his world in turmoil and tragedy.

    eISBN: 978-0-300-13470-4
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. ABOUT THIS BOOK
    (pp. ix-xvi)
  4. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. xvii-xxviii)

    Learwould be an excellent choice for the most virtuosic play Shakespeare ever wrote. It has great verbal brilliance—but so too doHamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night, and indeed others of his plays as well. Although brilliance and Shakespeare regularly walk hand in hand, A. C. Bradley begins his famous lecture onLearwith the following statement: “King Learhas again and again been described as Shakespeare’s greatest work, the best of his plays, the tragedy in which he exhibits most fully his multitudinous powers.” But Bradley then adds that “King Learseems to me Shakespeare’s greatest achievement,...

  5. TEXTUAL NOTE
    (pp. xxix-xxx)
  6. SOME ESSENTIALS OF THE SHAKESPEAREAN STAGE
    (pp. xxxi-xxxiv)
  7. King Lear
    (pp. 1-194)

    KentI thought the King had more affected¹ the Duke of Albany than Cornwall.

    GloucesterIt did always seem so to us.² But now, in the division of the kingdom, it appears not³ which of the dukes he values⁴ most, for qualities⁵ are so weighed⁶ that curiosity⁷ in neither⁸ can make choice⁹ of either’s moiety.10

    KentIs not this your son, my lord?

    GloucesterHis breeding,11sir, hath been at my charge.12I have so often blushed to acknowledge him, that now I am brazed to13it.

    KentI cannot conceive14you.

    GloucesterSir, this young fellow’s mother could,15...

  8. AN ESSAY BY HAROLD BLOOM
    (pp. 195-206)

    In the long reaction against A.C. Bradley’sShakespearean TragedyandOxford Lectures on Poetry, we have been warned endlessly against meditating upon the girlhood of Shakespeare’s heroines or brooding upon the earlier marital days of the Macbeths. Yet Shakespearean representation, as the critic A.D. Nuttall observes, allows us to see aspects of reality we would not otherwise recognize. I would go beyond Nuttall to suggest that Shakespeare has molded both our sense of reality and our cognitive modes of apprehending that reality to a far greater degree than Homer or Plato, Montaigne or Nietzsche, Freud or Proust. Only the Bible...

  9. FURTHER READING
    (pp. 207-212)
  10. FINDING LIST
    (pp. 213-215)