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Shakespeare’s story of a king who divides his realm between his three daughters probes the depths of human suffering and despair. First staged in 1606, for centuries King Lear was thought too bleak to perform, but its nihilism has heavily influenced modern drama. Read a character analysis of Lear, plot summary, and important quotes.

Characters

See a complete list of the characters in King Lear and in-depth analyses of King Lear, Cordelia, Edmund, Goneril and Regan, and Gloucester.

Main Ideas

Here's where you'll find analysis about the play as a whole, from the major themes and ideas to analysis of style, tone, point of view, and more.

Writing Help

Get ready to write your paper on King Lear with our suggested essay topics, sample essays, and more.