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.

Literary Devices

Here's where you'll find analysis of the literary devices in King Lear, from the major themes to motifs, symbols, and more.

Questions & Answers

Explore our selection of frequently asked questions about King Lear and find the answers you need.

Essays

Get ready to ace your King Lear paper with our suggested essay topics, helpful essays about historical and literary context, a sample A+ student essay, and more.

Further Study

Go further in your study of King Lear with background information, movie adaptations, and links to the best resources around the web.