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.
Read our full plot summary and analysis of King Lear, scene by scene breakdowns, and more.
See a complete list of the characters in King Lear and in-depth analyses of King Lear, Cordelia, Edmund, Goneril and Regan, and Gloucester.
Here's where you'll find analysis of the literary devices in King Lear, from the major themes to motifs, symbols, and more.
Explore our selection of frequently asked questions about King Lear and find the answers you need.
Find the quotes you need to support your essay, or refresh your memory of the book by reading these key quotes.
Test your knowledge of King Lear with quizzes about every section, major characters, themes, symbols, and more.
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.
Go further in your study of King Lear with background information, movie adaptations, and links to the best resources around the web.