In the CliffsComplete guides, the play's complete text and a glossary appear side-by-side with coordinating numbered lines to help you understand unusual words and phrasing. You'll also find all the commentary and resources of a standard CliffsNotes for Literature.
In this tragic play, Lear, a ruler in pre-Christian Britain, is described as a "very foolish old man." Grossly misjudging his daughters, he endures a harrowing experience and emerges as a man "more sinned against than sinning." This most tragic of Shakespearean plays speaks to us repeatedly about fate and chance, destiny and the gods. But we also are reminded that humanity has free will — and King Lear's choices lead to madness.
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