AP Lit set #5 King Lear

Title King Lear
Author William Shakespeare
Date of publication 1608
Genre Tragedy
Themes 1. The ones nearest you are the ones to to betray you the most. 2. The significance of family should be beyond the significance of power. 3. Having power can define the person you are depending on how it is used.
Plot summary King Lear decides to decide his kingdom among his three daughters depending on which one expresses their love for him the most. Cordelia, Lears youngest daughter refuses to express her love to him and banishes her for her betrayal. Lear gives his kingdom to his other two daughters Goneril and Regan. Goneril and Regan treat their father cruelly while Edmund, Gloucester son plans against him and his legitimate son, Edgar. Gloucester becomes blind and tried to save Lear and Cordelia from the cruelty of Goneril. The two sister Goneril and Regan take an interest in Edmund which provokes a violent rivalry between sister that ends in the deaths of one another but before, Gonerils army defeats Cordelia’s army who came to defend what’s rightfully her fathers and lastly all die except gonerils husband Albany and Goneril.
Themes 1. Betrayal- Power is an extremely important aspect in which someone is defined based on who and what is done with it.2. Loyalty- Finding loyalty in the world is one of the hardest things to find as many only look for what benefits themselves the most.3. Forgiveness- There are many people who are pitiless however there are many who are capable of showing compassion and forgiveness.
“I love your majesty according to my bond nor more nor less” The significance of this quote is the honesty Cordelia presents when she doesn’t express her love to Lear through words which emphasizes her virtue and authentic love.
“O reason not the need: our basest beggars are in the poorest thing superfluous: allow not nature more than nature needs. Mans life’s as cheap as beasts.” This quote is important because as Lear refuses to relieve his knights Lear expresses the importance of individual rights and has a big eye opener.
“Poor naked Wretches wheresoe’er you are, that bide the pelting of this pitiless storm…defend you from seasons such as these?” The significance of this quote is Lears awakening and finally recognizing his lack of good sense.
“As flies to wanton boys, are we to the gods, they kill us for their support” The significance of this quote is Gloucester questioning who he most put his faith towards due to his tragic fate he believes there is no justice.
“When we are born, we cry that we are come to this great stage fools” This quote is significant because Lear talks about fate being the only reason why he is going through so much pain.
“The younger rises when the old doth fall” This quote is important because it sums up the true meaning of the play. New generations coming to power.
“Not only, sir, this your all-licensed fool” The fool is signficant part of the play due to the his comedic side that brings insight to the play.
King Lear King of Britain and protagonist
Goneril Lears oldest daughter
Regan Lears middle child
Cordelia Lears youngest daughter
Gloucester Lears loyal friend (nobleman)
Kent Loyal servant of Lear (nobleman)
Fool Lear court jester
Edgar Gloucesters eldest son
Edmund Gloucesters illegitimate son
Adjectives that decribe King Lear Arrogant, blind, old
Adjectives that describe Goneril Stubborn, selfish, cruel
Adjectives that describe Regan Cold, ruthless, deceitful
Adjectives that describe Cordelia Loyal, pure, young, honest
Adjectives that describe gloucester Blind, weak, imperceptive
Adjectives that describe Kent Loyal, honest, protective
Adjectives that describe the fool Honest
Adjectives that describe Edgar Clueless, crazy
Adjectives that describe Edmund Liar, jealous, deceitful
Significance of King Lear This character is significant because his negligence of forming proper father daughter relations leads into a rivalry and betrayal between family.
Significance of Goneril Goneril is significant because her need of power leads to her betraying her father and unfolding the plot of the play.
Significance of Reagan She is significant because just like Goneril, Regan is cruel and joins her sister in her rivalry and selfishness.
Significance of Cordelia This character demonstrates traits of purity that brings light into the lives of the other characters. She has good moral values that makes her extremely noticeable in the eyes of the readers.
Significance of Gloucester Gloucester is significant because just as Lear, he is unable to see the truth behind the actions of his children.
Setting The setting of King Lear is placed in ancient times in Britain.
Significance of setting The significance of the setting is the sense of power and richness that comes with the thought of kingdom and castles.
Opening scene During the opening scene, Cordelia refuses to speak her towards Lear while her sisters give him an insincere words of love.
Significance of opening scene The significance of the opening scene is the introduction to the major themes. Lear is unable to see the reality behind his daughters dishonest praise and banishes the only daughter who feels sincere love for him.
Symbols 1. Storm- As Lear walks out in the open a storm approaches and soon converts into a raging storm reflecting Lears uncertainty, anger, madness, and confusion. 2. Blindness- Blindness is seen on both parental figures, Gloucester and Lear making them blind to the true intentions of their child’s. 3. Nude- Edgar and King Lear strip their clothes of making their nakedness symbolic. It represents the true nature and simpleness of a man.
Ending scene The ending scene of King Lear is extremely tragic. Goneril poisons her sister and kills herself, Cordelia is hanged on the order of her own sister, Edmund is stabbed by Edgar during an encounter, and Lear dies of sadness because of the deaths of all his daughters.
Significance of ending scene The significance of the tragic ending scene demonstrates how the misuse of power can destroy the lives of others and their own, bringing the themes all together.