This tragedy, like many other works of Shakespeare, has a borrowed plot. It was created in 1606. However, a year before that, the anonymous play "The True Story in King Lear" was published.
The plot of Shakespeare's tragedy "King Lear"
The scene of the tragedy is Britain, the time of action is the ninth century AD. The plot is based on the story of the British King Lear, who is inclined to divide his own kingdom between three daughters. In order to determine who will get what part, he asks them to say how strong their love for their father is. The older daughters take the chance, and the younger one refuses to flatter. In a fit of anger, the father expels his daughter and the Earl of Kent from the kingdom, who tried to intercede for her.
However, over time, the king realizes that the love of the eldest daughters was only calculating, and the tension between them aggravates the political situation in the kingdom.
An additional plot is also intertwined - the Earl of Gloucester and his son Edmund. The latter slandered the count's legitimate son, who barely managed to avoid reprisals.
The eldest daughters expel Lear, he goes to the steppe. He is joined by Gloucester, Kent and Edgar. The daughters hunt the king. The youngest daughter, having learned about everything, leads the French troops. The battle is coming. In total, they are taken prisoner. Edmund, having bribed the officers, wants them to kill the prisoners. However, the Duke of Albania brings Edmund out into the open, reveals his atrocities, but Edgar still kills his brother in a duel. Before his death, Edmund wants to do one good deed - to thwart the plan to kill the prisoners. But he does not have time. As a result, Cordelia is strangled, both of her sisters also die. Lear is dying of grief. The Earl of Kent also wanted to die, but the Duke strengthens him in all his rights and leaves him near the throne.
The history of the creation of Shakespeare's tragedy "King Lear"
The tale of King Lear and his three daughters is considered the most legendary British tradition. The first literary processing of this legend was made by the Latin chronicler of Monmouth. In English, it was borrowed by Liamon in the poem "Brutus".
In the House of Booksellers, in May 1605, a publication was made titled "The Tragic Story of King Lear." Then in 1606 the story of W. Shakespeare was published. It is believed that this was the same play. For the first time at the Rosa Theater, it was in 1594. However, the name of the author of the pre-Shakespearean tragedy is still unknown. The text of the plays has been preserved, which makes it possible to compare them. The text of Shakespeare's play is also available in two versions, both subsidized in 1608. However, researchers took one of the publications for illegal, allegedly the publisher published it already in 1619, but put an earlier date on it.