William Shakespeare 's Play : The Reign Of Queen Essay

1365 Words Jun 8th, 2016 6 Pages
While often regarded as an Elizabethan playwright, Shakespeare’s career straddled two epochs: the reign of Queen
Elizabeth (1562 to 1603) and the reign of King James (1603 to 1625). While it is notoriously difficult to find details about Shakespeare’s personal life, he taps into what was happening around him in his writing. This was the year in which two of Shakespeare’s best-known plays were crafted: Macbeth and, the subject of this notebook, King Lear.
The latter play tells the story of the titular King Lear, who at the start of the play demands declarations of love from his three daughters (Goneril, Regan, and Cordelia), that he might divide the kingdom among them based on their devotion to him. When Cordelia refuses to rise to her father’s challenge, he disinherits her, marrying her to the King of
France without a dowry. However, Lear’s angry dismissal works against him: Goneril and Regan, expected to harbour him, later turn him out after a squabble over the knights that accompanied Lear as he stayed in their houses. Rejected by his daughters, Lear slowly descends into insanity. Plots and counterplots are exchanged, and by the end of the play Goneril kills both Regan and herself, their scheming leads to Cordelia’s murder, and Lear dies of grief over
Cordelia’s death.
For me the heart of this play is the disintegration of Lear’s family, and the developing antagonism between
Lear and his elder daughters. What fascinates me is the animalistic brutality of these familial…

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