The aging King Lear resolves to turn his kingdom over to his three daughters, but only if each will tell him how much they love him. This test of eloquence and flattery yields consequences Lear little expects when his favored daughter Cordelia says nothing. Lear angrily disowns her, leaving himself vulnerable to the whims of his two older daughters. Ultimately, King Lear loses everything, including his mind, as he finds himself betrayed by the honeyed words and false promises that seduced him. His reason is shattered in the storm of violent emotion that ensues and King Lear is stripped of all that has defined him as a king. Wandering about in the storm with only his fool to accompany him, King Lear discovers the essence of his own humanity whilst wrestling with his sanity. Cordelia returns with an army to rescue her father and his kingdom, but they lose the battle and Lear, all his daughters and more, tragically die.
King Lear guide sections