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King Lear
     

King Lear

4.3 71
by William Shakespeare
 

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King Lear banishes his favorite daughter when she speaks out against him. Little does he know that the two other daughters who praise him are actually plotting against him.

Overview

King Lear banishes his favorite daughter when she speaks out against him. Little does he know that the two other daughters who praise him are actually plotting against him.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 5-9

Each book opens with a list of characters and a description of the setting. Background information, a short synopsis, famous phrases from the play, and a biographical sketch of Shakespeare are also included. Described as titles for reluctant readers, each slim volume is written in large-sized font and includes full-color illustrations covering between two to five panels per age. All dialogue has been extracted from the original play, which exposes readers to Shakespearean language. Explanatory text boxes judiciously placed throughout the panels enhance readers' understanding of characters, actions, and events. With substantial front and back matter, these adaptations seem best suited for instructional purposes. Additional explanation, discussion, and further reading may be required if young readers are to understand the Shakespearean phrases and interlocking plots as well as the subject matter of these plays: madness, human suffering, suicide, revenge, and murder. However, the books will serve as introductions to the Bard for older, reluctant readers. Dunn's illustrations for Hamlet and King Lear were done in a straightforward style and have rich, dramatic colors. Espinosa's use of a limited color palette for A Midsummer Night's Dream suits the moonlight setting. This adaptation's inclusion of Puck's rhyming introduction to the characters is a delightful addition.-Barbara M. Moon, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY

Kirkus Reviews
From an artist known for his vivid graphic-novel reworkings of Beowulf (2007) and The Merchant of Venice (2008) comes this nuanced adaptation of King Lear. Employing a range of artistic styles that convey dramatic mood, the artist begins the play almost as a fairy tale, featuring bright, softly washed drawings. Once Cordelia is cast out and things sour, the images become darker and more compact. As the king descends into madness, the art becomes downright menacing, with Lear appearing as a jagged, ghostly figure drawn with white pencil on a dark background. These visual cues assist to a degree in deciphering the meaning of the Shakespearean language. Much of the text of the play remains intact, though in the backmatter Hinds dissects page by page what changes were made and why, offering scholarly interpretations that are both insightful and cleanly summative. The story doesn't leap from page, but this is a remarkably rendered and worthwhile treatment of the tragedy. (Graphic drama. 13 & up)
From the Publisher

"A quite wonderful idea. So blindingly obvious, I can't understand why nobody had thought of it before. I will certainly use the texts myself."—Sir Peter Hall

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780881428803
Publisher:
Soundelux
Publication date:
04/01/1989

Read an Excerpt

King Lear

Editors’ Preface


In recent years, ways of dealing with Shakespeare’s texts and with the interpretation of his plays have been undergoing significant change. This edition, while retaining many of the features that have always made the Folger Shakespeare so attractive to the general reader, at the same time reflects these current ways of thinking about Shakespeare. For example, modern readers, actors, and teachers have become interested in the differences between, on the one hand, the early forms in which Shakespeare’s plays were first published and, on the other hand, the forms in which editors through the centuries have presented them. In response to this interest, we have based our edition on what we consider the best early printed version of a particular play (explaining our rationale in a section called “An Introduction to This Text”) and have marked our changes in the text—unobtrusively, we hope, but in such a way that the curious reader can be aware that a change has been made and can consult the “Textual Notes” to discover what appeared in the early printed version.

Current ways of looking at the plays are reflected in our brief introductions, in many of the commentary notes, in the annotated lists of “Further Reading,” and especially in each play’s “Modern Perspective,” an essay written by an outstanding scholar who brings to the reader his or her fresh assessment of the play in the light of today’s interests and concerns.

As in the Folger Library General Reader’s Shakespeare, which the New Folger Library Shakespeare replaces, we include explanatory notes designed to help make Shakespeare’s language clearer to a modern reader, and we hyperlink notes to the lines that they explain. We also follow the earlier edition in including illustrations—of objects, of clothing, of mythological figures—from books and manuscripts in the Folger Shakespeare Library collection. We provide fresh accounts of the life of Shakespeare, of the publishing of his plays, and of the theaters in which his plays were performed, as well as an introduction to the text itself. We also include a section called “Reading Shakespeare’s Language,” in which we try to help readers learn to “break the code” of Elizabethan poetic language.

For each section of each volume, we are indebted to a host of generous experts and fellow scholars. The “Reading Shakespeare’s Language” sections, for example, could not have been written had not Arthur King, of Brigham Young University, and Randal Robinson, author of Unlocking Shakespeare’s Language, led the way in untangling Shakespearean language puzzles and shared their insights and methodologies generously with us. “Shakespeare’s Life” profited by the careful reading given it by S. Schoenbaum; “Shakespeare’s Theater” was read and strengthened by Andrew Gurr, John Astington, and William Ingram; and “The Publication of Shakespeare’s Plays” is indebted to the comments of Peter W. M. Blayney. We, as editors, take sole responsibility for any errors in our editions.

We are grateful to the authors of the “Modern Perspectives”; to Leeds Barroll and David Bevington for their generous encouragement; to the Huntington and Newberry Libraries for fellowship support; to King’s University College for the grants it has provided to Paul Werstine; to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, which provided him with Research Time Stipends; to R. J. Shroyer of Western University for essential computer support; and to the Folger Institute’s Center for Shakespeare Studies for its fortuitous sponsorship of a workshop on “Shakespeare’s Texts for Students and Teachers” (funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and led by Richard Knowles of the University of Wisconsin), a workshop from which we learned an enormous amount about what is wanted by college and high-school teachers of Shakespeare today.

In preparing this preface for the publication of King Lear in 1993, we wrote: “Our biggest debt is to the Folger Shakespeare Library: to Werner Gundersheimer, Director of the Library, who has made possible our edition; to Jean Miller, the Library’s Art Curator, who combed the Library holdings for illustrations, and to Julie Ainsworth, Head of the Photography Department, who carefully photographed them; to Peggy O’Brien, Director of Education, who gave us expert advice about the needs being expressed by Shakespeare teachers and students (and to Martha Christian and other ‘master teachers’ who used our texts in manuscript in their classrooms); to the staff of the Academic Programs Division, especially Paul Menzer (who drafted ‘Further Reading’ material), Mary Tonkinson, Lena Cowen Orlin, Molly Haws, and Jessica Hymowitz; and, finally, to the staff of the Library Reading Room, whose patience and support have been invaluable.

“Special thanks are due Richard Knowles, who allowed us to see his commentary on Acts 1 and 2 for his forthcoming New Variorum edition of King Lear.”

As we revise the play for publication in 2015, we add to the above our gratitude to Michael Witmore, Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library, who brings to our work a gratifying enthusiasm and vision; to Gail Kern Paster, Director of the Library from 2002 until July 2011, whose interest and support have been unfailing and whose scholarly expertise continues to be an invaluable resource; to Jonathan Evans and Alysha Bullock, our production editors at Simon & Schuster, whose expertise, attention to detail, and wisdom are essential to this project; to the Folger’s Photography Department; to Deborah Curren-Aquino, for continuing superb editorial assistance; to Alice Falk for her expert copyediting; to Michael Poston for unfailing computer support; to Anna Levine; and to Rebecca Niles (whose help is crucial). We are grateful to Leslie Thomson and Roslyn L. Knutson for theater history expertise. Among the editions we consulted, we found René Weis’s Parallel Text Edition (2010) and R. A. Foakes’s Arden edition (1997) especially useful. Finally, we once again express our gratitude to the late Jean Miller for the wonderful images she unearthed, to Stephen Llano for twenty-five years of invaluable assistance as our production editor, and to the ever-supportive staff of the Library Reading Room.

Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine

2015

Meet the Author

William Shakespeare was born in April 1564 in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon, on England’s Avon River. When he was eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway. The couple had three children—an older daughter Susanna and twins, Judith and Hamnet. Hamnet, Shakespeare’s only son, died in childhood. The bulk of Shakespeare’s working life was spent in the theater world of London, where he established himself professionally by the early 1590s. He enjoyed success not only as a playwright and poet, but also as an actor and shareholder in an acting company. Although some think that sometime between 1610 and 1613 Shakespeare retired from the theater and returned home to Stratford, where he died in 1616, others believe that he may have continued to work in London until close to his death.

Barbara A. Mowat is Director of Research emerita at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Consulting Editor of Shakespeare Quarterly, and author of The Dramaturgy of Shakespeare’s Romances and of essays on Shakespeare’s plays and their editing.

Paul Werstine is Professor of English at the Graduate School and at King’s University College at Western University. He is a general editor of the New Variorum Shakespeare and author of Early Modern Playhouse Manuscripts and the Editing of Shakespeare and of many papers and articles on the printing and editing of Shakespeare’s plays.

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King Lear (Barnes & Noble Shakespeare) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 71 reviews.
JohnLemon More than 1 year ago
This review is not of King Lear itself (one of my two favorite Shakespeare plays, with the other being Othello), but rather on this edition of Lear (ISBN: 9781411400795), which was edited by Andrew Hadfield and David Scott Kastan. I read a lot of heavily annotated books, and I have to say that the Barnes & Noble Shakespeare editions have one of the best book designs I've ever encountered. The various references materials (footnotes and definitions for archaic words) appear in a manner that makes the text very easy to follow. The scholarship is also top-notch. The annotations give you enough to make things clear without insulting your intelligence, or without overburdening you with unnecessary detail. The essays are also interesting and informative. I've been avoiding Shakespeare ever since high school, which was many years ago. Now that I'm reading him again, I'm glad I'm in such good hands. It is making the experience a joy, rather than a chore. My compliments to the editors and the book designer. They have done a superior job of making this difficult text accessible to the modern reader. Highly recommended.
typoo More than 1 year ago
The Barnes and Noble edition of the plays are my favorites to read. The format of the books is great. No jumping around to read the footnotes and text explanatory notes unless I want to. The play speaks for itself and has for hundreds of years. I highly recommend all the B&N editions of his plays.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Barnes & Noble Shakespeare editions are my favorites. The font and clean layout make them very readable and the notes are helpful without being distracting to the eye or burdensome to read. They are also very reasonably priced!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Barnes and Noble team did a fantastic job here. The play - one of Shakespeare's best tragedies - is well-annotated and free from the crumminess inherent to the cheap Shakespeare editions that can be found on the Nook.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great play, this edition has been the victiom of the google books project & so contains glaring typographical errors.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved the language! I loved how it all came together at the end. It was kind of suspenseful. I love Shakespeare.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The actual play Is much interesting but with the errors of the spelling it made it reaally boringgg no wonder its for free
raethompson More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite Shakespearean plays. Its challenging but a great read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
king lear is awsome -- thought i didnt read the book -- i did hear an a audio tape -- i got it cuz i was interested in it after a 'just shoot me' eposide -- its been one of my meny favertiot books sence (excuse mey spelling please)
Guest More than 1 year ago
King Lear is William Shakespeare's most magnificent and deliciously diabolical plays of ingratitude, the intoxicating promise of power and position, and the ultimate sacrifice of love. Lear's two daughters Regan and Goneril are two monstrously malevolant women of Britain who perpetuate their father's decreasing sanity, in order to maintain power in Britain. Lear's youngest daughter Cordelia, a compassionate, loyal, kind, and wonderfully woman who is a trememdous contrast to her evil sisters Goneril and Regan. Cordelia is, an angel of goodness who is a spectacular influence and characterization of what a daughter should give and mention to her father, not out of appetite but out of conscience. The line between good and evil is faultlessly drawn in this spectacular play by one of the most ingenious writers of the human condition who ever lived.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Certainly the most powerful and profound of all Shakespeare's plays. This one has to do with the ungratefulness of Lear's three daughters. Gonreil, Regan, and Cordelia whom he has divided his kingdom amongst the three of them. Except, Cordelia who has estranged herself from his love. Little does he know the two daughters whom he thinks love's him most are actually wicekdly plotting against him. I thought this had to be the most triumphant play written by Shakespeare. A glorious, and overwhelming account of selfishness, ingraitude, madness, and evil amongst a family seperated by hatred.
Guest More than 1 year ago
So I'm not exactly a Shakespeare scholar, but I still loved this tragedy. I think it's one of the best one, and it's a pity so few are put on live action show (the recent Hamlet,Henry V,Richard III,Midsummer Night's Dream, and other movies were great!). Unfortunately, some complain that it is not an official 'tragedy' because, according to A.C. Bradley, who's supposed to be some real genius, requires that Fate have little to do with any good tragedy...Yet King Lear DOES include Fate (cf. Gloucester's laments about the gods playing with human lives). So much of it that I think it's one of the main themes of the play. Unlike Bradley, I think this inevitability only INTENSES the depressing mood of the play, and to people suffering from chronic depression (like myself), the play really speaks out. Generational gaps and treatment of seniors are very relevant to our society, yet the question of Fate and the great tragedy that life can sometimes end up to be cannot be ignored in this one of Shakespeare's greatest plays. I mean, it IS a tragedy right???
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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* holds his sword and coughs blood. He collapses bleeing from the chidori hole. The sword slides by Daisuke and blood pours around kai. *
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What clan is this? If anyone reads this, join Darkclan at othello all results!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Her golden pelt stood out in the moonlight.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bbt maybe
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Okay. Thankss."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Done. Advertised at Erin Hunter.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She hugs her knees, the book propped up upon her thighs as she scans the pages, words from both the lyrics in her earbuds and from the page filtering through her brain.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*Appears in a small poof of blue smoke.* I'm here, dahlangs.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Smiles wickedly