The Tragedie of King Lear (Applause First Folio Editions)by William Shakespeare, Neil Freeman
(Applause Books). In one of Shakespeare's most famous tragedies, the three daughters of the king of Britain are put to the test of declaring their love for their father, King Lear. The test leads to the expulsion of the favorite daughter, Cordelia; the undermining of the king; and ultimately the unraveling of Lear's sanity. In true Shakespeare fashion, greed, war, lust, and misplaced good intensions intersect to form an inevitable climax of poison and swordplay, making King Lear arguably the greatest tragedy of all time. George Bernard Shaw wrote, "No man will ever write a better tragedy than Lear" (Shaw on Shakespeare, Applause Books). If there ever has been a groundbreaking edition that likewise returns the reader to the original Shakespeare text, it will be the Applause Folio Texts. If there has ever been an accessible version of the Folio, it is this edition, set for the first time in modern fonts. The Folio is the source of all other editions. The Folio text forces us to re-examine the assumptions and prejudices which have encumbered over four hundred years of scholarship and performance. Notes refer the reader to subsequent editorial interventions, and offer the reader a multiplicity of interpretations. Notes also advise the reader on variations between Folios and Quartos. The heavy mascara of four centuries of Shakespearean glossing has by now glossed over the original countenance of Shakespeare's work. Never has there been a Folio available in modern reading fonts. While other complete Folio editions continue to trade simply on the facsimile appearance of the Elizabethan "look," none of them is easily and practically utilized in general Shakespeare studies or performances.
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