King Lear Cass Audio Cassette – Audiobook, Apr 12 1995
|New from||Used from|
Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.
King Lear stands alongside Hamlet as one of the most profound expressions of tragic drama in literature. Written between 1604 and 1605, it represents Shakespeare at the height of his dramatic power. Drawing on ancient British history, Shakespeare constructs a plot that reads like a fable in its clear-sighted but terrifying simplicity. The ageing King Lear calls his daughters, Goneril, Regan and Cordelia to witness that he wishes "to shake all cares and business from our age" and divide his kingdom between his three children. When Cordelia refuses to flatter her father with sycophantic words of love, her banishment leads to chaos and civil war as Lear's disastrous "division of the kingdom" gives free reign to the greed and ambition of his two remaining daughters.
As Lear sinks into rage and madness he is deserted by everyone except his "bitter" Fool, the loyal Kent and the exiled Cordelia. The play descends into a nighmarish theatre of cruelty and absurdity as Lear realises he has "ta'en / Too little care" of the poverty and corruption of his kingdom, and his loyal but foolish friend Gloucester has his eyes gouged out. Metaphors of monstrosity and perversions of nature structure the dramatic action, and the play's ending remains one of the most harrowing in all of Shakespeare. Many see a profound despair and nihilism in King Lear, and would agree with Kent's conclusion that "All's cheerless, dark and deadly". Other writers have identified a radical but pessimistic critique of contemporary conceptions of kingship and absolutist authority, yet it remains a remarkable tragedy of public misjudgement and intensely private grief and anguish. --Jerry Brotton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
This marvelous new installation to the revamped "Pelican Shakespeare" series contains both the original 1608 version as big Will wrote it and the 1623 scaled-down and reworked version with which we are all familiar. If that wasn't enough, this edition also sports a scholarly introduction and notes on the texts. All that for less than the price of lunch at McDonald's makes this a remarkable bargain for all academic and public libraries. Don't play the fool; buy this.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
On p 98 "rake up" is cover?..here is the tie "murderous lechers" on the same line?..
As a help to understand the later play..the biblical weeds..a famous motif from the gospels "weeds are memories of those worser hours"(p 99)..later on p 105.."wretched..I can produce a champion..miscarry" here the biblical wretch..a key way to understand the play
"both these sisters..sworn my love..each jealous of the other..which..shall I take..
both..one..neither..neither can be enjoyed..both remain alive..widow..
exasperates..carry out my side..never see his pardon"
Here Side according to the notes..partners or play..but I find the biblical motif..the crucifixion..the implied madness of Lear..more relevant?..later "instruments to plague..wheel is come full circle..bleeding rings.." the wheel the ancient torture.here the translation of "bleeding rings" is eyes.Read more ›
King Lear is a play about honoring one's parents, a very relevant lesson for those of us in the modern world. As with many of Shakespeare's other plays, the language may be old but the lessons are still as relevant as ever. Lear, the King of England gives his blessing and lands to two of his daughters based on their outward show of affection for him, while neglecting his third; Cordelia, because she would rather show her love than make an outward display " my love's more richer than my tongue". It turns out that her two daughters deeds are contrary to their words and the rest of the play deals with Lear almost going mad at the ingratitude and lack of respect shown to him by his two daughters.
There is another subplot with the earl of Gloucester being deceived by his illegitimate son into wanting to kill his other son, Edgar. The story unfolds with two of these men, Lear and Gloucester being mistreated by their children who outwardly show love but inwardly have cold and calculating hearts. As with other tragedies, there must be deaths and disappointment, and King Lear is full of them. Unlike Othello however, King Lear does not have a very depressing ending and there is a feeling that everything will be alright, life goes on in other words.
I have tried to outline very briefly what this play is about and hopefully have shown a little of what is inside this very rich play.Read more ›
Most critics agree that Shakespeare's King Lear is great writing; Isaac Asimov said that King Lear was the best thing ever written. I am glad that more than twenty years ago I was required to read it in college. It took time to capture me but I have revisited King Lear several times since. Although written for actors on the stage it is top reading that is well worth working through language difficulties for the value of the emotional experience and intellectual contemplation.
Like "Hamlet", this is a tragedy that still manages to have some very funny lines; as in "Hamlet", this is generally due to characters either pretending to be crazy, or truly being crazy, so it's something of a dark humor, but humorous it still is. Lear's jester has some great lines doing what only a jester could get away with (and what the reader wants to do): telling the King that he's an idiot when he's done something ignorant beyond belief. Edgar, son of Gloucester, banished by his father for supposed treason, plays the part of a mad beggar to save his life, and when Lear, honestly crazy from grief, meets up with him, their conversations rival anything in Hamlet for manic nonsense that still manages to make a certain warped and poigniant sense.
It's a shame that the language has changed so much since Shakespeare's time, so that the masses are unable to enjoy and appreciate his wit; his plays were not written to be enjoyed only by the literati; they were intended to entertain and, yes, enlighten the masses as well as the educated; his plots seem to be right in line with either modern romantic comedies (in his comedies) or modern soap operas (in his tragedies). Modern audiences would love him, if only they could understand him; unfortunately, when one "modernizes" the language in a Shakespearean play, what one is left with is no longer Shakespeare, but simply a modern adaptation. Which, if done well, is not without value, but is still far short of the original.
Most recent customer reviews
You better get an edition with better footnotes. This one has poor information.
It doesn't even have the verses numbers, good luck quoting this edition in a paper.
Great condition; however note that this edition doesn't include line numbers.Published 16 months ago by Maggie
The play was interesting and interesting I enjoyed the time I spent reading it. It was enjoyable, interesting, and lovedPublished on May 29 2013 by sebastien fornari
I, like everybody else trying to sell this book at Amazon, read this because it was required for an English class at university. I'm better for having read it. Read morePublished on Dec 30 2011 by David Sabine
Can't complain about the price, but the cover illustration is wrong (wrong publisher), there are no 'notes' or 'further reading' etc. Read morePublished on July 14 2009 by Michael from Montreal
this is the tragedy of a king who grows old before he grows wise. it's a tragedy because old men don't have the time or the energy to right their wrongs; what's done is done. Read morePublished on Feb. 22 2003
This edition is REALLY Helpful. While assisting to understand the unusual language, it still leaves room for the intelligent reader to figure out the plot without reading a... Read morePublished on Feb. 15 2003 by Jason Breen
Look for similar items by category
- Books > Audiobooks > Authors, A-Z > ( S ) > Shakespeare, William
- Books > Audiobooks > General
- Books > Audiobooks > Literature & Fiction > Poetry, Drama & Short Stories
- Books > Literature & Fiction > Classics > British
- Books > Literature & Fiction > Drama > British & Irish
- Books > Literature & Fiction > Poetry
- Books > Textbooks > Humanities > Literature > English Literature