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king lear plot summary

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King Lear - Plot Summary Act I - King Lear asks his daughters to prove their love for him as he is going to divide his kingdom between the most loving of his three daughters: Goneril, Regan, and Cordelia. When Cordelia (his youngest and his favourite daughter) does not profess her love as her sisters do, he becomes angry, and banished her along with his loyal servant Kent, who tries to defend her. Lear, with his loyal knights, decides to stay consecutively with Goneril and Regan. Goneril conspires to drive him out with her servant (Kent, cleverly disguised ex-servant). When further disrespect is shown by Goneril dismissing half his knights, he leaves for Regan's home - where he thinks he will be properly respected. ...read more.


Meanwhile, Kent has been placed in stocks by Goneril for having a fight with Goneril's steward. Act III - Lear is caught in a storm, and Kent sends Cordelia a letter notifying her of her father's predicament. After the storm ends and they find refuge in an old farmhouse, Lear begins showing signs of madness (staging a mock trial and punishing two stools as if they were Regan and Goneril). Lear is then led to Dover by Kent. Edmund learns from Gloucester of France's possible invasion of England, and Edgar appears as 'Poor Tom'. Cornwall (Regan's husband) and Edmund converse, and after turning Gloucester over as a traitor to Cornwall, Edmund is ordered to seek him out and punish Gloucester by torturing, and blinding him. ...read more.


Act V - Regan and Goneril force Edmund to choose between them. Regan's estranged husband Albany agrees to fight on their side, but only to overcome the invading power of France (later turning on them both). Cordelia and her father's forces lose to Regan and Goneril, and they are taken prisoner. Edgar then fights and kills Edmund, and Goneril poisons Regan and kills herself. Edgar's father dies soon after Edgar reveals his true identity. Albany and Edmund (who is dying) attempt to save Lear and Cordelia from being hung, but for Cordelia it is already too late. Before he dies from the unbearable pain of loosing his daughter, Lear honours Kent for his loyalty and bravery. Albany is left to restore order as the only survivor. ?? ?? ?? ?? King Lear Plot Summary ...read more.

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  1. Character Analyses - King Lear

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    This effectively pits the two against each other and earns Edmund a promotion by his father. Edgar flees into the woods and takes the disguise of a madman named Poor Tom. Proving his valiant worth, even though he was wronged by Lear, Kent returns in disguise and asks to be Lear's servant.

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