King Lear

King Lear

William Shakespeare's King Lear text guide

Composed during 1605, King Lear is a tragedy that shows how King Lear slowly descends into madness after dividing his estate between his daughters.

This text guide will help you explore the context in which it is written, the themes and images it contains, the intricacies of the characters and the way the plot develops.

William Shakespeare

Born in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1564, William Shakespeare is one of the most famous playwrights ever to have lived... Read more ...

Elizabethan eraKing Lear context

Shakespeare was born just after the middle of the sixteenth century, a century which, in England, was fraught with extraordinary events. Read more ...

Dive in to the King Lear text guide

Synopses and commentary - Scene by scene synopsis, commentary and analysis of the entire play.

Characters in the play - Detailed analysis of the important characters in King Lear and the role they play.

King Lear Timeline - Helpfully puts history, literary events and William Shakespeare's life side by side so you can make sense of events.

Themes in King Lear  - Research themes and significant ideas that feature in King Lear.

Are you a teacher?

We hope you will find this resource useful in the classroom.

Coming soon, downloadable King Lear worksheets for you!

How to do well in your essays

Decide what the key words of the question are, and underline them.

If you are asked to analyse an extract, read it through two or three times.

Do not adopt the first possible approach - be willing to dispute the terms of the question if you are given the opportunity.

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