King Lear – Script Review

Spark Notes King Lear Cover

King Lear – Script Review
Going back to the classics, I decided to read KING LEAR by William Shakespeare. I initially decided to read this because this play was mentioned in another book I’m reading called Reverse & Forwards…or is it the other way around? At any rate, the book was an analysis of how to break down a script. Even though the main focus of the book was on Hamlet, I’ve already read that and this play was mentioned just as much as Hamlet. Oh… I also use the No Fear Shakespeare Editions of his plays because I want to focus on the plot, characters and structure instead of taking the time to translate the language, albeit beautiful, of their times.

Lear is an aging King who wants to retire by abdicating to his three daughters. However, in an act of petty ego stroking, he asks them who among them loves him most. While two daughters eagerly toady to him, his one loving daughter, Cordelia, refuses play along with this foolish charade. In a rage, Lear exiles her along with his one loyal aide who dares to stick up for her. This foolish move works to Lear’s sorrow as his two remaining daughters cruelly and gradually strip him of his status and possessions until he is rendered an insane hermit attended only by his fool. All the while, the illegitimate son of another lord is plotting his own ambitions while contributing to this tragic tale of ego and familial cruelty. {} Written by Kenneth Chisholm for the tv version of the play for

– I LOVE how he sets up the wickedness/virtues of each of his characters. Very “classical”. Without any BS, I know who the bad people are and who the good people are.
– He doesn’t dumb down too much, meaning that if someone dies, and like everyone dies in this play, he’ll allude to it. For instance, Edmund gives a note to a soldier who leads Cordelia and King Lear to a prison with a note. But being that Edmund is such a dirty scoundrel, you know that it’s not good news for either the King or his daughter. We don’t know of their fate until Edmund is about to die and is heightened when the King carries his daughter’s body into the next scene.
– There has to be a way for me to incorporate soliloquies in my plays to further have a voice for the antagonists dirty thoughts leading into deeds.
– What I like about Shakespeare is that he uses really CLASSICAL themes. Good vs. Evil. Justice. Being blind to what is good and wanting flattery and glitz instead. He really tapped into Human Nature, both good and evil.

Article by Conrad

Conrad's a San Francisco Bay Area Playwright. He loves long walks upon the concrete and rainy days. Aside from writing words for actors to regurgitate into an audience's ears and eyes, he loves sports, 90's R&B, and learning.

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