The King Lear Study Guide
Record your observations after you finish studying each scene in the play. You may use point form in your response. The scene summaries below come from: Shakespeare, William. The tragedy of King Lear with related readings. ITP International Thomson Pub., 1998.
Scene 1 Summary
King Lear (over 80 years old) has decided to abdicate his power and divide his kingdom among his daughters. The daughter who professes the most love for him will receive the richest part of the kingdom. The two older daughters play the game, but Cordelia refuses to flatter her father and is disowned for her reluctance. Kent is banished for defending Cordelia. Despite Cordelia’s loss of dowry, the King of France agrees to marry her.
Act I opens with the Earl of Gloucester and Kent discussing two different fathers’ love for their children. How does this set the stage for what is to follow in the play?
The love test at the start of the play clearly sets the tone of the whole play. The tone is full of conspiracy, double-talk and emotional subtlety that swing between the extremes of anger and love.
2.Why would dividing his kingdom in this way be dangerous for Lear?
The division will lead to sibling rivalry amongst his children.
What evidence indicates that Lear loves Cordelia more than he loves his other daughters?
He gives Cordelia the richest part of his kingdom.
4.What positive character traits does Cor…
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