— How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is
To have a thankless child!
Shakespeare’s immortal King Lear is a dazzling commixture of lustful and vengeful details, and comprises some of the most haunting poetry ever written, dealing with such timeless subjects as love and infidelity, betrayal and murder, and the devastation wreaked by greed.
A king foolishly divides his kingdom between his scheming two oldest daughters and isolates himself from the daughter who loves him. So begins this profoundly disturbing tragedy that perhaps more than any other work in literature challenges the notion of a rational and just universe. Lear and his daughters pay dearly for their shortcomings, as madness, murder, and the anguish of insight arriving too terribly late combine to make this an epic tragedy of evil and suffering.
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (1564-1616) was an English playwright poet, and actor, regarded as the world's pre-eminent dramatist, and the greatest writer in the English language. Author of Romeo and Juliet, Othello, Hamlet and King Lear, he is often called the “Bard of Avon,” England's national poet.