King Lear by William Shakespeare

In this play, Shakespeare tackles the issue of growing old and how the relationships between parents and their offspring can change with the passage of time. Of course, the events that transpire in the play are extreme, however the underlying message is there; to put it in a modern perspective, how many of us, once we move away from our parents’ home and begin our own families, treat our parents the same as before?

Well, it’s expected to move on, of course, but Shakespeare takes it a whole level higher by introducing greed, ambition, heartlessness, the devouring of King Lear by his two daughters, how he was deceived by their sweet words in comparison to his third daughter—the youngest, who treats him the same throughout, and whose love remains true throughout, and this is to be said of the king’s true friends and loyal subjects who, though shunned by him for telling the truth, remain by his side and honour him throughout.

So, a play with multiple messages…but, for me, not one of Shakespeare’s strongest, for I have a soft spot for Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth and The Merchant of Venice.

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