King Lear is my favorite play. Ever. I wrote a mini-review of it for school. So, here it is:
Imagine being a king – dying – with no one to turn to as your grip on reality starts to fade. Lear, king of Britain, is old, and fears that he is becoming mad. Cordelia, his loving daughter, is the only thing he can hold on to, but she refuses to play his game when he demands a public display of her affection. The world of the play spirals into darkness and blackness when Lear rebukes his daughter, exiles her, and gives his kingdom to his two other stone-hearted daughters.
Thus begins the tragedy of the play, as Cordelia is banished and her cruel sisters rule. Lear, now metaphorically blinded, is in torment; his mind is like a storm, at war with itself. Meanwhile, a great storm rages outside. It is in this storm where he recovers not his sanity, but his humanity. With interesting plot twists and secondary stories that serve as mirrors to the central story, it is up to Lear, through blindness and misery, to recover his wits and save his mind, kingdom, and young Cordelia.
King Lear is Shakespeare at his best. This riveting, evocative play has gripped audiences and readers for centuries. It has poignant dialogue and beautiful use of language, and the way Shakespeare conveyed emotions in his characters is magical. To understand mankind, you need to read King Lear. The pages turn themselves, the scenes roll on by as you cry, laugh, and weep along with Lear.
I have read and seen King Lear many times, and I cannot think of a book I could recommend more highly. The pain, the guilt, the misery, the shame and torment come alive both on the page and on the stage. You can never forget this haunting tragedy.