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King Lear   /kɪŋ lɪr/   Listen
King Lear

noun
1.
The hero of William Shakespeare's tragedy who was betrayed and mistreated by two of his scheming daughters.  Synonym: Lear.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"King Lear" Quotes from Famous Books



... bad, eh? [Quickly] Wait, now, here's something from King Lear. The sky is black, see? Rain is pouring down, thunder roars, lightning—zzz zzz zzz—splits the whole sky, and ...
— Swan Song • Anton Checkov

... two elder ones vied with one another in attempts to set her mind at rest by undertaking everything, and promising for themselves and the children perfect regularity and harmony. Sophy, with a bluntness that King Lear would have highly disapproved, said, 'She was glad mamma was going, but she knew they should be all at sixes and sevens. She would do her best, and very bad it ...
— The Young Step-Mother • Charlotte M. Yonge

... every play is caused always by the folly or fault of a man; the redemption, if there be any, is by the wisdom and virtue of a woman, and, failing that, there is none. The catastrophe of King Lear is owing to his own want of judgment, his impatient vanity, his misunderstanding of his children; the virtue of his one true daughter would have saved him from all the injuries of the others, unless he had cast her away ...
— Composition-Rhetoric • Stratton D. Brooks

... she talked freely enough now—of her school; of riding and motoring—she seemed to love going very fast; about Newmarket—which was 'perfect'; and theatres—plays of the type that Johnny Dromore might be expected to approve; these together with 'Hamlet' and 'King Lear' were all she had seen. Never was a girl so untouched by thought, or Art—yet not stupid, having, seemingly, a certain natural good taste; only, nothing, evidently, had come her way. How could it—'Johnny Dromore duce, et auspice Johnny Dromore!' She had ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... how this world goes with no eyes.—Look with thine ears: See how yon justice rails upon yon simple thief. Hark in thine ear—change places; and, handy-dandy, which is the justice, which is the thief? King Lear. ...
— Guy Mannering • Sir Walter Scott

... truth to life of the kind to be found in King Lear or Guy Mannering, in AEschylus ...
— Emerson and Other Essays • John Jay Chapman

... and I said to a waiter, whose bare head became as white as King Lear's in a single minute, "What Inn ...
— The Holly-Tree • Charles Dickens

... struck a vein of reminiscence of a very poignant kind. Browning told us that he did not know Landor very well, but that he saw him in the last years of his life under circumstances of a terribly pathetic kind. Landor played almost exactly the part of King Lear—though from a different reason—and got almost exactly King Lear's reward. Landor, it will be remembered, was originally a rich man. It will also be remembered that he was possessed of a very arbitrary and turbulent ...
— The Adventure of Living • John St. Loe Strachey

... accompaniment gracefully); a pleasant "Reverie" for string orchestra, harp, and organ; and two impromptus for string orchestra, a "Meditation" representing Cordelia brooding tenderly over the slumbering King Lear,—art ministering very tenderly to the mood,—and ...
— Contemporary American Composers • Rupert Hughes

... Davenant, Leonardo was always proud of the mystery that surrounded his birth—it differentiated him from the mass, and placed him as one set apart. Well might he have used the language put into the mouth of Edmund in "King Lear." In one of Leonardo's manuscripts is found an interjected prayer of thankfulness for "the divinity of my birth, and the angels that have guarded my ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 6 - Subtitle: Little Journeys to the Homes of Eminent Artists • Elbert Hubbard

... It seems to me that any more suicidal thing than throwing away the borough never was done. Who will thank you? What additional support will you get? How will it increase your power? It's like King Lear throwing off his clothes in the storm because his daughters turned him out. And you didn't do it because you ...
— The Prime Minister • Anthony Trollope

... that even parents in old age have had occasion to say with the forsaken King Lear, "How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child!" It is right training in early life alone that will ...
— The American Woman's Home • Catherine E. Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe

... model? Surely observation and natural originality is more than the photographic copying of your "conscientious" artist! Worse feebleness still it is when an artist has to paint a well-known character, say King Lear or Mary Queen of Scots, and goes about hunting for a living person as near as possible in appearance to the original, and then costumes and slavishly reproduces him or her, without any show of judgment or insight after the model is once selected. And this ...
— The Confessions of a Caricaturist, Vol. 1 (of 2) • Harry Furniss

... of CYMBELINE was hardly the man to repugn it, even if he amused himself by putting forward Caliban[196] as the real "cannibal," in contrast to Montaigne's. He had given his impression of certain aspects of civilisation in HAMLET, Measure for Measure, and KING LEAR. As his closing plays show, however, he had reached the knowledge that for the general as for the private wrong, the sane man must cease to cherish indignation. That teaching, which he could not didactically impose, for such a world as his, on the old ...
— Montaigne and Shakspere • John M. Robertson

... fly, and if he had succeeded there would have been no need for the Wright brothers to bother; but when he got as far as London from Bath the wing-strings broke and he fell, plop! on a particularly hard temple of Apollo. After him reigned his son, no less a person than King Lear. I got this out of a queer little old book I bought the first day we came, but I assumed the air of having known it since childhood. There's another legend, it seems, about Bladud and a swine, but it's less esoteric than this, and ...
— Set in Silver • Charles Norris Williamson and Alice Muriel Williamson

... WIFE: An episode in King Lear's earlier years, which throws much imaginative light on Goneril's and Cordelia's later treatment of their father. Lear's wife herself, as we might have ...
— The Atlantic Book of Modern Plays • Various

... Shakespeare. The first step towards this end must of course be the demolition of the old one; and he would venture to say they had already made a good beginning in that direction. They had disproved or they would disprove the claim of Shakespeare to the sole authorship of Macbeth, Julius Caesar, King Lear, Hamlet, and Othello; they had established or they would establish the fact of his partnership in Locrine, Mucedorus, The Birth of Merlin, Dr. Dodipoll, and Sir Giles Goosecap. They had with them the incomparable ...
— A Study of Shakespeare • Algernon Charles Swinburne

... to pass into real madness in Ophelia. King Lear's growing perturbation becomes insanity the moment he sees ...
— The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark - A Study with the Text of the Folio of 1623 • George MacDonald

... greatest novelists of the day.... He goes on turning out one brilliant novel after another, steadily accomplishing for Devon what Mr. Hardy did for Wessex. This is another of Mr. Phillpotts' Dartmoor novels, and one that will rank with his best.... Something of kinship with 'King Lear' ...
— Margarita's Soul - The Romantic Recollections of a Man of Fifty • Ingraham Lovell

... them. All the history of Greece till about 800 B.C. is a string of the fairy tales, all about Theseus and Heracles and Oedipus and Minos and Perseus is a Cabinet des Fees, a collection of fairy tales. Shakespeare took them and put bits of them into 'King Lear' and other plays; he could not have made them up himself, great as he was. Let ladies and gentlemen think of this when they sit down to write fairy tales, and have them nicely typed, and send them ...
— The Lilac Fairy Book • Andrew Lang

... 1834, at the third and last of a series of concerts given by Berlioz at the Conservatoire, Chopin played an "Andante" for the piano with orchestral accompaniments of his own composition, which, placed as it was among the overtures to "Les Francs-Juges" and "King Lear," the "Harold" Symphony, and other works of Berlioz, no doubt sounded at the concert as strange as it looks on the programme. The "Andante" played by Chopin was of course the middle movement of one of his concertos. [Footnote: Probably the ...
— Frederick Chopin as a Man and Musician - Volume 1-2, Complete • Frederick Niecks

... Shakespeare there is always interest and importance in the action and reaction of subsidiary characters, in the event, in the accidental; there is intrigue, chance, misunderstanding, fate—active agencies of which Othello and Hamlet, King Lear and Romeo, are helpless victims; there is, even in this psychological English drama of the Elizabethans, fate in the shape of Iago, in the shape of the Ghost, in the shape of the brothers of Webster's duchess; fate in the shape of a ring, a letter, ...
— Euphorion - Being Studies of the Antique and the Mediaeval in the - Renaissance - Vol. II • Vernon Lee

... see what they have really lost in Lord Byron. To commence with the great Shakspeare himself, to whom universal admiration continues to be paid. Had Shakspeare been cut off at the same early period as Byron, The Tempest, King Lear, Othello, Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Coriolanus, and several others of an equal character, would never have been written. The high reputation of Dryden would also have been limited—his fame, perhaps, unknown. The ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 10, Issue 262, July 7, 1827 • Various

... vital and impressive work of art. One thinks instinctively, in seeking for some adequate parallel, of what Goethe did with the materials of the Faust legend, or of what Shakespeare did with the indications offered for 'King Lear' and 'Cymbeline' by Holinshed's chronicle-history. And the two greatest names in modern literature are suggested not only by this general fact of creative power, but also more specifically by certain characters in the trilogy. Audhild, the Icelandic ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol. 5 • Various

... were the wisest and kindliest men at court. When the master decked a character in cap and bells, it was as though he had given bonds for the man's humanity. Touchstone followed his master into exile; and when all seemed to have forsaken King Lear the fool bared himself to the storm and covered the shaking old man with his own cloak. And if Costard, Trinculo, Touchstone, Jaques and Mercutio had lived in Salem in Sixteen Hundred Ninety-two, there would have been not only a flashing of merry jests, but a flashing of rapiers as well, and ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Vol. 1 of 14 - Little Journeys to the Homes of Good Men and Great • Elbert Hubbard

... comes full pelt, But as quiet as if he was shod with felt, Till he rushes against you with all his force, And then I needn't describe of course, While he kicks you about without remorse, How awkward it is to be groomed by a horse! Or a bullock comes, as mad as King Lear, And you never dream that the brute is near, Till he pokes his horn right into your ear, Whether you like the thing or lump it, - And all for want ...
— Playful Poems • Henry Morley

... to be found in Occleve's translation of Colonna. Mr. Thomas Wright remarks: "This story, under different forms, was a very common one in the middle ages. One version will be found in my 'Latin Stories,' p. 28. It will hardly be necessary to remark that the story of King Lear and his daughters ...
— Game and Playe of the Chesse - A Verbatim Reprint Of The First Edition, 1474 • Caxton

... of critics, concludes his remarks on King Lear with these words: "Of the heavenly beauty of soul of Cordelia, I will not venture to speak." Now if I attempt what Schlegel and others have left undone, it is because I feel that this general acknowledgment of her excellence can ...
— Characteristics of Women - Moral, Poetical, and Historical • Anna Jameson

... sister," answered Amy, kindly, "what you haven't found out here is this. Thus far we can go and no farther. The faculty would expire seeing you as King Lear. Discreetly may ye pose as Orlando, or any other gentle lad, with a sweeping cloak about thee, but I doubt if the Dean would even ...
— Kit of Greenacre Farm • Izola Forrester

... is a printer by trade, an editor by profession, and a hunter by choice. When busily employed he usually puts his hat in his pocket, and his thin hair and long beard stream in the wind, giving him a wild look, much like that of King Lear in an illustrated copy of Shakespeare ...
— Canyons of the Colorado • J. W. Powell

... is this Mam'selle Wieck? I know two Fraeulein Wieck only; they are my two little daughters here. I know no other!" As Litzmann says: "With so shrill a dissonance ended Clara's stay at Leipzig." He compares this exile of the daughter by the father to the story of King Lear and Cordelia. But it was the blind and tyrannical old Lear of the first act, driving from his home his most loving child. On October 3d, Clara went back to Berlin to her mother. Her father moved heaven and earth to make Clara suspect Schumann's fidelity, and ...
— The Love Affairs of Great Musicians, Volume 2 • Rupert Hughes

... office and not to his character for the respect that is paid him, he may deserve no more honour than the criminal in the dock, whom he sentences to punishment. "A man may see how this world goes with no eyes," says King Lear to the blind Gloucester. "Look with thine ears; see how yond justice rails upon yond simple thief. Hark, in thine ear; change places, and, handy-dandy, which is the justice, which is the thief? Thou hast seen a farmer's dog bark at a beggar? And the creature run from ...
— Shakespeare and the Modern Stage - with Other Essays • Sir Sidney Lee

... eyes cast down; flushed whenever she was addressed; stammered whenever she answered a question, and nearly died of heart failure when subjected to an examination of any sort. She delighted the committee when reading at sight from "King Lear," but somewhat discouraged them when she could not tell the capital of the United States. She admitted that her former teacher, Miss Dearborn, might have mentioned it, but if so she ...
— New Chronicles of Rebecca • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... was given to him as his wife. On her death, he married her sister, who transformed her step-children into swans.[304] Ler is the equivalent of the Brythonic Llyr, later immortalised by Shakespeare as King Lear. ...
— The Religion of the Ancient Celts • J. A. MacCulloch

... unfailing loyalty, follows his master with quip and quirk, into exile. When all, even his daughters, have forsaken King Lear, the fool bares himself to the storm and covers the shaking old man with his own cloak. And when in our own day we meet the avatars of Trinculo, Costard, Mercutio and Jacques, we find they are men of ...
— Volume 12 of Brann The Iconoclast • William Cowper Brann

... dramatic representation: it was the benefit of that great actor[5] who was proceeding rapidly toward the highest paths of fame, when death, dropped the oblivious curtain, and closed the scene for ever. The part which he performed was King Lear; his wife, afterward Mrs. Fisher, played Cordelia, but not with sufficient eclat to render the profession an object for her future exertions. The whole school attended, Mr. Powel's two daughters being then pupils of the ...
— Beaux and Belles of England • Mary Robinson

... of King Lear, and wife of the duke of Cornwall. Having received the half of her father's king-[TN-119] she refused to entertain him with his suite. On the death of her husband, she designed to marry Edmund, natural son of the earl of Gloster, and was poisoned by her elder sister, ...
— Character Sketches of Romance, Fiction and the Drama - A Revised American Edition of the Reader's Handbook, Vol. 3 • E. Cobham Brewer

... childhood, in a fragmentary way. "The Tempest," and "Midsummer Night's Dream," and "King Lear," I had swallowed among my fairy tales. Now I discovered that the historical plays, notably, "Julius Caesar" and "Coriolanus," had no less attraction for me, though of a different kind. But it was easy for me ...
— A New England Girlhood • Lucy Larcom

... by Grubb, of Dublin. The weather was so unfavorable that it was necessary to remain two weeks, waiting for an opportunity to see the stars. One evening I visited the theatre to see Edwin Booth, in his celebrated tour over the Continent, play King Lear to the applauding Viennese. But evening amusements cannot be utilized to kill time during the day. Among the works I had projected was that of rediscussing all the observations made on the transits of Venus which had occurred in 1761 and 1769, by the light of modern discovery. As I have ...
— Side-lights on Astronomy and Kindred Fields of Popular Science • Simon Newcomb

... Shakespeare's plays well you will find it very interesting to follow his stories to their sources. That of King Lear, which is one of Shakespeare's great romantic historical plays, is, for instance, to be found in Geoffrey of Monmouth, in Wace's Brut, and in Layamon's Brut. But it was from none of these that Shakespeare took the story, but from the chronicle of a man named Holinshed who ...
— English Literature For Boys And Girls • H.E. Marshall

... of monotony. Sometimes it injects laughter, sometimes horror, into tragedy. It will bring Romeo face to face with the apothecary, Macbeth with the witches, Hamlet with the grave-diggers. Sometimes it may, without discord, as in the scene between King Lear and his jester, mingle its shrill voice with the most sublime, the most dismal, the dreamiest music of ...
— Prefaces and Prologues to Famous Books - with Introductions, Notes and Illustrations • Charles W. Eliot

... from a Roman head, had just begun his argument in the final trial of a great case that had been before the court for many years, and the privileged seats were filled with the highest legal talent, sitting to hear him. It was a famous will case[26], and I remember that he was quoting from "King Lear" as I entered. ...
— Strange True Stories of Louisiana • George Washington Cable

... the reign of Queen Elizabeth, which is given by Reginald Scot. The narrative is edifying as peculiarly illustrative of the mode of marring a curious tale in telling it, which was one of the virtues professed by Caius when he hired himself to King Lear. Reginald Scot, incredulous on the subject of witchcraft, seems to have given some weight to the belief of those who thought that the spirits of famous men do, after death, take up some particular habitations near cities, towns, ...
— Letters On Demonology And Witchcraft • Sir Walter Scott

... different is the case with so-called "historical facts," such as the alleged foundation of the Monarchy in 660 B.C. and similar statements paralleled only for absurdity by what passed for history in mediaeval Europe, when King Lear, Brute, King of Britain, etc., etc., were accepted as authentic personages. For the truth, known to all critical investigators, is that, instead of going back to a remote antiquity, the origins of Japanese history ...
— The Invention of a New Religion • Basil Hall Chamberlain

... she was that Elizabeth should have so treated her, and as I didn't sleep any more than she did, though, owing to very different feelings about Elizabeth, I made up my mind as to some things I would say to her when she got back. And if she has never read "King Lear" I will see that she hears it read before very long with a glossary, and comments of my own on ingratitude and things of that sort. Also she may hear ...
— Kitty Canary • Kate Langley Bosher

... again the fret of heart and soul, The loneliness and passion of King Lear; No more bewilderment and broken words Of wild ...
— The Miracle and Other Poems • Virna Sheard

... of uninspired Thoreau. His name was Benjamin Lear. So far as his craziness went, he might have been a lineal descendant of that ancient king of Britain who figures on Shakespeare's page. Family dissensions made a recluse of King Lear; but in the case of Benjamin there were no mitigating circumstances. He had no family to trouble him, and his realm remained undivided. He owned an excellent farm on the south side of Sagamore Creek, a little to the west of the bridge, and might have lived ...
— An Old Town By The Sea • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... finished, galleries splendid'—and on the 30th, dinner at the Embassy. They returned to London on the 31st. A few dinners in town are noted, and a visit to Covent Garden on March 5th, to see Salvini in 'King Lear.' To Foxholes ...
— Memoirs of the Life and Correspondence of Henry Reeve, C.B., D.C.L. - In Two Volumes. VOL. II. • John Knox Laughton



Words linked to "King Lear" :   Lear, character, fictitious character, fictional character



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