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King Lear – A creative history and a summary of Shakespeare’s tragedy

King Lear book cover

The great playwright’s King Lear plot borrows from the medieval epic. One of the British legends tells of the king, who gave his fortune to his daughters and left the youngest without an inheritance. Shakespeare put a simple story in poetic form, added a few details to it, an original storyline and introduced a few additional characters. It turned out to be one of the greatest tragedies of world literature.

So let’s take a closer look at this tragedy under Shakespeare’s pen!

The life and career of author William Shakespeare

Wiliam Shakespeare (1564-1616) was born in Stratford upon Avon in central England. Shakespeare was honored as the typical poet of England, the playwright ahead of its time. Shakespeare was the most representative of Renaissance English literature, considered the greatest writer of mankind.

William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
From a young age, he was familiar with the people’s language, with stories and folk songs. All of that leaves a deep impression on Shakespeare’s later works. At the age of seven, Shakespeare attended the “Grammar School”. Here, Shakespeare was exposed to popular subjects, learned Greek, Latin and some ancient Greek and Roman works. It helps the author get used to Ovid’s love poems, Plautus plays and British history … At the age of 14, Shakespeare’s family declined rapidly, Shakespeare’s father lost the position of Mayor, Shakespeare had to drop out of school to work as a family helper. At first, Shakespeare came to help at the slaughterhouse, and later, thanks to a few words Shakespeare turned to teach, this is the school of life that helps Shakespeare become a man of the people, understand the people, understand society deeply. At the age of 18, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, who was eight years older than Shakespeare. Family activities increasingly difficult because after three years they have three children. At the age of 23 (1585) Shakespeare left Stratford to London with empty hands and a passion for theater. When Shakespeare arrived in London, that’s when British theater was living its hectic days. Shakespeare found there a new world of emotions, the themes, and characters and all the techniques of Renaissance theater. More importantly, he found humans watching theater. Mass popularization requires drama to speak their aspirations and aspirations; must expose the bad habits, raise the victory of the humanitarian ideology against the feudal ideology of the church, show people loyal to the people.

Shakespeare went to The Theater (the first theater to be built in England) to hold the horse and check the tickets. Later due to proving the ability, Shakespeare was assigned to act as a footnote and to play supporting roles. This life had a great impact on Shakespeare’s thought and art.

During this time, Shakespeare never stopped learning to improve his knowledge. In addition to French, Italian … Shakespeare also brooded the Chronicle of England, Ireland, and Scotland by Raphael Holinshed (1529-1580) to understand more about the development of England. Learn about the history of ancient Rome and Italy at that time. From 1590, Shakespeare embarked on a writing career. He composed comedy plays, historical plays, tragedy-comedy plays, and tragic plays. Shakespeare’s typical comedies are Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merchant of Venice… Hamlet is the culmination of Shakespeare’s creative career. In addition, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth… are also rated as his outstanding tragedies.

Shakespeare’s theatrical performance was temporarily interrupted for two years (1592-1594), at that time there was violence and disease in London, so the theaters were closed. Under these circumstances, he wrote two volumes of lyrical poetry, Venus and Adonis, which were warmly welcomed by contemporaries. He is called “the Shakespeare guy with honey tongue” and is ranked as the Roman poet Ovid. It proves that the author has very deeply absorbed the quintessence of the Italian Renaissance. It can be said that from 1594 onwards, during the ten years Shakespeare’s plays have absolutely dominated British theater. It is a time of active writing. In 1599, the Shakespeare troupe built London’s largest “Global” theater.

In 1612 Shakespeare left the theater and returned to Stratford city to live a quiet life until his death (April 23, 1616). In 1623, the entire Shakespeare publication was published as an important landmark for the study of Shakespeare.

Creative history

King Lear
King Lear

Shakespeare’s “King Lear” is inspired by a medieval legend. But the story of this legend goes back to ancient times. Around the 14th century, the legend was translated from Latin into English. Shakespeare wrote his tragedy in 1606. It is known that at the end of the 16th century in one of the British theaters, the premiere of “The Tragic History of King Lear” was held. Some researchers believe that this is the product of Shakespeare, he later changed the name. Anyway, the name of the author who wrote the tragedy in the late 16th century is unknown. However, according to some historical sources, Shakespeare completed his work on King Lear in 1606.

The tragedy of the story

King Lear (English name: King Lear) is an ancient English play about King Lear. One day, when he was old and weak, King Lear called his three daughters over and told them to praise him. While the two sisters finished their flattering words to the king’s father, the youngest sister only said her sincere words. King Lear was enraged, chased away his youngest daughter and decided to divide the country between his two eldest daughters and the second daughter, and at the same time marrying the two ladies to the two prestigious dukes.

After dividing the country in two, King Lear would depend on his two daughters, and it was unexpected that only a little while later, the two considered him a burden. They try to evade service, cut off the number of the king’s servants and kick the ball responsible for the other. Between the two, there is controversy and war King Lear runs away from home and goes mad. Meanwhile, the youngest daughter was married to the prince of France. Knowing that the father had been kicked out of the house by the two sisters and causing war, she led the French army to rescue her. In the end, the youngest daughter overcame her two sisters, King Lear returned and understood the daughter’s heart, but that was when the youngest daughter passed away.

Through the tragedy above, we can conclude that: As society develops, there are also many complex problems that are difficult to solve, besides the progress, there are still many contradictions that are difficult to solve. “Art is a mirror that reflects life”.


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