King Lear is about conflicts between fathers and their children.
Lear has three daughters.
One of them loves him,and two of them don’t.
He gets angry at the good daughter, Cordelia.
and gives his kingdom to the two bad daughters,
Goneril and Regan.
Once they are in charge of the kingdom,
the bad daughters are mean to Lear,
and send him outside in the storm by himself.
The other father is Gloucester,
one of Lear’s noblemen.
He has two sons, Edmund and Edgar.
Edmund, the younger one, is a bastard.
Gloucester committed adultery.
And Edmund was born out of wedlock.
because he’s a bastard,
the world looks down on Edmund, the socially inferior.
Edmund wants to change the situation.
So he makes a plot
to get rid of his brother and his father.
So he can inherit Gloucester’s money and title.
At the beginning of the play,
Gloucester introduces his son Edmund to a nobleman named Kent.
Gloucester explains that Edmund is a bastard.
And it’s clear that Gloucester is embarrassed
by always having to admit he had an affair.
King Lear announces he’s going to give up being King
and divide the kingdom between his three daughters.
He has the country all carved out on a map already,
and he wants each of them
to say how much they love him.
So he can act like he’s giving them portions
based on who loves him the most.
Goneril and Regan lie,
and say they love Lear more than anything,
as much as it is possible to love.
But Cordelia who actually does love him won’t do it,
She says she loves him
as much as she should love her father.
No more, no less.
Lear is furious with Cordelia.
He tells her she is not his daughter anymore,
and Goneril and Regan will divide up her portion.
He announces he is going to keep 100 knights as his followers
and he’s going to spend his remaining days
visiting Goneril and then Regan for a month at that time.
Kent tells Lear he’s acting crazy,
and he should change his mind.
Lear tells him to shut up,
but Kent says he doesn’t care
what Lear does to him.
Lear is making a huge mistake
and Kent is going to speak up about it.
Lear tells him to get out of the kingdom,
if he is caught in England again, he is dead.
The King of France is visiting Lear,
and he takes Cordelia to be his queen
even though Lear just disowned her.
Edmund decides he is tired of being a second-class citizen
just because he is a bastard,
and he is going to do something about it.
he forges a letter from his older brother Edgar,
suggesting that Edgar wants to kill Gloucester,
so he can inherit his lands.
Gloucester tells Edmund to go find Edgar,
so he can explain the letter.
Edmund does find Edgar,
but he tells him Gloucester is furious with him.
So he needs to hide until Gloucester calms down.
Edmund hides Edgar in his own room.
Lear is now at Goneril’s Castle,
Goneril tells her chief servant Oswald
that she is sick for Lear in his nights for being at her house.
And Oswald should make sure everyone gives Lear bad service.
Kent doesn’t leave the country as Lear has ordered,
instead, he disguses himself as a poor man,
and shows up at Goneril’s house.
offering to be Lear’s servant.
Lear gives him a chance.
Oswald is rude to Lear,
Turning his back and leaving when Lear calls him,
and treating him like he is just Goneril’s father and not a king.
Lear hits Oswald.
And then Kent trips him which makes Lear happy.
Goneril confronts Lear,
telling him that his followers are unruly and disorderly
which infuriates him.
She dismisses 50 of then without even consulting Lear.
Lear was expecting to still be treated like a king.
So he is actually in tears after being treated like this.
He tells Goneril she is a degenerate bastard and not his daughter,
and he leaves with his followers to go to Regan’s house.
Goneril writes to her sister to warn her that Lear is coming,
which prompts Regan and Cornwall to leave their house to visit Gloucester.
Goneril’s husband, the Duke of Albany is upset
that Lear left in anger.
爱德蒙告诉爱德伽 他们的父亲要来 让他快逃
Edmund tells Edgar to run away, their father is coming.
He calls for help and before Gloucester arrives,
he cuts himself
to make it look like Edgar tried to kill him.
Regan and her husband, the Duck of Cornwall, arrive.
Because they left home to avoid hosting Lear.
Cornwall tells Gloucester, he will use his resources to help arrest Edgar.
Kent and Oswald get into a fight.
Kent was sent ahead by Lear
to tell Regan and Cornwall that Lear is coming.
Oswald was sent by Goneril
to warn them to avoid Lear.
Cornwall who is very hot-headed and angry
has Kent put into the stock.
to sit outside locked up all day and all night.
This is a big deal because Kent is Lear’s messenger,
and no one would ever do this to the messenger of a King.
Lear coming to look for Regan and Cornwall,
finds Kent in the stocks and he is furious.
He is even more furious to hear that Regan and Cornwall are tired and won’t see him.
Lear finally confronts Regan.
He complains about Goneril,
but Regan said she is on Goneril’s side.
Then Goneril herself shows up,
and the two sisters say they won’t let Lear keep even one servant.
Lear leaves in tears,
so angry that he is starting to lose his mind.
and his daughters have the door shut on him.
Even though it is night, and a huge storm is coming.
Lear is outside with just his fool,
and no shelter from the storm.
Kent finds him and tries to lead him toward a hut.
Gloucester shows Edmund a secret letter
saying that an army from France has landed in Dover England,
and he says Cordelia has brought this army to make Lear King again.
He says they need to be on Lear side.
even though it is treason against Regan and Goneril.
He is going to go out into the storm and try to help Lear.
After he leaves,
Edmund says he is going straight to Cornwall
to tell him what Gloucester is up to.
Lear, Kent and the fool
try to take shelter in a little hut full of straw.
But Edgar is inside it,
pretending to be poor Tom a crazy beggar.
Lear who is going crazy himself,
has a long talk with poor Tom before going inside.
Edmund gives Cornwall Gloucester’s secret letter.
and Cornwall makes Edmund the Earl of Gloucester,
meaning he gives Edmund Gloucester’s title and property.
So Edmund has succeeded in taking everything away from his father and brother.
Gloucester find Lear in the hut,
and he tells Kent to take him to Dover to meet Cordelia’s army.
Gloucester goes back to his own house
and Cornwall arrests him for treason.
Cornwall sends Edmund off to Goneril,
to tell her to gather her soldiers to fight Lear.
Cornwall and Regan interrogate Gloucester about what he did with Lear,
and whether he is on the side of the French.
And then Cornwall gouges out his eyes.
They tell him Edmund hates him
and he realizes he was tricked about Edgar.
One of Cornwall servants tries to stop him,
and he wounds Cornwall with a sword before Cornwall kills him.
Cornwall and Regan send Gloucester on his way.
But Cornwall’s wounded and will soon die.
Edgar still pretending to be poor Tom,
sees his father and starts guiding him toward Dover.
Gloucester wants to go there to throw himself off the highest cliff.
Goneril is trying to get ready for war against Lear.
But her husband Albany doesn’t want to fight,
since he thinks Lear is right and Goneril is worthless and horrible.
Gonerill herself would love to get rid of Albany,
because she’s fallen in love with Edmund.
When she hears Cornwall is dead,
she gets jealous of Regan,
because she thinks Regan will try to seduce Edmund.
She uses her servant Oswald to carry love letters to Edmund.
Regan is in love with Edmund, too.
And she tries to get Oswald to show her Goneril’s love letters.
她告诉奥斯华德 如果能找到葛罗斯特 就杀了他
She tells Oswald to kill Gloucester, if he can find him
because they should have killed him before.
Edgar tells Gloucester he is at the top of a cliff,
though he is actually not.
Gloucester tries to throw himself off the cliff,
and lands on his face.
Edgar pretends to be another person at the bottom,
说他跌落下来 还活着 真是个奇迹
saying it was a miracle he survived the fall.
And then a demon was at the top persuading him to jump.
He does all this to make Gloucester stop being suicidal.
Lear comes in and talks to them.
Lear is insane,
and Cordelia soldiers are trying to catch him.
Oswald tries to kill Gloucester,
but Edgar kills Oswald instead.
he finds on Oswald’s body a letter from Goneril
信里高纳里尔承诺 除掉奥本尼 就嫁给爱德蒙
in which Goneril promises to get rid of Albany and marry Edmund.
Cordelia’s followers have caught Lear,
and giving him drugs to sleep to try to cure him.
She wakes him up, and he apologizes.
Just before the battle with Lear’s forces,
Regan tells Edmund she loves him,
and he should stay away from Goneril.
Goneril and Albeny join them.
And Edgar comes in hands Oswald’s letter to Albeny.
他说 战后 如果奥本尼赢了
He says that after the battle, if Albeny wins
he should sound a trumpet three times.
And a champion will appear to prove that the letter is true.
What Edgar is talking about is trial by combat.
A tradition that says if a knight is accused of something,
he can fight with his accuser.
The winner must be right because God made them win.
Edgar is accusing Edmund of treason,
and he will fight Edmund to prove it.
Cordelia’s forces lose,
and Lear and Cordelia are captured.
Edmund gives a captain order, to kill them in prison.
Regan and Goneril start arguing over which one of them gets Edmund.
Regan says she wants to marry him.
But Albeny says she can’t.
Because his own wife has promised to marry Edmund already.
He accuses Edmund to treason.
Regan is getting sick anyway,
because Goneril has poisoned her.
A trumpet is sounded,
and Edgar appears to fight Edmund
and prove he is a traitor as Regan has carried off.
Edgar defeats Edmund,
and Albany shows Goneril’s letter to her.
She runs off and kills herself.
Edgar revails his true identity,
and Kent arrives on the scene.
A servant bring the news that Goneril and Regan are both dead.
Goneril stabbed herself after poisoning Regan.
Edmund decides to do something good before he dies,
so he tell them to go save Lear and Cordelia.
Lear comes in carrying Cordelia.
They were too late to save her.
Kent tryies to tell Lear that he was the loyal servant,
but Lear lost his mind again and doesn’t understand.
Lear dies and Kent says he plans to join him soon.
Edgar and Albany are the last people left to rule Britain.
For more information about King Lear,
可以访问sparknotes.com的the King Lear SparkNote
check out the King Lear SparkNote at www.sparknotes.com
For a translation of the entire play into modern English,
可以到sparknotes.com上搜索No Fear Shakespeare
go to No Fear Shakespeare at nfs.sparknotes.com