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King Lear Act 1 and 2 Summaries

  • Date Submitted: 09/06/2010 05:37 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 63.7 
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King Lear
Act 1 and 2
Lear, King of Britian, seems more than ready to divide his kingdom up and pass it down to his three daughters Regan, Goneril, and Cordelia.   At his old age, he has decided that his remaining time on earth should be spent with his children and his knights.   Goneril and Regan, the two oldest daughters purposely flatter their father which makes him believe that he is loved most by them.   Without question King Lear disowns Cordelia, the daughter who truly loves him, and passes his kingdom down to Goneril and Regan.   Along with her father betraying her, the King of Burgundy withdrawls from marriage to Cordelia.   The King of France, who is impressed with Cordelias honesty, reaches out and offers to marry her, making her queen.
Edmund, the bastard son of Gloucester is finding unfairness in his family.   Although he is loved by his family, he still lives with the burden of being Gloucesters illegitimate son.   Edmund secretly schemes a plan to remove his half brother Edgar from his fathers inheritance.   Edmund reads a fake letter which describes Edgar's desire to kill his father, Gloucester. He then warns Edgar that their father is very angry with him and to do his best to avoid him.
After Lear's retirement, he has been spending his time at Goneril's castle.   Goneril finds her fathers presence irratating and wants him to go.   She then orders her servants to treat Lear and his knights badly.   He believes that Regan will treat him kinder, and decides to leave Goneril's.   Kent, a previous servant to Lear, ridicules him and tell him that Regan's treatment will be no better than Goneril's.

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