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p. 758. King Learlocked

  • Stanley Wells

Abstract

King Lear’ explains that for readers, as well as for performers, the play may seem a daunting intellectual and emotional challenge. It tells a deeply tragic story, a story of national and familial division and paternal oppression, of hypocritical deception, of developing enmity, and of profound physical cruelty. The story of the play—related to that of Cinderella and her two ugly sisters—has something of the nature of a parable, in which characters divide easily into the good and the bad; and profoundly serious though the play is, it is shot through with comedy, though admittedly it’s often a grotesque, ironic sort of comedy.

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