King Lear
King Lear is a tragedy
Tragedy is a form of art based on human suffering that offers its audience pleasure. While most cultures have developed forms that provoke this paradoxical response, tragedy refers to a specific tradition of drama that has played a unique and important role historically in the self-definition of...

 by William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

. The title character descends into madness after foolishly disposing of his estate between two of his three daughters based on their flattery
Flattery is the act of giving excessive compliments, generally for the purpose of ingratiating oneself with the subject....

, bringing tragic consequences for all. The play is based on the legend of Leir of Britain
Leir of Britain
Leir is a legendary ancient king of the Britons, as recounted by Geoffrey of Monmouth. His story is told in a modified form by William Shakespeare in the play King Lear. In the drama, some names are identical to those of the legend Leir is a legendary ancient king of the Britons, as recounted by...

, a mythological pre-Roman
British Iron Age
The British Iron Age is a conventional name used in the archaeology of Great Britain, referring to the prehistoric and protohistoric phases of the Iron-Age culture of the main island and the smaller islands, typically excluding prehistoric Ireland, and which had an independent Iron Age culture of...

 Celtic king. It has been widely adapted for the stage and motion pictures, and the role of Lear has been coveted and played by many of the world's most accomplished actors.

The play was written between 1603 and 1606 and later revised.

Nothing will come of nothing: speak again.

Lear, scene i

Unhappy that I am, I cannot heaveMy heart into my mouth: I love your majestyAccording to my bond; nor more nor less.

Cordelia, scene i

Mend your speech a little,Lest you may mar your fortunes.

Lear, scene i

Come not between the dragon and his wrath.

Lear, scene i

Kill thy physician, and the fee bestowUpon the foul disease.

Kent, scene i

Time shall unfold what plighted cunning hides:Who cover faults, at last shame them derides.

Cordelia, scene i

Tis the infirmity of his age: yet he hath ever but slenderly known himself.

Regan, scene i

Who, in the lusty stealth of nature, takeMore composition and fierce qualityThan doth, within a dull, stale, tired bed,Go to the creating a whole tribe of fopsGot 'tween asleep and wake?

Edmund, scene ii

Now, gods, stand up for bastards!

Edmund, scene ii