- Series: Litera Classics
- Paperback: 110 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (January 31, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1493763784
- ISBN-13: 978-1493763788
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 328 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,987,637 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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King Lear: The Tragedy of King Lear (Litera Classics)
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King Lear is a brilliant play, all around. Between the family ties, the love and lust, and just the crazy existential dialogue, it's just a great read all-around.
Stay far, far away from this specific copy of King Lear for Kindle.
If you are expected the quality and standards of Arden Shakespeare, you will be sadly disappointed.
It is as if someone took out all the Editor's introductory essays, started the book at the beginning of the play, and then decided that the page numbers of the original book were notations, because this book is NOT annotated as described.
What is disgraceful is that this copy's seller is actually Amazon.
Giving it 1 star because Amazon will not let me give less than that.
The criticism I have is that some of the elucidation in this book, while as clear as one would wish, is overly contemporary, thus quite jarring. Much current slang that will evenutally pass into oblivion is used. In many cases the original text would have been fine, even in the "translation" to modern English.
Nevertheless, this is quite a useful tool for anyone wanting a complete handle on the play.
King Lear is a great tragedy. It is very enjoyable.
On each page of the play's text about half the space is taken up with notes. These can, by and large, be ignored if you want to enjoy the play, but can be highly useful if something puzzles you. They cover a variety of matters, such as the meaning of now obscure word, interpretation when it is not clear what word is actually meant, choices where the two originals have difference words, often explaining the choice, possible stage direction or ways of staging the play and so on. They are usually well done, though possibly excessive.
A long essay introducing the play explains the editor's approach, comments on some critical issues, and comments on various stagings of the play. These are informative and often stimulating, with Foakes not being stridently attached to any one interpretation. There is available elsewhere an incredibly large amount of comment on all aspects of King Lear and how to interpret it, most of which Foakes wisely ignores. The play is the thing, and one of the advantages of reading it (as opposed to atending a production) is that one can contemplate the different interpretations and emphases that are possible. To a large extent Foakes sets this up, and then lets the reader proceed, rather than forcing a particular version, as happens (often very badly when directors want to demonstrate their originality) inevitably with a staged -- or filmed or audio -- production.