From plot debriefs to key motifs, Thug Notes’ King Lear Summary & Analysis has you covered with themes, symbols, important quotes, and more.
King Lear (1606) | Written by: William Shakespeare | Published by: Dover Thrift Classics
King Lear by William Shakespeare
Thug Notes Summary & Analysis
Sup fam? This week we seein’ da cold truth with King Lear by William Shakespeare.
Since King Lear too old to get it up no mo, he decide it’s time to stop runnin’ da game of thrones and hand ova’ his power to tha daughter dat love him most. He end up giving it all to Goneril and Regan- da two daughters who jus’ give him a royal ass-kissing; leaving Cordelia, da only daughter who keep it real, with jack sh**. All butt-hurt, Lear start actin’ like he lost his damn mind and give Cordelia da boot. Lear’s right hand man Kent calls him out on dis class-A bullsh** but Lear jus’ like “Psh. You don’t like da way I roll? Then you can step too.”
Meanwhile one of Lear’s homies named Gloucester got himself a love- child named Edmund who all to’ up bout bein’ a bastard, so he take it out on Gloucester’s legit son Edgar. He trick Gloucester in to thinking that Edgar tryna kill him. Gloucester like “Oh sh** word? Not in mah house!” Now dat he on his daddy’s sh**list, Edgar disguises himself as a bum and hits da mean streets.
When Lear finally figger out Ragen and Goneril workin togetha’ to do him dirty, brutha start wanderin’ round while it’s stormin’ outside, takin his crazy game next level.
Gloucester ain’t gonna let his
homeboy go down like dat, so he decide to help Lear out.
But when Regan and her hubby find out what Gloucester plottin’, they call him a snitch, straight RIP his eyes out and toss his ass to da street.
Decked out like a hobo, Edgar throw his old man a bone and save his crusty ass from icin’ himself. And he aint da only shawty lookin’ out for their old man. Cordelia gonna lead a swoel French army (whatever that is) to save her daddy and make him rock da crown again.
But Goneril, Reagan, and Edmund jus’ rollin too deep; they whoop some ass and capture Cordelia and Lear. Now sh** REALLY fall apart. Turns out Goneril wants Edmund’s D so bad dat she poison her own sister. Damn. Then Goneril end up comittin’ suicide when her hubby learn what’s goin down. Cordelia get hanged, and Lear get so to’ up dat he dies too.
Man King Lear sho go through some sh**. I mean this cat go from high baller status to a straight up bum in dis play. And one of da most important lessons he learn form all dat mess is how important keepin it real is.
See at da beginning, he only care bout SEEMING like errybody loves him. Fool might even KNOW dat his daughters frontin wit their ass- kissin’ bullsh**, but all he care about is makin it LOOK like he loved. This fool’s head so damn big dat later when he find out his daughters stickin’ it to him raw, he ain’t even trippin bout dat… he just pissed dey ain’t grateful for da power her givin em.
Willy bustin out images of storms all up in here to show dat Lear’s whack passions messin wit’ his mind- o Lear: “where the greater malady is fixed, / The lesser is scarce felt…The tempest in my mind / Doth from my senses take all feeling else, / Save what beast here: filial ingratitude. (3.4.8-14)
But how’s a brutha gonna keep it real when he can’t see da truth? Which brings me to Willy’s otha big ass motif: sight. See, Lear got physical sight, but morally, he straight Stevie Wonder up in here.
Likewise, Gloucester blind to da truth dat Edmond playin him. Only when brutha lose his eyes can he see da truth.
Gloucester: “I have no way, and therefore want no eyes. / I stumbled when I saw.” (4.1.19-20)
And thats what this play is all about- loss. Loss of power, love, life, and sight. Look, if you lookin’ for a happy ending, you peepin da wrrrrong play, homeboy
But don’t trip, cuz da subscribe button will always give you a happy ending. Naw mean? Deuces!