King Lear

by

William Shakespeare

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King Lear Symbols

Read our modern English translation.

The Stars, Heavens, and the Gods

In Shakespeare's time there was a particularly strong belief that order on earth depended on order in the heavens—or, as Kent puts it, that "the stars above us govern our conditions" (4.3.39). Celestial bodies are… read analysis of The Stars, Heavens, and the Gods

Animals

From start to finish, King Lear is full of references to animals, usually incorporated into insults and curses or used to describe states of maximum human degradation. (The Fool also frequently tells jokes or sings… read analysis of Animals

Clothing and Costumes

Complementing the many references to animals throughout the play are mentions of clothing and instances of disguise. Kent, banished by Lear, disguises himself as the commoner Caius. Edgar, fleeing Gloucester's mistaken wrath, transforms himself the… read analysis of Clothing and Costumes