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King Lear, A Longman Cultural Edition, CourseSmart eTextbook

By William Shakespeare, Claire McEachern

Published by Longman

Published Date: Mar 11, 2010

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From Longman's new Cultural Editions series, King Lear , edited by Claire McEachern, includes the play and contextual materials from the era of Shakespeare.

Handsomely produced and affordably priced, the Longman Cultural Editions series presents classic works in provocative and illuminating contexts–cultural, critical, and literary. Each Cultural Edition consists of the complete text of an important literary work, reliably edited, headed by an inviting introduction, and supplemented by helpful annotations; a table of dates to track its composition, publication, and public reception in relation to biographical, cultural, and historical events; and a guide for further inquiry and study.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vii


About Longman Cultural Editions ix


About This Edition xi


Introduction xiv


Table of Dates xxii


King Lear 1


The Texts of King Lear 134


Contexts 139


Shakespeare’s Narrative and Dramatic Sources 141

RAPHAEL HOLINSHED, from “The Second Booke of the Historie of England” in The First and Second Volumes of Chronicles (1587) 144

From The True Chronicle History of King Leir and his three daughters . . . As it hath beene divers and sundry times lately acted (1605) 147

SIR PHILIP SIDNEY, from The Countesse of Pembrokes Arcadia (1590) 154


The State 158

From An Exhortation Concerning Good Order and Obedience to Rulers and Magistrates (1570) 160

CHARLES MERBURY, from A Brief Discourse of Royal Monarchie, as of the Best Common Weale (1581) 162

SIR THOMAS SMITH, from De Republica Anglorum (1583) 163
JAMES VI OF SCOTLAND, from The Trew Law of Free Monarchies (1599) 164
JAMES I OF ENGLAND, from A Speech [. . .] delivered in the Upper House of Parliament on Monday the 19 March 1604, being the first day of the First Parliament 167


SAMUEL HARSNETT, from A Declaration of Egregious Popish Impostures (1603) 173

The Household 176

MICHEL DE MONTAIGNE, from “Of the Affection of Fathers for Their Children” from The Essays (London, 1603) 179

WILLIAM GOUGE, from Of Domesticall Duties (1622) 184

JOSEPH SWETNAM, from The Arraignment of Lewde, Idle, Forward, and Unconstant Women (1615) 191
JANE ANGER, from Her Protection for Women (1589) 193


Fools and Folly 194

ERASMUS, from A Letter to Martin Dorp (1515) 195

ROBERT ARMIN, from Foole upon Foole (1600) 196


“Good” and “Evil” 200

WILLIAM HARRISON, from “Of the Ancient Religion Used in Albion” (1587) 201 JEAN CALVIN, from Institutes of the Christian Religion (1536) 205 RICHARD HOOKER, from Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity (1593) 209 THOMAS HOBBES, from Leviathan (1651) 215 ST. AUGUSTINE, from The City of God, Book XIX (c. 413—427) 218


Early Readings and Rewritings 220  

NAHUM TATE, from The History of King Lear (1681) 222

LEWIS THEOBALD, from The Censor (1715) 230

SAMUEL JOHNSON, from “Notes on King Lear” in The Plays of William Shakespeare (London, 1765) 233

GEORGE COLMAN, from the Preface to The History of King Lear (1768) 236
CHARLES LAMB, from “On the Tragedies of Shakespeare, considered with reference to their fitness for stage representation” (1810) 238
CHARLES LAMB, from “King Lear” in Tales from Shakespeare (1807) 241

WILLIAM HAZLITT, from The Characters of Shakespear’sPlays (1818) 247
SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE, from Lectures on Shakespeare (1818) 251

JOHN KEATS, “On Sitting Down to Read King Lear Once Again” (1818) 254

A. C. BRADLEY, from Shakespearean Tragedy: Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear and Macbeth (1904) 255


Adaptations of King Lear 259


Further Reading 261

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King Lear, A Longman Cultural Edition, CourseSmart eTextbook
Format: Safari Book

$8.99 | ISBN-13: 978-0-205-82239-3