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While King Lear tickets are not currently available, you might be interested in tickets to the following: Absolution, Film Chinois, Snow Orchid, Villainous Company or John and Jen.


About the Show:

Considered one of Shakespeare's greatest masterpieces, King Lear is a story of family loyalty, the struggle for power, and the disturbing cruelty of man. Based on the story of "Leir of Britain," a Celtic king who was said to have ruled before Roman times in what is now Great Britain, it concerns an elderly king who steps down from power and decides to divide his kingdom among his three daughters according to the degree to which they flatter him. But when he disowns his one scrupulous daughter because she refuses to lie to him, several factors begin to snowball into a disastrous series of events that ends in tragedy.

King Lear's rich characters and fertile plot have made it a critical and popular favorite, and some of the world's most talented and accomplished actors have played its classic roles. Get your King Lear tickets today to experience this renownd play in all its glory live.

Plot Synopsis:

The aged King Lear has resolved to step down from the throne and decides to split his kingdom among his three daughters: Goneril, Regan, and Cordelia. When he announces that he intends to give the largest share to the daughter who shows her love for him the most, both Goneril and Regan shower him with praise and vow that they love him above all else. Cordelia, however, refuses to participate in this charade, stating bluntly that she loves her father just as much as a daughter should love her father and that Goneril and Regan are only being pandering and dishonest out of self-interest. Outraged, Lear disowns her and splits the kingdom between the other two daughters. When the Earl of Kent objects to this decision as unfair, Lear banishes him from the country. Though the Duke of Burgundy withdraws his pursuit of Cordelia once she is disinherited, the King of France, impressed by her honesty, marries her. Lear then announces that he will live with Goneril and Regan alternately, preserving a contingent of one hundred nights to be furnished by his daughters. Goneril and Regan secretly agree that Lear is becoming a foolish old burden.

Meanwhile, Edmund, the illegitimate son of the Earl of Gloucester, grows weary of his second-class existence and plans to usurp his older, legitimate brother, Edgar. After convincing Gloucester that Edgar plans to supplant him, Edmund finally wins his father's favor and has Edgar disinherited. Meanwhile, Kent returns in disguise and is hired by Lear as a loyal servant just as Goneril begins reducing Lear's retinue of soldiers. Indignant, Lear moves in with Regan, but finds that she is no better than her sister. After Regan has Kent (now known by the name "Caius") imprisoned and Goneril arrives echoing her orders for her father's submission, Lear bursts out in rage, throwing open the doors and escaping out onto the stormy heath to denounce his treacherous daughters. He encounters Edgar, disguised as madman "Tom o' Bedlam," and Kent, who leads them to shelter.

Later, Edmund frames Gloucester for treason and he is imprisoned. Enraged, Regan's husband, Cornwall, gouges out his eyes before being killed by a servant who is horrified by the degrading act. After telling Gloucester that Edmund has betrayed him, Regan throws him out of the castle. Blind and aimless, he encounters the disguised Edgar and asks him to lead him to a cliff from which he can jump to his death. Meanwhile, Goneril's husband, Albany, denounces her for her treatment of Lear and the mutilation of Gloucester. Both Goneril and Regan are attracted to the ambitious Edmund, and the two become jealous of one another when he makes promises to both. Kent leads Lear to Cordelia and the French army, which is approaching the British forces. After lamenting about the corruption of the world and admitting feeling foolish for his earlier treatment of Cordelia, Lear's madness begins to fade. But when the British defeat the French, Lear and Cordelia are captured and secretly sentenced to death by Edmund.

With Regan's and Goneril's competition for Edmund coming to a head, Regan announces that she will marry him. Just as Albany reveals that Edmund is playing both sisters and is a traitor, Regan collapses and dies, having been secretly poisoned by Goneril. Albany calls Edmund to a trial by combat, but before he can proceed, Edgar shows up and kills Edmund. Albany reveals that he knows of Goneril's affair with Edmund and she flees in anger and shame. When Edgar reveals himself, Gloucester dies of shock but in a state of joy. Offstage, Goneril confesses to poisoning Regan and commits suicide. Edmund reveals his death sentence of Lear and Cordelia, but Lear enters carrying her dead body onstage, revealing that he is too late. Lear collapses and dies from grief and the kingdom is left to Albany, Kent, and Edgar.

King Lear News:

November 20, 2011The off-Broadway production of King Lear at the Public Theater holds its last performance.
November 8, 2011Following previews from October 18, King Lear, starring Sam Waterston and Kelli O'Hara, opens at the Public Theater!

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