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'King Lear' Questions for Study and Discussion

William Shakespeare's Famous Play


King Lear

King Lear

Simon & Schuster
King Lear is one of my favorite plays by William Shakespeare, and I've grown to appreciate it more and more as I get older. This work is filled with family squabbles, madness, and turmoil; but what does it all mean in the grander scheme of things? Here are a few questions for study and discussion.
  • What is important about the title?

  • What are the conflicts in King Lear? What types of conflict (physical, moral, intellectual, or emotional) did you notice in this play?

  • How does William Shakespeare reveal character in King Lear?

  • What are some themes? How do they relate to the plot and characters?

  • What are some symbols in King Lear? How do they relate to the plot and characters?

  • Are the characters consistent in their actions? Which of the characters are fully developed? How? Why?

  • Do you find the characters likable? Are the characters persons you would want to meet?

  • Does the play end the way you expected? How? Why?

  • What is the central/primary purpose of the play? Is the purpose important or meaningful?

  • How does the play relate to other Shakespearean (and/or Elizabethan) dramas?

  • How essential is the setting? Could the play have taken place anywhere else?

  • What is the role of women in the text? How are mothers represented? What about single/independent women?

  • How is the father/daughter relationship represented?

  • What elements of the story, plot, characterization, etc. are the most controversial?

  • Would you recommend this play to a friend?

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