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Recorded HS
Shakespeare and King Lear

Enjoy this profoundly Christian play in historical context, exploring the story’s themes of love and betrayal, good and evil, nihilism and meaning, and more.

Total classes: 6

Prerequisite: None

Suggested grade level: 9th through 12th

Suggested credit: 1/2 semester Shakespearian Literature or English. For a full semester add another course. 


King Lear is Shakespeare’s tragic masterpiece. While the plot involves a king of England who reigned before the time of Christ, the play is profoundly Christian. The themes in the story include love and betrayal; good and evil; nihilism and meaning. We will also look at how the play refers to the Catholic England of the Middle Ages as well as the Protestant England of the Renaissance — and prophetically anticipates the post-modern England of the present.



Act One

Act Two

Act Three

Act Four

Act Five and Conclusion

Materials and Homework

Course Materials: King Lear, any notated edition. No Fear Shakespeare is a good online resource for the text and a helpful side-by-side modern paraphrase.

Homework: A close reading of each Act will probably take about an hour per week. Also, plan on occasional quizzes and a final essay.

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