- a tragedy by Shakespeare (c. 1606)
- its main character, whose division of his kingdom between his older daughters, Goneril and Regan, and disinheritance of his youngest, Cordelia, lead to civil strife and his own insanity and death
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king lear - Cultural Definition
A tragedy by William Shakespeare about an old king who unwisely hands his kingdom over to two of his daughters. The daughters, who had flattered Lear while he was in power, turn on him; their actions reduce him to poverty and eventually to madness. His youngest daughter, Cordelia, whom he had at first spurned, remains faithful to him.