King Lear (William Shakespeare play)

Published 2022-02-08.

King Lear was the first of twelve Shakespeare plays I intend to read this year. This was my first time reading it, and I found it quite challenging. I had hoped some of the themes would resonate with me since I recently watched Succession, but honestly, I found it too hard to follow to really enjoy it. By contrast, I found Macbeth relatively easy to follow, and quite enjoyable. The difference could be partly in the fact that I had read Macbeth in high school, so was already familiar with it. But King Lear has a much more complex plot, so I think that’s part of the explanation. I will have to revisit King Lear someday—maybe when I’m old enough that the themes feel more emotionally immediate.

After finishing reading the play, I watched Ran, a loose film adaptation of King Lear set in 16th-century Japan. It was good, if a bit long, and it helped me better understand the play itself.

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