RSC streams First Encounter: King Lear

King Lear focuses on the story of Cordelia, Lear’s youngest daughter who fails his test of love at the start of the play which results in fighting, uprising and ultimately tragedy. 

King Lear, which looks at the dividing of a Kingdom, can be a great way to look at the history of Britain and there are lots of themes you can use as route into the text, including: 

  • Family and loyalty 

  • Leadership 

  • Belongings 

You can discover more about these themes and where they appear in the text as well as others in our Themes Resource. 

There are so many different ways of exploring the text but you may find the following particularly useful in introducing the text:


Below you can also watch the First Encounter production of King Lear from 2013, directed by Tim Crouch, in full. The First Encounter productions are edited versions of Shakespeare’s plays designed and performed for younger audiences. 


For more information about the plot, the play and more please visit Royal Shakespear Company website.

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