From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
King Lear

King Lear


by William Shakespeare


Character Role Analysis

King Lear

Come on: the play is called King Lear. Lear's the guy. Lear is the central character, the title character, and the guy who defines the action of the play (it is his retirement that sparks all of this hullabaloo). Most of the other characters align themselves either with Lear (Kent, Gloucester, the Fool, Edgar, Cordelia) or against him (Goneril, Regan, Edmund, Cornwall), and he goes through a classic growing-as-a-person stage as he realizes his error and reunites with Cordelia.