King Lear Resources
Movie or TV Productions
Jean-Luc Godard directed this strange Sci-Fi re-imagining of "Don Learo" and his daughter, Cordelia (played by Molly Ringwald).
King Lear, directed by Peter Brook, stars Paul Scofield as King Lear. This bleak, existentialist interpretation is one of the most influential modern productions of the play.
A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley's novel based on King Lear, won the Pulitzer Prize and was later made into a movie starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Jessica Lange. The story is set in rural Iowa and tells the story of a farmer who tries to divide his land among his three daughters.
Ran, Kurosawa's epic Japanese film, mixes King Lear with stories of the samurai. The film won a 1985 Academy Award and was nominated for four more.
The Dresser, Ronald Harwood's play, also made into a film, follows the struggles of an aging British actor who is playing the title role in a production of King Lear.
In The King of Texas, Patrick Stewart plays the Lear figure in this TV adaptation of the play set in, you guessed it, Texas.
A clip of Ian McKellen as King Lear in his 2007 performance for the Royal Shakespeare Company (Act 1, Scene 5).
A clip from the Royal Shakespeare Company's 2007 production of King Lear.
Ian McKellen (a.k.a. Gandalf) portrays King Lear in this televised version of the play, directed by Trevor Nunn.
Got 45 minutes? Listen to the BBC's "In Our Time" podcast on the topic of King Lear. Host Melvyn Bragg talks about the play with famous Shakespeare scholars Jonathan Bate, Catherine Belsey, and Katherine Duncan Jones.
To celebrate the 250th anniversary of the U.S. premiere of King Lear, NPR invited the Reduced Shakespeare Company to perform King Lear…in 34 seconds. Listen to the podcast here.
This NPR All Things Considered episode from 2007 discusses Ian McKellen's stage performance.
Author Christopher Moore discusses his re-telling of King Lear on NPR's Talk of the Nation.
From NPR in 2004: "On the 250th anniversary of the first performance of King Lear in America, The Reduced Shakespeare Company performs the play in 34 seconds. That's 34 seconds, plus the five minutes of tape they collected when they traveled in their time machines back to the year 1754."
Images of King Lear from past Royal Shakespeare Company performances.
This website presents famous paintings of the play's scenes and characters.
Check out this pen and ink water color by poet (and artist!) William Blake, compliments of the Tate Museum.
In this selection of great art that was inspired by King Lear, the pieces have been gathered from a diverse range of artists, styles, and time periods, and have been arranged in a way that helps to summarize (chronologically) the play.
This article chronicles doctors' attempts to figure out what mental illness Lear might have had.
The New York Times bashes Kevin Kline's 2007 theater production of King Lear.
Variety magazine reviews Ian McKellen's 2007 production of King Lear.