King Lear
King Lear
by William Shakespeare
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King Lear Symbolism, Imagery & Allegory

Sometimes, there’s more to Lit than meets the eye.

Vision and Blindness

We're just going to put this out there right now: any play/novel/story of some sort that features a character getting blinded is also probably saying something about metaphorical blindness. In King...

Lear's Crown

Typically, monarchs wear gleaming crowns atop their heads for one reason – because crowns are a visual symbol of power. In King Lear, Shakespeare often associates crowns with a loss of power...

Diseased Bodies

There sure are a lot of references to sick bodies and body parts in King Lear, wouldn't you say? We're especially interested in the way Lear talks about his evil daughters, Goneril and Regan, as th...

The Storm on the Heath

In Act 3, Lear rushes from a fight with his daughters into a raging thunderstorm. It's going to be no surprise to you to hear that the combination of thunder and lightning is pretty much what's goi...


Shakespeare plays on the word "nothing" and the idea of nothingness or emptiness throughout King Lear.Here are a few significant moments from the play: In Act 1, when Lear stages his love test and...

Nakedness vs. Clothing

When Edgar disguises himself as "Poor Tom," he chooses to disguise himself as a naked beggar. Then, in the big storm scene, Lear strips off his kingly robes. Why might he do this, you ask? Lear has...


The play makes many references to animals, from Lear's comparison of Goneril to a "detested kite" (1.4), which is not just a child's toy but also a bird of prey, to Albany's comparison of humanity...

Old Men and Babies

There sure is a lot of talk in the play about old men being like "babes again" (1.3.3), isn't there? Check out this passage, where Lear announces his decision to transfer the burdens of kingship to...

The Feather

After Cordelia is hanged, Lear initially seems to accept his loss. "I know when one is dead," he proclaims. "She's dead as earth" (5.3.3). Yet, a few moments later, Lear sees a feather stir upon Co...

Edmund's Letter

We thought you might come sniffing around here for ideas about Edmund's forged letter. (Psst. We talk about it in "Quotes" on "Language and Communication" so be sure to check it out.)
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