Shakespeare wrote King Lear around 1605 - 1606.
Explore the links on the left to find out more about this great tragedy.
Read the story of King Lear in plain English. If you don't want to know how it ends, don't read the last section!
We've selected some well-known quotes from King Lear.
Directors choose their own key moments in King Lear, depending on their interpretation of the play. Here Kath Bradley selects a number of important scenes.
Did you know...?
Some fascinating facts about Shakespeare's play and King Lear in performance.
From its first performances around 1607 up to modern theatre and film productions, Rebecca Brown examines King Lear in performance.
Dating the play
Rebecca Brown explains how we know when Shakespeare wrote King Lear.
There's no such thing as an original idea - even for Shakespeare. Rebecca Brown presents the historical sources and contemporary stories which influenced and inspired Shakespeare when he wrote King Lear.
Read interviews with director Trevor Nunn and view video extracts and photos from his production of King Lear for the Courtyard's thrust stage.
View photos from this production directed by Adrian Noble and featuring Robert Stephens as Lear.
View photos from this production directed by Peter Brook and featuring Paul Scofield as Lear.
Productions 1936 - 2007
Performance history expert Rebecca Brown describes a selection of our previous productions of King Lear.
A shifting landscape
Playing Lear is an enormous challenge often compared to climbing a mountain. Peter Holland examines the diverse responses that King Lear has inspired on the stage.
Resources for teachers
Extra resources for teaching on King Lear: activities, synopses, themes and links to more from RSC Education.