King Lear (1962)Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Joseph Papp and Gladys Vaughan
This production featured performances by Frank Silvera, Roscoe Lee Browne, Charles Durning and William Devane.
Aging King Lear determines to divide his kingdom among his three daughters, Reagan, Goneril and Cordelia. Reagan and Goneril gush and praise him exorbitantly and are rewarded, but Cordelia is disinherited because of her refusal to claim any more love than a daughter should have. She is banished, along with the Earl of Kent, who plead with Lear on her behalf. Cordelia is taken in by the King of France, who marries her. Kent defies his exile by dressing as a servant and joining LearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s entourage. Edmund, bastard son of the Earl of Goucester, usurps his legitimate brotherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s place by convincing their father that Edgar wishes to kill him, and convincing Edgar to flee his father's wrath. Lear, who has ceded his lands and powers to his daughters goes to stay in first Goneril then ReaganÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s house, but is driven from both by their cruel behavior. He rushes out onto the moors in a raging storm where he meets Edgar who is disguised as a madman. Gloucester finds them and sends Lear towards Dover to meet Cordelia and the French army. GloucesterÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s eyes are gouged out by ReaganÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s husband when they learn he has aided Lear. Blind, he is aided towards Dover by Edgar, still in disguise. The French army is defeated by the English, who take Cordelia and Lear prisoner. Edmund and Edgar meet in the field and Edmund is mortally wounded. Goneril is also killed, poisoned by her sister to win EdmundÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s attentions, and Reagan kills herself as well when she hears of EdmundÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s defeat. Cordelia is hanged and Lear, overcome with grief, dies.