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King Lear


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About the Author

Ian Pollack has contributed illustrations to virtually every English magazine, and in the United States to Esquire, Playboy, Rolling Stone, and more. Mr. Pollack spent a full year on the art for King Lear.

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (1564-1616) wrote 37 plays. King Lear and Macbeth are widely considered his finest and most popular. They are, perhaps, the most frequently produced works on the planet.


Gr 12 Up-This famous family tragedy is dramatized expressively by an outstanding cast of experienced actors led by Paul Scofield. They are very knowledgeable about the play and give each speech with changes of tone and intonation expressing the exact shades necessary for proper understanding. Hearing the voices personalizes the story, making it seem as if this tragedy is real. Voices vary from raging shouts to gentle whispers. The British accents add realism and are not distracting. Appropriate sound effects, whether an animal baying, rain pelting, or horns blaring, assist in setting the mood. However, it is necessary to identify each character by his speech alone as there is no narrator announcing a scene, an entrance, or a setting. Because this can be confusing, high school students should either use the prepared guide which summarizes this information, or have the entire text in front of them. King Lear is not often taught in regular high school English classes, and even 12th grade AP classes have trouble understanding the play. So, although this is an excellent production, unless the play is taught in your school, consider it a supplementary purchase at best.-Claudia Moore, W.T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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