King Lear is perhaps the most poignant character in literature. The aged, abused monarch is at once the consummate figure of authority and the classic example of the fall from majesty. He is widely agreed to be William Shakespeare's most moving, tragic hero.
Award-winning writer and beloved professor Harold Bloom writes about Lear with wisdom, joy, exuberance, and compassion. He also explores his own personal relationship to the character: Just as we encounter one Emma Bovary or Hamlet when we are seventeen and another when we are forty, Bloom writes about his shifting understanding-over the course of his own lifetime-of Lear, so that this book also explores an extraordinarily moving argument for literature as a path to and a measure of our humanity.
Bloom is mesmerizing in the classroom, wrestling with the often tragic choices Shakespeare's characters make. He delivers that kind of exhilarating intimacy, pathos, and clarity in Lear.