King Lear, one of Shakespeare's darkest and most savage plays, tells the story of the foolish and Job-like Lear, who divides his kingdom, as he does his affections, according to vanity and whim. Lear's failure as a father engulfs himself and his world in turmoil and tragedy.
Burton Raffel is Distinguished Professor of Arts and Humanities Emeritus and professor of English emeritus, University of Louisiana at Lafayette. The most recent of his many publications is Selected Poems by Nicolas Boileau, published by Yale University Press. He lives in Lafayette. Harold Bloom, Sterling Professor of the Humanities at Yale University, is the author of many books, including The Western Canon, Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human, and Jesus and Yahweh: The Names Divine.