King Lear – Revision




Lots of time to spare for English revision…………….??

Maybe not – try this instead…………….

Try gradesaver for a summary of the five acts

………………..or use Sparknotes for summaries of particular scenes

…………………………while Cliffnotes has some useful notes on characters, themes etc.

………..some key moments in the play according to ‘The Royal Shakespeare Company.’



Part of the opening scene……..


Edmund’s soliloquy – where he sets his stall out………….


Exam guidance:

Some things to take into account when answering a question on the play.

Twenty questions to consider when answering a question on King Lear

  1. Have I read the question carefully and underlined the key words?
  2. Am I clear on what the question is actually asking me?
  3. Have I come up with some alternatives to the key words?
  4. Do I agree or disagree with the views expressed in the question? To what extent?
  5. Have I used a brainstorm to generate 6 – 8 points that I can use in my answer?
  6. Have I numbered these points/paragraphs so that they are in a logical order?
  7. Have I assigned 3 -5 quotations per paragraph that I can use to back up the points that I make?
  8. Have I included an opening paragraph that addresses the question in a general sense, as well as using the key word(s) from the question?
  9. Have I included a topic sentence close to the beginning of each paragraph that makes clear the point that I intend to make in that paragraph?
  10. Does each paragraph deal with one point comprehensively?
  11. Is each point/paragraph relevant to the question asked?
  12. Have I included 3 –5 integrated quotations per point/paragraph in my answer?
  13. Are the quotations/references used appropriately to back up the point that I am making?
  14. Have I avoided needless irrelevant summarising of the play itself?
  15. Have I used the key words from the question and/or their alternatives in all of the paragraphs?
  16. Have I made sure that each point/paragraph is clearly connected (through connecting words/ phrases/ sentences) with the question?
  17. Have I included link words or sentences to connect the paragraphs where possible?
  18. Have I referred to seeing the play being performed at any stage in my answer?
  19. Have I included a closing paragraph where I’ve summarised the points I’ve made, as well as referred clearly back to the question; and concluded on a particular point of view in relation to the question?
  20. Have I given clear evidence of personal engagement with the play throughout my answer and particularly in the closing paragraph?

Click on some of the sample answers below to see how this advice is implemented when answering typical Leaving Cert questions.


1.Lear is a man ‘more sinned against than sinning.’ Discuss this view with reference to the play.

2.‘The play, King Lear, presents us with a very bleak view of humanity.’ Discuss this view with reference to the play.

3. ‘The theme of blindness, both literal and metaphoric, is thought-provokingly explored throughout King Lear’ Discuss this view with reference to the play.

4.“The female characters in Shakespeare’s play, King Lear, are powerful figures who are equally forceful as and, at times, even more ruthless than their male counterparts.”To what extent do you agree with this view?







Click here for some important quotes from the play


English@Banagher College