Series Editor: Joseph Pearce

King Lear cover

King Lear

William Shakespeare

340 pp, $7.95. Order Now!

"How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child!"

One of the most popular of Shakespeare's plays, King Lear is also one of the most thought-provoking. The play turns on the practical ramifications of the words of Christ that we should render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's, and unto God that which is God's. When confronted with the demand that she should render unto Caesar that which is God's, Cordelia chooses to "love and be silent". As the play unfolds each of the principal characters learns wisdom through suffering.

Study Guide to King Lear

48 pp, $3.95

ICE Study Guides are constructed to aid the reader of ICE classics to achieve a level of critical and literary appreciation befitting the works themselves.

Ideally suited for students themselves and as a guide for teachers, the ICE Study Guides serve as a complement to the treasures of critical appreciation already included in ICE titles.

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This edition includes new critical essays from some of the leading lights in contemporary literary scholarship as well as classic commentary from John Keats, Samuel Johnson, and A. C. Bradley. A great resource.

A look at the new essays

Plays are sometimes hard to 'see' if you're just reading, and live productions aren't always available, so James Bemis gives readers a guide to the film adaptations of King Lear, with attention to fidelity to the text and quality of performance. His guide can help you or your students connect with this great tragedy.

In "Nature and Convention in King Lear", Paul Cantor inspects Lear as a king destined to become, once again, a mere man. Robert Carballo investigates chaos and order in the work, on the grounds of organic wholeness, and Scott Crider draws from an in-class dispute over Lear an appreciation of the play, and the dialogue it takes to understand the play.

Joseph Pearce contributes an essay on Lear's dramatic and historical context, suggesting we can easily fail in "Seeing the Comedy of the Tragedy". Jack Trotter rounds it all out by making the case for the interior necessity of King Lear being a redemptive, not a nihilistic, work.

R. V. Young situates the reader with the introductory essay. [Read excerpt.]

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Meet the Minds behind the King Lear Edition

Editor & Critical Essayist

Joseph Pearce

Joseph Pearce

Joseph Pearce is writer in residence at Aquinas College in Nashville, Tennessee, and director of the Aquinas Center for Faith and Culture. He is the editor of the St. Austin Review and the Ignatius Critical Editions series editor. He is the author of three books on Shakespeare, published by Ignatius Press: The Quest for Shakespeare: The Bard of Avon and the Church of Rome (2008), Through Shakespeare's Eyes: Seeing the Catholic Presence in the Plays (2010), and Shakespeare on Love: Seeing the Catholic Presence in Romeo and Juliet (2013). He has also published books on a number of modern literary figures, including Oscar Wilde, G. K. Chesterton, Hilaire Belloc, Roy Campbell, J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

Critical Essayists

James Bemis

James Bemis

James Bemis is an editorial board member, weekly columnist, and film critic for California Political Review and is a frequent contributor to Latin Mass Magazine. His five-part series "Through the Eyes of the Church", on the Vatican's list of the forty-five "Most Important Films in the Century of Cinema", was published in the Wanderer. His essays on film adaptations of King Lear, The Merchant of Venice, Romeo and Juliet, and Macbeth have appeared in the Ignatius Critical Editions of the plays. He is currently writing a book on Christianity, culture, and the cinema.

Paul A. Cantor

Paul A. Cantor is Clifton Waller Barrett Professor of English at the University of Virginia. He is the author of numerous essays and several books on Shakespeare, including Shakespeare's Rome: Republic and Empire and the Hamlet volume in the Cambridge Landmarks of World Literature Series.

Critical Essays in


Robert Carballo

Robert Carballo is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Millersville University of Pennsylvania, where he served for many years as Director of Graduate English Studies. He teaches courses in Victorian literature, the Romantic poets, drama, comparative literature, and the short story. His publications include studies on John Henry Newman, Matthew Arnold, John Dryden, and Shakespeare, among others, and have appeared in scholarly journals in the United States, England, France, Puerto Rico, and Hungary.

Critical Essays in


Scott Crider

Scott Crider is Associate Professor of English and Director of the Writing Program at the University of Dallas. He has published articles on Shakespeare and a textbook, The Office of Assertion: An Art of Rhetoric for the Academic Essay (ISI Books, 2005). He is currently working on a book on Shakespeare and the ethics of rhetoric.

Critical Essays in


Jack Trotter

Jack Trotter has a Ph.D. in medieval and Renaissance literature from Vanderbilt University (1995). He has published numerous essays on Shakespearean drama and, more recently, nineteenth-century literature. He also publishes frequently in Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture.

R. V. Young

R. V. Young is Professor of English at North Carolina State University. He is co-founder of the John Donne Journal and was co-editor for 25 years. In 2008 he became the editor of Modern Age: A Quarterly Review. His bilingual edition of Justus Lipsius' Concerning Constancy is forthcoming from Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies. In addition to scholarly books and articles, he has also contributed to journals such as First Things, National Review, The Weekly Standard, the St. Austin Review, and Touchstone, of which he is a contributing editor.

Critical Essays in


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