Excerpt from Shakespeare's King Lear This play was first published in quarto form in 1608. In 1623 it was published in folio form. The time of the writing is located between 1603 and 1606. In 1603 Dr. Harsnet published his Declaration of Popish Impostures. It was from this work that Shakespeare took the names of the devils of whom Edgar speaks in Act III. In 1607 entry was made in the Stationers' Registers that the play was performed before the kinges maiestie at Whitehall vppon Sainct Stephens night at Christmas Last; that is, Christmas, 1606. In October, 1605, an eclipse of the sun followed one of the moon a month previous. Gloster speaks of these late eclipses. November 5, 1605, was the date of the Gunpowder Plot, which to superstitious minds the eclipses might have portended. Whatever may have been the exact date of writing, certain it is that it was produced at the time when its author was in the Titanic era of his mental vigor. Shakespeare died at the age of fifty-two. This play was composed about ten or twelve years before his death. There is a marked strength of conception and vehemence of action that are approximated only in Othello and equalled where else in his productions. In the fullness of his later years he wrote The Tempest, but the intensity has given way to calmness; the gigantic activity to the subdued grandeur of the ideals of ripened scholarship. The Tempest was the work of Shakespeare's sunset days. King Lear is the product of his ontide vigor. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art techlogy to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.