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Shakespeare's King Lear

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Shakespeare's King Lear is a powerful play whose theme has been reinvented by other authors, an example is A Thousand Acres. A Thousand Acres written by Jane Smiley is essentially a modern adaptation of Shakespeare's King Lear. Smiley sets her scene using an ingenious twist from the perspective of Ginny and Regan, otherwise known as Goneril and Rose in King Lear. A Thousand Acres takes place in 1980s Iowa which adds an interesting distinction because throughout King Lear there is an obvious feeling of emptiness within the kingdom, so Smiley places her version in a small community where families have known each other and have held grudges for generations. Smiley uses her novel to complete unknown information within King Lear such as the tension between Lear and his two daughters, and Cordelia's absence. The characters, plot elements, and themes all merge to form the comparisons of the novels. But there are also things that set the novels apart allowing the reader to avoid repetitiveness and to read from a different perspective. The similarities and differences of both novels intertwine to make it possible for similar themes to be conveyed through an old version and modern.

The characters with A Thousand Acres closely resemble their counterparts in King Lear. King Lear is the King of Britain where as Larry Cook, his counterpart, is

the patriarch of an Iowa farming family. Edgar is Gloucester's genuine son and his

counterpart Loren Clark is the youngest of Harold's sons whom stayed home to help out

on the farm. Pete Lewis is Rose's husband where as Duke of Cornwall is Regan's husband. Regan is Lear's second eldest daughter and Rose is Larry's second eldest as well. Jess Clark is the oldest son of Harold's that has been separated from the family for a long time and Edmund is not the genuine son of Gloucester. Ty Smith is Ginny's husband where as the Duke of Albany is Goneril's husband. Lear's eldest daughter is Goneril and Larry's eldest daughter is Ginny. Earl of Gloucester is Lear's friend and Larry's friend and neighbor is Harold. Caroline is the youngest of Larry's daughters and his favorite where as Cordelia is Lear's youngest daughter and favorite also. Smiley makes her characters so close into relation with King Lear's characters because her purpose was to successfully convey King Lear with modern characters but still keeping their original purpose within the novel.

The goal of A Thousand Acres is to capture the same story of how the Lear family was torn apart and modify into a modern translation so the reader could understand the novel's meaning better. In King Lear, King Lear abdicates throne and chooses to separate the kingdom into three sections for his three daughters. Lear firsts asks each daughter to express how much they love him, receiving impressing answers from his oldest daughters but a less convincing attempt by his favorite. This set him into rage and caused him to deny Cordelia any ownership of his kingdom so she traveled to France to marry the king without



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