Buy NoSweatShakespeare’s Modern English King Lear Ebook

Read King Lear translated as an easy to read, exciting teenage novel


Follows the acts and scenes of original King Lear text


Allows you to master the plot, characters and language of King Lear


Download the complete Modern King Lear ebook now for just $14.95!

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“Your ebook was a godsend because it was distinct, easily accessible and very child friendly. The resource I obtained from you has been used again and again”

M Browning

“I have used No Sweat Shakespeare’s versions of both Hamlet and Macbeth with my 11th and 12th grade students. I can honestly say that your texts allowed my students to fully engage in Shakespeare’s text and, most importantly, to enjoy them. They found the story format much easier to read than the original script format.”

Lisa Melody

“I needed a version of the play that was not a “watered down” text that my students could understand and get the meaning from so that they could relate to the themes of the play without getting lost in the language. This version has been instrumental in my students’ understanding and I am so glad I found your website.”

Steven Shelton

“The book is authentic, and very close to Shakespeare’s original plot. It also has the WHOLE story there, and doesn’t miss parts out. It explores the characters well, for example when it describes Romeo’s mood… I rate it 5 stars.” 

Jonathan Howard

“I read the Tempest by Shakespeare a couple of times, and I’m not used to that style of language and grammar. Just to be sure I had all the details, I downloaded The Tempest from you. It helped clear a couple things up for me and added some minor details that really helped when it came test time.” 

Kevin Thorpe

“The service you offer is absolutely fantastic and allowed my daughter to be able to understand the play in modern day language, which made reading and following the original much easier. It is with no undertatement the reason she did so well in her English exams. Probably the best money I have ever spent on her education!” 

Christine Daly

“I was never too keen on reading Shakespeare, as it is written in very old English and I found it difficult to understand. This book has changed my mind entirely, and made me want to read the other books and try out proper Shakespeare.”

Aaron Jordan

“These are wonderful teaching tools. Language is key in teaching Shakespeare and I often start my students with passages from the literal text, juxtaposed with the same passage from No Sweat Shakespeare . I like the download option; it is perfect for my purposes. I can cut & paste to create my own lesson plans.” 

Patrick Kreischer

“My students patted themselves on the pack for having a deeper understanding of the material than their friends in other classes. Clearly, using your texts was a “win-win” situation for both teacher and students! Thank you for making a master story teller accessible to all students.” 

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Modern English King Lear Ebook Sample


Act 1, Scene 2


Edmund paced the floor of the great hall in his father’s castle. He held a letter, which he had written himself, copying his brother’s handwriting and signature. He was harbouring some very strong feelings as he paced. He went and stood before the huge mirror that dominated one end of the hall. He nodded. Nature was his guide and it was her laws he followed.

Why should he have to put up with the stupidity of convention and let the idiosyncrasies of an old fashioned society deprive him of his rights, just because he was some twelve or fourteen months younger than his brother? Why should he have to carry the stigma of “bastard”; why should he accept that he was inferior? He half turned and looked at himself in the mirror. His body was as compact, his mind as intelligent, and his figure as good as the son of his father’s legal wife was. Why did they brand people like him with the word “inferior”? With inferiority? Bastardy? Inferior, inferior? – They had stronger constitutions and were more red-blooded as a result of the lust and passion that accompanied their conception than a whole tribe of fops conceived between bedtime and morning in a boring, tedious matrimonial bed had.

So, legitimate Edgar. He would have his brother’s inheritance. Their father loved the bastard Edmund as much as the legitimate Edgar. Fine word, ” legitimate “! Well then, legitimate brother, if this letter proved effective and his plot succeeded, Edmund the bastard was going to oust the legitimate. He raised his arm and made a fist in the mirror. Grow! Prosper! Now, gods, stand up for bastards!

The Duke of Gloucester walked into the hall, talking to himself. He was shaking his head and tutting: ‘Kent banished like that!’ he said. ‘And France departed in anger! And the king gone tonight, his power reduced to ceremony. All done on the spur of the moment!’ He looked up and saw his son.

‘Edmund! Hello. What news?’ [show_more color=”#2997ab” more=”Read more >>” less=”<< Read less"] Edmund flashed the letter so that his father should see it then made a show of slipping it hastily into his pocket. 'May it please your lordship, none,' he said. Gloucester pointed to his son's pocket. 'Then why are you trying so hard to hide that letter?' 'I have no news, my lord.' 'What was that you were reading?' 'Nothing, my lord.' 'No? Then why the great hurry to shove it in your pocket? Something that's nothing has no need to hide itself. Let's see it. Come; if it's nothing I won't need spectacles.' 'I beg of you, sir, excuse me. It's a letter from my brother that I haven't finished reading, and from what I've seen so far I don't think it's fit for your eyes.' Gloucester put his hand out. 'Give me the letter, sir.' Edmund frowned. 'I'll offend you either to give it to you or withhold it. The contents, as far as I can follow them, are offensive.' He half extracted the letter then stopped. 'Let's see, let's see!' Gloucester snatched it. Edmund stepped back. 'To be fair to my brother, I hope that he wrote this to test my loyalty.' Gloucester had put his glasses on. He opened the letter and read aloud. ' This custom of revering old men leaves a bitter taste in the mouths of young men. It keeps our fortunes from us till we're too old to enjoy them. I'm beginning to find it's a useless and stupid slavery to be controlled by an old tyrant who rules, not because he's powerful, but because we're willing to put up with it. Come to me so that I can explain it further. If our father would sleep till I awakened him you would enjoy half his wealth forever and live to be beloved of your brother. Edgar.' Gloucester looked up at Edmund. His features expressed enormous conflict. 'Hmm!' he exclaimed. 'Conspiracy? "Sleep till I awakened him you would enjoy half his wealth?" My son Edgar! Could he have done this? Has he got the heart and mind to instigate it? When did you get this? Who brought it to you?' 'It wasn't brought to me, my lord. That's the cunning of it. It was thrown in through the window of my room.' 'Are you sure this is your brother's handwriting?' Edmund appeared to choose his words carefully: 'If the contents were good, my lord, I would dare swear it was his, but in respect of those contents I'd like to think it isn't.' Gloucester studied the letter. He nodded. 'It is his,' he said. 'It is his hand, my lord, but I hope his heart isn't in the contents.' 'Has he ever sounded you out in this business before?' 'Never, my lord,' said Edmund. 'But I've often heard him maintain that it would be more suitable for sons, on reaching maturity, and fathers fallen into decline, the father should be in the custody of the son and the son should manage his affairs.' 'Oh villain, villain!' Gloucester shook the letter. 'That's exactly what he says in here. Despicable villain! Unnatural, unspeakable, brutish villain! Worse than an animal! Go, sirrah, look for him. I'll arrest him. Abominable villain. Where is he?' 'I'm not sure, sir. If you could manage to contain your indignation against my brother till you can get a better picture of his intentions, it would be better because if you're mistaken and over-react it would greatly damage your honour and shake his loyalty to the core. I'd stake my life on his loyalty: I think he's written this to test my affection for your honour, and without any harmful intention.' Gloucester's eyes appealed desperately to his son: 'Do you think so?' 'If your honour thinks it appropriate, I will place you where you can hear us discuss this and by hearing for yourself, settle it in your mind, and we can do this without any further delay - this evening.' 'He can't be such a monster...' said Gloucester. Edmund put his arm around his father's shoulders. 'I'm sure he isn't.' There were tears in Gloucester's eyes as he accepted his son's embrace. ' his own father, who loves him so tenderly and entirely. Heaven and earth!' He clenched his fist. 'Edmund, find him. Let me hear this. You decide how to do it. I'd give everything I have to be assured of his innocence.' 'I'll look for him straight away, sir, do my best to arrange things, and keep you fully informed.' Gloucester shook his head vigorously. 'These recent eclipses of the sun and moon don't bode well for us,' he said, 'though wise men can explain it away as this or that, nevertheless we still have to suffer the consequences. Love cools, friendship dwindles, brothers are divided - riots in cities, civil wars in countries, treason in palaces and the bond between father and son broken. This villain of mine falls into that mould - son against father. The king goes against his own nature: there's father against child. Our best years are behind us. Plots, hypocrisy, treachery and chaos follow us distressingly to our graves. Investigate this villain, Edmund - you won't lose anything by it - do it discreetly. And the noble and loyal Kent banished! His offence, honesty! It's strange.' He patted Edmund's back and stumbled away, shaking his head.

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