35 Poems About King Lear

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Dan

Explore the realm of tragedy, love, betrayal, and redemption through our collection of poems inspired by one of Shakespeare’s most enduring works – King Lear. These verses delve into the complex character of Lear, a king who experiences the rawness of human emotions.

From the heights of power to the depths of madness, from blindness to insight, and from arrogance to humility, these poems echo the themes that make King Lear a timeless masterpiece.

Whether you are a long-time admirer of Shakespeare or new to his works, these poems about King Lear offer a unique perspective, capturing the essence of the play while adding layers of fresh interpretations and emotional resonance.

Related: For more, check out our Poems About A Midsummer Night’s Dream  here.

free verse poems

Five Free Verse Poems About King Lear

1. A Crown Unmade

By Dan Higgins, 2024

In the heart of a king, a tempest rages,

Lear, once mighty, now unmade by his own hand.

Daughters two, painted in false hues of love,

The third, Cordelia, true but cast aside.

A kingdom divided, a family shattered,

And in the chaos, a man descends into madness.

2. The Fool’s Wisdom

By Dan Higgins, 2024

In Lear’s court, a fool prances,

His jester’s garb hiding sagacity.

Words of folly, yet truth they hold,

Mirrors to the king’s erring soul.

Amidst the laughter, wisdom emerges,

A beacon in the king’s stormy night.

3. The Eye of the Storm

By Dan Higgins, 2024

On the heath, a wild tempest unfurls,

Lear, stripped of power, faces nature’s wrath.

Each thunderclap echoes his inner turmoil,

Each lightning flash illuminates his folly.

In the eye of the storm, a king is unmade,

And a humble man is born.

4. Sight Unseen

By Dan Higgins, 2024

Gloucester, loyal to the crown,

Blinded for his perceived treachery.

Yet in darkness, he sees more clearly,

The truth of Lear’s tragedy.

Eyes that see not, yet understand,

The cost of love’s betrayal.

5. Redemption’s Dawn

By Dan Higgins, 2024

In the morning light, Lear awakens,

Cordelia’s face, a vision of forgiveness.

From the ashes of his shattered kingdom,

Emerges a father’s love, reborn.

Though the dawn brings no reprieve,

In death, they find their final peace.

Related: For more, check out our Poems About Hamlet here.

Haiku Poem

Five Haiku Poems About King Lear

1. Kingdom Divided

By Dan Higgins, 2024

Kingdom split in three,

Lear’s heart shatters with the land,

Love’s truth stands exiled.

2. The Fool’s Insight

By Dan Higgins, 2024

Jester’s words ring true,

In folly lies wisdom’s seed,

King’s fool sees it all.

3. Storm of the Soul

By Dan Higgins, 2024

Storm rages outside,

Echoes Lear’s inner turmoil,

Madness takes its hold.

4. Blindness and Insight

By Dan Higgins, 2024

Eyes blinded, he sees,

Gloucester’s truth cuts deeper still,

Betrayal’s cruel sting.

5. Requiem for the Fallen

By Dan Higgins, 2024

Cordelia falls,

In death, their love finds its peace,

King Lear’s tragic end.

Related: For more, check out our Poems About Romeo And Juliet here.

Limerick

Five Limerick Poems About King Lear

1. The King’s Folly

By Dan Higgins, 2024

There once was a king named Lear,

Whose judgement was not very clear.

He gave away his realm,

Unleashed chaos’s helm,

And succumbed to his deepest fear.

2. The Daughters Three

By Dan Higgins, 2024

Lear had three daughters, it’s true,

Two were false, and one was true.

The false ones took all,

While the true one did fall,

A tragic tale of love misconstrued.

3. The Mad King’s Lament

By Dan Higgins, 2024

On the heath, Lear did wail,

His sanity starting to fail.

In the storm, he did rave,

His kingdom unable to save,

As madness began to prevail.

4. The Blind Seer

By Dan Higgins, 2024

Poor Gloucester, loyal and blind,

Saw the truth that others couldn’t find.

Though his eyes were taken,

His faith was unshaken,

In darkness, light he’d find.

5. The Final Act

By Dan Higgins, 2024

In the end, Lear held his dear,

Cordelia’s death, his greatest fear.

In tragedy they were entwined,

A sad tale of a king maligned,

Their love clear, as the end drew near.

Related: For more, check out our article on Poems About Othello here.

Tanka

Five Tanka Poems About King Lear

1. Kingdom’s Fall

By Dan Higgins, 2024

King Lear, once so grand,

Gave his kingdom on demand,

To daughters untrue,

His reign and peace undue,

A tragic tale by his own hand.

2. The Fool’s Counsel

By Dan Higgins, 2024

Jester in the court,

Speaks wisdom of a sort,

In folly, truth seeps,

While the old king weeps,

In his madness, comfort he sought.

3. Storm’s Fury

By Dan Higgins, 2024

Storm rages, wild, free,

Echoing Lear’s agony,

His mind lost in gale,

Reason begins to fail,

In chaos, finds his decree.

4. Sightless Truth

By Dan Higgins, 2024

Gloucester, eyes taken,

Yet, sees the king’s forsaken,

In darkness, sight clear,

Painful truth draws near,

Lear’s world, brutally shaken.

5. Love’s Requiem

By Dan Higgins, 2024

Cordelia, true heart,

From her father, torn apart,

In death, they unite,

End their endless night,

Love’s requiem, a work of art.

Sonnet

Five Sonnet Poems About King Lear

1. The Fall of the Mighty King

A king so mighty, once held in high regard,

Now fallen, his kingdom broken apart.

Lear, in his folly, could not guard,

The love that should have ruled his heart.

His daughters, two, with flattery did beguile,

Their words as empty as the wind.

His third, with honest love and guile,

He banished, her truth he could not find.

In madness and despair, he roams,

His crown of gold replaced with weeds.

No longer king of castle domes,

But ruler of the wild he leads.

A tale of sorrow, power, and fear,

Such is the tragic story of King Lear.

By Dan Higgins 2024

2. The Storm Within

The storm outside but echoes Lear’s mind,

Chaotic, furious, uncontrolled.

His sanity, he struggles to find,

In this tempest, bitter and cold.

His heart is torn, his trust betrayed,

By daughters he raised with tender care.

In the wilderness, he has strayed,

His kingdom lost in cruel despair.

Yet in madness, truth he sees,

The vanity of power and wealth.

Stripped of all, he finds his peace,

In humility, not stealth.

King Lear’s tale, a poignant sin,

Of the storm that rages within.

By Dan Higgins 2024

3. Cordelia’s Love

Cordelia, youngest, most sincere,

Her love for Lear was deep and true.

With honesty, she held him near,

Her loyalty, he never knew.

Cast aside for speaking her heart,

She bore her fate with quiet strength.

From her father, she had to part,

Only to return at length.

Her love, pure, without disguise,

Could not save her from her doom.

In the end, it was her demise,

In death with Lear, she found her room.

Cordelia’s love, a beacon so clear,

In the tragic tale of King Lear.

By Dan Higgins 2024

4. The Folly of Power

King Lear, on his throne so high,

Believed his reign would never end.

His power, he thought, could defy,

The rules that nature did send.

He sought to keep his kingly might,

Yet give away his lands and rule.

In this, he set a tragic plight,

And played the unforgiving fool.

His power lost, his mind gone wild,

He faced the harsh reality.

A king no more, but a helpless child,

In the face of his mortality.

The folly of power, a lesson clear,

From the tragic play of King Lear.

By Dan Higgins 2024

5. Redemption in Despair

In despair, King Lear found redemption,

His madness a mirror to his soul.

His torment, a cruel reflection,

Of the pride that took its toll.

With nothing left but grief and pain,

He saw the error of his ways.

His daughters’ love, he tried to regain,

In the twilight of his days.

Though his end was filled with sorrow,

He found peace in his last breath.

From his tale, we can borrow,

The wisdom that comes with death.

Redemption in despair, a theme so dear,

In the timeless tragedy of King Lear.

By Dan Higgins 2024

Ode

Five Ode Poems About King Lear

1. Ode to the Fallen Monarch

Oh, King Lear, once so mighty and grand,

Your reign echoed across the land.

In your wisdom, you failed to understand,

That love cannot be commanded at hand.

Your daughters’ flattery, you took as truth,

And banished Cordelia, in her youth.

In madness, you sought reproof,

As your kingdom slipped, aloof.

Oh, King Lear, your tale so tragic,

A lesson in love, not magic.

By Dan Higgins 2024

2. Ode to the Tempest

Oh, fierce storm, that raged outside,

Mirroring the turmoil Lear couldn’t hide.

His heart torn asunder, his pride,

Betrayed by his own misguided guide.

The tempest, wild and uncontrolled,

Reflecting Lear’s anguish untold.

His power lost, his heart grown cold,

In the storm, his tale unfolds.

Oh, fierce storm, in you we see,

The mirror of Lear’s tragedy.

By Dan Higgins 2024

3. Ode to Cordelia’s Love

Oh, Cordelia, with your love so pure,

Your loyalty to Lear, secure.

Though he banished you, unsure,

Your love for him remained the cure.

In your honesty, you stood apart,

A beacon of hope for Lear’s broken heart.

Though death took you, your part,

In Lear’s tale, is a work of art.

Oh, Cordelia, your love so clear,

A ray of hope in the tragedy of Lear.

By Dan Higgins 2024

4. Ode to the Folly of Power

Oh, the folly of Lear’s power,

Believing it would never sour.

His reign, destined to lower,

In his final, tragic hour.

He sought to keep his throne,

Yet gave away all he’d known.

In his madness, he was shown,

The emptiness of power alone.

Oh, the folly of Lear’s might,

A cautionary tale in hindsight.

By Dan Higgins 2024

5. Ode to Redemption

Oh, redemption, found in despair,

Lear’s final solace, rare.

In his sorrow, laid bare,

He found a peace beyond compare.

His torment showed him the way,

To seek forgiveness, come what may.

In his end, he had his say,

A redemption that held sway.

Oh, redemption, in Lear’s tale,

A beacon of hope, without fail.

By Dan Higgins 2024

Villanelle Poem

Five Villanelle Poems About King Lear

1. The King’s Descent

In his court, King Lear once reigned supreme,

His daughters’ love, he sought to measure,

But in his quest, he lost his dream.

Regan and Goneril, with their scheme,

Fed him words of empty pleasure,

In his court, King Lear once reigned supreme.

Cordelia’s truth, like a beam,

He dismissed with bitter pressure,

But in his quest, he lost his dream.

Madness took him to the extreme,

His kingdom lost, his life in fissure,

In his court, King Lear once reigned supreme.

With regret, he began to teem,

His folly, he could no longer treasure,

But in his quest, he lost his dream.

His tale, a tragic theme,

Of a king’s misguided measure,

In his court, King Lear once reigned supreme,

But in his quest, he lost his dream.

By Dan Higgins 2024

2. The Storm of the Mind

The storm outside reflects Lear’s mind,

His sanity, lost in the wind’s gust.

His daughters’ betrayal, cruel and unkind.

His heart, to their deceit, was blind,

His trust in them, a grave mistrust,

The storm outside reflects Lear’s mind.

In the wild, solace he tried to find,

His crown of gold now gathers dust,

His daughters’ betrayal, cruel and unkind.

In his madness, reality unwinds,

His power and pride now unjust,

The storm outside reflects Lear’s mind.

Cordelia’s love, pure and signed,

In death, he finally discussed,

His daughters’ betrayal, cruel and unkind.

King Lear, his fate resigned,

In the storm, his life readjusts,

The storm outside reflects Lear’s mind,

His daughters’ betrayal, cruel and unkind.

By Dan Higgins 2024

3. Cordelia’s Undying Love

Cordelia’s love, pure and unfeigned,

Her words of truth, Lear misunderstood.

Her loyalty to him, always remained.

Her sisters’ false love, Lear entertained,

Their flattery, he wrongly withstood,

Cordelia’s love, pure and unfeigned.

Cast out, her spirit was not drained,

In exile, her love for Lear withstood,

Her loyalty to him, always remained.

Upon her return, sorrow rained,

Yet her love, she never could hood,

Cordelia’s love, pure and unfeigned.

In death, their bond regained,

Her love for Lear, finally understood,

Her loyalty to him, always remained.

Cordelia’s love, forever ingrained,

A beacon of hope, in a tale misunderstood,

Cordelia’s love, pure and unfeigned,

Her loyalty to him, always remained.

By Dan Higgins 2024

4. The Folly of the Crown

The folly of the crown, Lear did wear,

His power, a mirage in the light.

His kingdom lost, his throne laid bare.

He gave away his lands, unaware,

Of the tragic consequences of this plight,

The folly of the crown, Lear did wear.

In madness, he wandered in despair,

His rule, once strong, now out of sight,

His kingdom lost, his throne laid bare.

His daughters’ deceit, he could not bear,

Their betrayal, a constant fight,

The folly of the crown, Lear did wear.

In the end, he found no solace there,

His power, a futile might,

His kingdom lost, his throne laid bare.

His tale, a warning to those who dare,

To seek power with all their might,

The folly of the crown, Lear did wear,

His kingdom lost, his throne laid bare.

By Dan Higgins 2024

5. Redemption in the Storm

In the storm, Lear found redemption,

His madness, a mirror to his soul.

His life, a tale of deception.

Stripped of power, he faced rejection,

His daughters’ betrayal, took its toll,

In the storm, Lear found redemption.

In despair, he sought direction,

His kingdom’s loss, an overwhelming toll,

His life, a tale of deception.

With remorse, he made his correction,

His pride, he finally controlled,

In the storm, Lear found redemption.

In death, he found his connection,

With Cordelia, his heart’s console,

His life, a tale of deception.

His story, a timeless reflection,

Of a king’s fall and eventual role,

In the storm, Lear found redemption,

His life, a tale of deception.

By Dan Higgins 2024

Delve into the intricate world of King Lear through these verses, which breathe new life into Shakespeare’s timeless tragedy. Each poem offers a unique exploration of Lear’s character, drawing on the themes of love, betrayal, power, and redemption that are so intricately woven into the fabric of the play.

Whether it’s the raw portrayal of Lear’s descent into madness or the poignant expression of Cordelia’s unwavering love, these poems capture the heart and soul of King Lear, offering readers both familiar with and new to Shakespeare’s work a fresh perspective on this enduring masterpiece.

So, immerse yourself in these poetic renditions, and experience the multifaceted world of King Lear anew.

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