A novel I was really excited to read referenced King Lear by William Shakespeare on the back of the book, so of course I had to pick it up and read it immediately. Although I read a lot, I am pretty much a failure when it comes to classics and I've only read a handful of the many "must reads" that exist. However, a play, even a Shakespeare one, isn't that much of a time commitment, so I picked it up. It turned out that it wasn't at all necessary to read it for the book that mentioned it, but the end result was me being a little more well-read, so no harm done.
I am always afraid when reading a classic that there's some deep meaning I'm missing, so I actually read 3 different versions of King Lear at the same time to make sure I got the full impact and analysis. I actually found it a lot of fun to read that way, and I definitely plan to pick up more Shakespeare in the future. In terms of King Lear itself, it's the story of an aging King, who asks his daughters who loves him. While the two older daughters make grand pronouncements, the youngest, Cordelia, refuses to and is cast out by her father. However it turns out that the two older daughter quickly ally themselves in a quest to take over as King Lear is so upset he begins to descend into madness.
As I said, I really enjoyed King Lear. It's hard to critic somebody like Shakespeare, but this definitely one of my favourite plays I've read by him. Although it's a classic, I didn't know how things turned out, and I really enjoyed the ending because it was unexpected and left a big impact. There is flowery prose, but there is also a strong message about love and death. I'm not one to say anything given how poor my own classic reading is, but it is definitely worth picking this one up!