The Story So Far: Incensed by his daughter Goneril's insistence that he reduce the size of his entourage, Lear leaves to stay with his other daughter, Regan. He meets up with her and her husband, the Earl of Cornwall, at the Earl of Gloucester's castle, only to find that they have put his servant, the disguised Earl of Kent, into the stocks. This is not good.
The cracks in Lear's sanity have been showing up from time to time since the start of the play, but this is where things really start to crumble. He knows that he's losing control, but is utterly unable to prevent it from happening. Things are not helped by Regan, who, as we shall shortly see, is a really nasty piece of work.
Lear gets tag-teamed by his daughters here, and the full implications of his renouncing his powers of kingship are revealed. He thinks that resigning the crown means he gets to continue enjoying the status and privileges of being king without having to do any of the work, whereas his daughters think (rather more accurately) that it means he's now an old man relying on the charity of his family. Lear really didn't think through his whole retirement plan very well.
I love Lear's "I WILL DO SUCH THINGS.... what they are yet, I know not... BUT THEY SHALL BE THE TERRORS OF THE EARTH!" This is exactly like when someone insults you and you only think of the perfect comeback two hours later.
Anyways, Lear rushes off into the growing storm, followed by the Fool and Kent, and that's the end of Act 2. DRAMA.
Stop by again on Wednesday, when I will be posting a comic celebrating Shakespeare's 450th birthday! Also, if you happen to live in the Ann Arbor area, my library is hosting a mostly-all-day Shakespeare in India film festival, featuring Indian adaptations of Shakespeare's plays. I will be there all day (getting paid to watch Shakespeare movies - yay!) so stop by and say hello! Full details can be found here.