* AlternateCharacterInterpretation: At least one critic has wondered if a few particular lines in the play indicate that Lear has sexually abused his two oldest daughters. He refers to Goneril's 'dishonoured body' and the specific wording the two use to lay on the flattery in the love test is rather sketchy.
** How much of Goneril's and Regan's plotting is fueled by ambition and jealousy, and how much is concern for keeping the kingdom from collapsing under their senile father? Remember also that the "good guy" army is a foreign invasion from France.
* CrowningMomentOfFunny: [[DarkerAndEdgier Surprisingly enough]]. No matter how you play Kent insulting Oswald, the sheer, ridiculous ''volume'' of names he calls him ensures that it CrossesTheLineTwice.
* CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming: The scene where Lear reunites with Cordelia, especially when Cordelia reveals that she is ''not'' bitter as Lear had expected her to be.
* EnsembleDarkhorse: The Fool steals the show, moreso than usual in this type of play.
** The servant who fatally wounds Cornwall has caught the attention of a lot of readers.
* MagnificentBastard: Edmund is up there with Iago and Richard III.
** "Oh God, stand up for bastards!" Particularly of the magnificent variety.
* MoralEventHorizon: Cornwall crosses the line with what he does to Gloucester.
* OneSceneWonder: The First Servant, who suddenly [[TookALevelInBadass takes a level in badass]] and defies Cornwall.
* TearJerker: [[TearJerker/KingLear Has its own page]].
* ValuesDissonance: Edmund (like Richard III) appears to be inherently evil as a result of his illegitimacy.
--> "''Some good I mean to do, despite mine own nature.''"
* TheWoobie: Gloucester, Edgar, Cordelia. Although Cordelia counts the most since she never actually did anything wrong.
** JerkassWoobie: Lear