* 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.
* 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.
* DesignatedHero: Lear for the first half of the play before Goneril and Regan drive him out during the storm. Lear throughout the beginning is an unlikable asshole who's introduced exiling his daughter and adviser, and treats the other two daughters like servants.
* HilariousInHindsight: "What, art thou mad, old fellow?" [[http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/u-mad Sound familiar?]]
* MagnificentBastard: Edmund is up there with Iago and Richard III.
** "Oh Gods, 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