William Shakespeare to the Most Noble Agent, John Smythe,
Thou camest to my attention when I saw in thy blog that thou seekest tales in which parental love is tested by ungrateful children. I therefore wish to bring to thy attention my latest play, The Tragedie of King Lear. It is my sincerest hope that thou considerest this play, as mine previous agent hath met an untimely death due to Plague and an excess of Gin.
In this play, King Lear, who in his old age hath divided his kingdom amongst his daughters three. The first two of these daughters flattereth him and pleaseth him well to gain their doweries and the power that therewith comes. However, the youngest, Cordelia, Lear's favorite, refuseth to flatter, speaking only the truth. Lear misunderstandeth her words, believing them to be a sign that she loveth him not, and taketh from her her part of his kingdom, after saving for her the best. Cordelia retreateth to France, where she marrieth the French King, who desireth her despite her poverty and lack of dowery.
Her two elder sisters, on the other hand, seizeth all power from their father and taketh from him all but one servant. The pain of such treachery maketh Lear mad, and he goeth out into the weather with only his Fool beside him. War breaketh out and Cordelia returneth unto England to win for her father his kingdom back. In the ancient tale, she succeedeth and liveth happily with her father, the restored king. However, in my play, Cordelia and her father and almost everybody else upon the stage and off cometh to a bloody and most tragic end, as pleaseth the audience of such a play.
For this work, I have drawn upon the ancient legend of King Leir and also upon a tale in Philip Sidney's Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia.
I have written and produced a good many plays of diverse nature, many of which have played to much success in The Globe and other theatres. Most recently, I am the leader and chief playwright of The King's Men, a troupe that playeth oft for His Majesty King James and others of the court.
Right Worshipful, My humble duty remembered, hoping in the Almighty of your health and prosperity which on my knees I beseech him to long to continue, from London, the Playwright,
(Written by Scott Rhoades)