What major differences are there between the First Quatro Edition and the Folio Edition of Shakespeare's 'King Lear'?

Expert Answers
enotechris eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Shakespeare's King Lear was written between 1603 and 1608. The First Quarto (Q1) is from 1608, but the First Folio (FF), the collected plays of Shakespeare, wasn't published until 1623, seven years after his death.  Q1 contains 285 lines not found in FF, yet FF contains 120 lines not in Q1.  There's an additional scene in Q1 not found in FF (4.3) involving Kent and a Gentleman discussing Cordelia and Lear. Additionally, Albany has the last lines of the play in Q1, but in FF those lines are given to Edgar.  The alterations between the two versions were possibly due to audience response to the play, and some argue that it improved it dramatically.  In this concluding case, the change in speaker emphasizes hope through the character of Edgar, rather than despair through the character of Albany.  See more at the links: