What's a brief summary of the Shakespeare plays King Lear and Macbeth in their simplest form?
In its simplest form, King Lear is a play about a king who makes a big mistake. He wants to retire, so he decides to split his kingdom between his three daughters. First, he makes them tell him how much they love him. The oldest two, Goneril and Regan, who don't really love him, lay on the fake love talk. The youngest, Cordelia, really does love her father, but is sickened by her older sisters and won't flatter him. He gets very angry at her, disinherits her and divides the kingdom between the two oldest, evil daughters.
It doesn't take them long, once they have the power, to treat their father very badly and then plot to kill him. His friend Gloucester warns Lear of their murder plot. In revenge, Regan's husband gouges out Gloucester's eyes. Cordelia, who has married the king of France, invades with an army, is defeated, is imprisoned and dies, as does Lear. Goneril poisons Regan, then kills herself. In the end, the good Edgar becomes the new ruler. The moral: don't be a fool and give your power away.
In Macbeth, Macbeth also makes a mistake. Three witches tell him he will be king, so, encouraged by his wife, Lady Macbeth, he kills the good King Duncan. This leads the couple down the path of more and more bloodshed. They kill Banquo, who knew they had a plan to kill Duncan. They kill Macduff's family, because they perceive them as a threat. Then Macduff and Malcolm raise an army and defeat Macbeth. The moral: don't get too ambitious or you'll go down.