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Origin of the name LEAR.
Etymology of the name LEAR.
Meaning of the baby name LEAR.


LEAR.  English form of Irish Lir (q.v.), Welsh Llyr (q.v.), meaning "sea." (History of Christian Names, Yonge, 1884).  Also see Llwyd.

Lear, mythical king of Britain, son of Bladud.  He had three daughters, and when four score years old, wishing to retire from the active duties of sovereignty, resolved to divide his kingdom between them in proportion to their love.  The two elder said they loved him more than their tongue could express, but Cordelia the youngest said she loved him as it became a daughter to love her father.  The old king, displeased with her answer, disinherited Cordelia, and divided his kingdom between the other two, with the condition that each alternately, month by month, should give him a home, with a suite of a hundred knights.  He spent the first month with his eldest daughter, who showed him scant hospitality.  Then going to the second, she refused to entertain so large a suite; whereupon the old man would not enter her house, but spent the night abroad in a storm.  When Cordelia, who had married the king of France, heard of this, she brought an army over to dethrone her sisters, but was taken prisoner and died in jail.  In the mean time, the elder sister (Goneril) first poisoned her younger sister from jealousy, and afterwards put an end to her own life.  Lear also died.—Shakespeare, King Lear (1605).  The story is given by Geoffrey of Monmouth, in his British History.  Spenser has introduced the tale in his Faery Queen (ii. 10). (The Reader's Handbook of Famous Names in Fiction, &c., Brewer, 1899)


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