King Lear (Paul Scofield) is a proud man who solicits praise from his three daughters in return for inheritance of the kingdom. Daughters Goneril (Irene Worth) and Regan (Susan Engel) profess their affection vehemently. Cordelia (Anne-Lise Gabold), who does not respect the process her father has chosen, does not humor him. Lear's perceived rejection from Cordelia leads him to banish her, thus splitting the kingdom between the other two. His hasty decision becomes his fatal error.