KING LEAR seems to preclude, even to forbid sequels. It ends in exhaustion, relieved by the eventual arrival of a death which has been tormentingly delayed. The lookers-on attempt to hurry that merciful end, and they interrupt Lear's howling elegy for Cordelia to appeal for the conclusion of his life:
KENT. Is this the promis'd end?
EDGAR. Or image of that sorrow?
ALBANY. Fall and cease.
Continuing means a further instalment of misery, and when Lear at last collapses Kent vetoes any effort to save him:
Vex not his ghost: O, let him pass! he hates him
That would upon the rack of this rough world
Stretch him out longer.
Continuation, in Kent's image, is tantamount to torture. To extend a life is like gruesomely distending a body to make it longer than it ought to be. Whereas Shakespeare's other tragedies conclude with the division of spoils and the resumption of continuity in government, here when Albany calls on Edgar and Kent to help