King Lear

Love, and be silent Cordelia says this in an aside while her sisters tell King Lear of their love for him. Cordelia realizes that love cannot be expressed in words and sees through her sisters’ shallow flattery. (I.i.68)
And yet not so, since I am sure my love’s more ponderous than my tongue. Cordelia says this in an aside while her sisters tell King Lear of their love for him. Cordelia realizes that love cannot be expressed in words and sees through her sisters’ shallow flattery. (I.i.86)
Nothing will come of nothing. Speak again. King Lear warns Cordelia that she will not inherit anything if she says nothing. Re: Theme of Nothing (I.i.99)
Haply, when I shall wed, that lord whose hand must take my plight shall carry half my love with him, half my care and duty. Cordelia, in response to King Lear’s demand for flattery, explains her point of view: how could her sisters love her father with their whole hearts if they are married? Likewise, when she is married, she will love her husband half and her father half. Her view seems logical, but her father wants nothing of this (I.i.110)
Here I disclaim all my paternal care, propinquity, and property of blood, and as a stranger to my heart and me hold thee from this forever. Angered by Cordelia’s response, King Lear banishes her from the kingdom. (I.i.125)
Come not between the dragon and his wrath. When Kent tries to restore some order to King Lear and Cordelia’s dispute, King Lear makes this statement. King Lear apparently has no problem calling himself a dragon and things that his anger toward Cordelia is completely justified. (I.i.136)
The bow is bent and drawn. Make from the shaft. Kent further tries to restore order between King Lear and Cordelia’s dispute, but King Lear demands him to mind his own business – to “get out of the way of the arrow” of his bow. (I.i.160)
Thy youngest daughter does not love thee least, Nor are those empty-hearted whose low sounds reverb no hollowness. While King Lear reprimands Cordelia for her lack of flattery, Kent tries to explain to Lear that she does in fact love Lear, and also hinting that Goneril and Regan’s descriptions of love may hold no substance. (I.i.171)
See better…and let me still remain the true blank of thine eye. When King Lear refuses to hear Kent’s assertion of Cordelia’s love, Kent pleads Lear to hear his words and to let Kent help Lear better understand Cordelia. (I.i.180)
Freedom lives hence, and banishment is here. After King Lear banishes Kent from the kingdom, Kent replies that through his banishment he will achieve freedom. (I.i.205)
The gods to their dear shelter take thee…that justly think’st and hast most rightly said. After King Lear banishes Kent, Kent tells Cordelia that she did the right thing in not flattering her father solely for materialistic desires. (I.i.206)
And your large speeches may your deeds approve, that good effects may spring from words of love. After King Lear banishes Kent, Kent tells Goneril and Regan that they had better live up to their grandeur statements of love. (I.i.209)
But now her price has fallen. Sir, there she stands. If aught within that little seeming substance, Or all of it, with our displeasure pieced and nothing more, my fitly like your Grace, She’s there, and she is yours. When Burgundy enters and asks what Cordelia’s dowry is, Lear says that she is now worth nothing (I.i.225)
Election makes not up in such conditions. After Lear tells him that Cordelia is worth nothing, Burgundy says that he does not want her anymore (I.i.236)
Sure her offense must be of such unnatural degree that monsters it, or your forevouched affection, fall into taint; France is surprised by King Lear’s sudden change of heart toward his daughter. He figures that she must have done something truly horrendous to cause him to stop loving her. (I.i.251)
Better thou hadst not been born that not t’ have pleased me better. Lear tells Cordelia that he would rather her not been born than to have her not please him. (I.i.270)
It is no vicious blot, murder, or foulness, no unchaste action or dishonored step that hath deprived me of your grace and favor Cordelia tells her father to make it known that she did not get banished because she committed a crime–she got banished because she couldn’t flatter her father.
Love’s not love when it is mingled with regards that stands aloof from th’ entire point. Will you have her? She is herself a dowry. Even despite Cordelia’s not having a dowry, France still expresses his desire to marry her – she herself is a dowry. (I.i.278)
You have so lost a father that you must lose a husband. After King Lear confirms that Cordelia will have no dowry, Burgandy backs out. (I.i.284)
that art most rich being poor; most choice forsaken; and most loved, despised, thee and thy virtues here I seize upon, be it lawful I take up what’s cast away…Bid them farewell, Cordelia, though unkind. Thou losest here a better where to find. France tells Cordelia that he does not value her for her dowry but rather for her own self. He supports her values and tells her that she’ll find a much better place in France than what she’s giving up here. (I.i.290)
I know what you are, and like a sister am most loath to call your faults as they are named…But yet, alas, stood I within his grace, I would prefer him to a better place. Coredlia warns Goneril and Regan that she knows how they truly are, but because she is their sister she will not explicitly tell her father of their shallow flattery. (I.i.311)
Time shall unfuld what plighted cunning hides, who covers faults at last with shame derides. As Cordelia and France are about to exit, Cordelia warns Goneril and Regan that time will uncover their ulterior motives behind their false flattery. (I.i.325)
Pray you, let us sit together. If our father carry authority with such disposition as he bears, this last surrender of his will but offend us…We must do something and i’ the’ heat. Goneril worries about what Lear might do next and decides that she and Regan need to come up with some kind of plan for dealing with him, since it seems that Lear will only continue to act like a tantrum-throwing baby. (I.i.349)
Wherefore “base,” When my dimensions are as well compact, my mind as generous and my shape as true as honest mam’s issue? When Edmund is introduced, he is contemplating the ramifications of being a bastard child. He hates how there is a social stigma against bastards even though he believes he is just as much of a man as his brother and how being illegitimate limits his life’s opportunities.
I know no news, my lord. Edmund, seeing that Gloucester is approaching, puts away the letter. This highlights Edmund’s cleverness, drawing attention to the letter through the act of hiding it. Edmund forged the letter to say that Edgar plans to kill Gloucester, and Gloucester believes it.
What needed then that terrible dispatch of it into your pocket? The quality of nothing hath not such need to hide itself. Edmund, seeing that Gloucester is approaching, puts away the letter. This highlights Edmund’s cleverness, drawing attention to the letter through the act of hiding it. Edmund forged the letter to say that Edgar plans to kill Gloucester, and Gloucester believes it. RE: Theme of Nothing. (“If it were truly nothing, then you wouldn’t be hiding it”).
“Sleep till I wake him, you should enjoy half his revenue.” In the letter Edmund forged to look like Edgar wrote it, Edmund forges that Edgar wants to kill Gloucester for his revenue.
O villain, villain! His very opinion in the letter! Upon reading the letter Edmund forged to look like Edgar wrote it, Gloucester believes that Edgar is actually coming to kill him and take his money. Gloucester doesn’t even question Edmund about it, showing Gloucester’s gullibility. (Parallel: KL believe Gon and Reg’s profession of love)
If you violently proceed against him, mistaking his purpose, it would make a great gap in your own honor and shake in pieces the heart of his obedience. Edmund makes sure that Gloucester does not talk to Edgar about the letter (that Edmund forged). If he does, then it is likely Edmund’s plans to take the kingdom would fall apart.
Frame the business after your own wisdom. I would unstate myself to be in a due resolution In other words, “Edmund, manage Edgar however you think best. I’d give up my rank and fortune to be free from my doubts.” This foreshadows how Gloucester will only find out Edmund’s true nature when his eyes are gouged out and he is kicked out of his own castle.
Parted you in good terms? Found you no displeasure in him by word nor countenance? Edmund asks Edgar if he left Gloucester in a bad mood and tells Edgar that Gloucester is angry and to stay away from him.
Bethink yourself wherein you may have offended him. And at my entreaty forbear his presence till some little time hath qualified the heat of his displeasure, which at this instant so rageth in him that with the mischief of your person it would scarcely allay. Edmund asks Edgar if he left Gloucester in a bad mood and tells Edgar that Gloucester is angry and to stay away from him. This is an attempt to stir anger between Edgar and Gloucester and make sure Edmund’s plans don’t fall apart.
Some villain hath done me wrong. When Edmund tells Edgar (as part of his evil plan) that Gloucester is really angry and proposes that it is Edgar’s fault, Edgar, astonished, tells Edmund that some villain has told lies about him. Ironically, it was Edmund who had done so.
I see the business. Let me, if not by birth, have lands by wit. All with me’s meet that I can fashion fit. After setting his plans into motion, Edmund expresses his desires to obtain his father’s revenue. Edmund is willing to do anything to get what he wants–“if not by birth” then “by wit”.
His knights grow riotous, and himself upbraids us on every trifle. When he returns from hunting, I will not speak with him. Say I am sick. If you come slack of former services, you shall do well. Goneril shows her true thankless self as she expresses her annoyance of King Lear and tells her servant Oswald to shun him.
Put on what weary negligence you please, you and your fellows…If he distaste it, let him to my sister, whose mind adn mine I know in that are one. Goneril tells Oswald to shun King Lear and says that if KL doesn’t like it, he’ll go to Regan, who she knows feels the same way.
Old fools are babes again and must be used with checks as flatteries, when they are seen abused. Goneril sees her old father as a burden, and like a baby, she must also discipline him. She also believes that, like a baby, KL is easily manipulated (which he unfortunately is).
And let his knights have colder looks among you. What grows of it, no matter. Advise your fellows so. I would breed from hence occasions, and I shall, That I may speak. I’ll write straight to my sister to hold my very course. Goneril tells Oswald to also treat KL’s knights poorly. She wants to provoke confrontation so she can express just how much she doesn’t like him. She’s also planning to tell Regan about this so both of them can team up against KL.
If thou canst serve where thou dost stand condemned, so may it come thy master, whom thou lov’st shall find thee full of labors. After Kent was banished, Kent returns disguised. This highlights Kent’s steadfast loyalty to King Lear, even after King Lear banished him. Kent is one of the few people in the play who exhibits true loyalty and faithfulness.
So please you– As Goneril ordered, Oswald turned the other cheek when King Lear asks him where his daughter (Goneril) is.
I have perceived a most faint neglect of late, which I have rather blamed as mine own jealous curiosity than as a very pretense and purpose of unkindness. I will look further into ‘t. After Oswald shuns KL and KL’s knight expresses his concerns that KL is being insulted, KL feels as though he has been neglected as of late, though he feels that he is imagining it and that they weren’t intentionally unkind. Ironic, since Goneril and Regan actually despise him.
Nor tripped neither, you base football player? As King Lear hits Oswald for disrespecting him, Kent also trips and insults Oswald. This highlights Kent’s loyalty to King Lear, as he is willing to insult someone whom KL doesn’t like.
Why, this fellow has banished two on ‘s daughters and did the third a blessing against his will. After the Fool tells Kent that he should be the one wearing the fool’s cap, the Fool explains that Kent’s the real fool, as he chose to work for a man who gave away his kingdom to two daughters and left the only good daughter out.
Nothing can be made out of nothing. After the Fool recites a little ditty for King Lear, King Lear says that the song is nonsense, and that nothing can be made out of nothing.
That lord that counseled thee to give away thy land, come place him here by me. Do thou for him stand. The sweet and bitter fool will presently appear–the one in motley here, the other found out there. The Fool tells King Lear that he is a fool for giving way all of his land.
All thy other titles thou hast given away. That thou was born with. The Fool tells King Lear that he (KL) is truly a fool for giving away all of his land to Goneril and Regan. He essentially gave up his other titles by doing so; no longer is he holding much power anymore.
And yet I would not be thee, nuncle. Thou hast pared thy wit o’ both sides and left nothing i’ the’ middle. Here comes one o’ the parings. The Fool tells King Lear that although he’d much rather be anything but a fool, he would not want to be King Lear because he, in giving up his kingdom, cut himself in two and left nothing for himself. When Goneril enters, he addresses Goneril as one of those severed parts.
Does any here know me?…Either his notion weakens, his discerning are lethargied…Who is it that can tell me who I am? After Goneril comes and disrespects KL, King Lear, astonished that he is treated as such, asks who he is, as the old King Lear wouldn’t have had such disrespect toward him.
Lear’s shadow. When King Lear asks who he is when Goneril is being rude to him, the Fool says that he is “Lear’s Shadow”. This is significant: While the old King Lear would have been respected, ever since he gave up his land to his daughters, his daughters are treating him poorly. The Fool comments that he is now only KL’s shadow; while he may look like KL, he does not hold the power and authority that KL once held.
Be then desired, by her that else will take the thing she begs, a little to disquantity your train Goneril tells King Lear to lose some of his knights because, as she puts it, her place is starting to become a brothel with all of those knights. Perhaps, however, Goneril is trying to rid King Lear of his remaining power, as his knights are the only source of power he has left after giving up his land.
Call my train together–Degenerate bastard, I’ll not trouble thee. Yet I have left a daughter. After Goneril tells KL to lose some of his knights, KL, now furious, takes himself and his knights to Regan’s, thinking that he will be better treated there. Ironically, his statement about having another daughter is not referring to Cordelia but to Regan. Also, KL’s calling Goneril a degenerate bastard parallels Edmund’s plot line.
Ingratitude, thou marbled-hearted fiend, more hideous when thou show’st thee in a child than the sea monster! KL, furious that Goneril demanded him to lose some of his knights, calls her a “sea monster” (re: animal imagery).
Detested kite, thou liest. KL, furious that Goneril demanded him to lose some of his knights, calls her a “detested kite” (re: animal imagery) and asserts that his knights are the finest men.
O most small fault, how ugly didst thou in Cordelia show, which like an engine wrenched my frame of nature from the fixed place, drew from heart all love, and added to the gall!…Beat at this gate that let thy folly in and thy dear judgement out! After Goneril behaves rudely to KL and demands KL to lose some of his knights, KL begins to regret his impatience with Cordelia.
Into her womb convey sterility…If she must teem, create her child of spleen, that it may live and be a thwart disnatured torment to her…that she may feel how sharper than serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child! As King Lear exits Goneril’s castle, KL curses Goneril, initially hoping that she is sterile but then wishing onto her a thankless child so that she will know what it is like to have a thankless child.
Never afflict yourself to know more of it, but let his disposition have that scope as dotage gives it. When Albany asks Goneril why King Lear and her are fighting and why KL left to go to Regan’s, Goneril tells him to not think too much about it, shrugging off her father’s anger toward her and blaming his tantrum on his old age.
I am ashamed that thou hast power to shake my manhood thus, that these hot tears which break from me perfoce should make thee worth them. King Lear tells Goneril that he cannot believe he is being treated so poorly from Goneril and is weeping against his will. When Goneril reduces Lear’s retinue of knights (thus, reducing any power Lear had left after he divided his kingdom), Lear accuses Goneril of “shaking [his] manhood.” Without the kind of power and authority Lear once enjoyed as active king and family patriarch, he feels as though he’s been stripped of his masculinity.
I have another daughter, Who I am sure is kind and comfortable. When she shall hear this of thee, with her nails She’ll flay thy wolvish visage. Thou shalt find That I’ll resume the shape which thou dost think I have cast off for ever. King Lear tells Goneril that he is going to Regan’s, whom he thinks will treat him better than Goneril. He also tells her that he will return more powerful. Little does he know, though, that Regan is on Goneril’s side. (Also, his “daughter” statement is ironic, as he is not even thinking of Cordelia, though she is the only daughter who truly loves him.)
What he hath uttered I have writ my sister. If she sustain him and his hundred knights when I have showed th’ unfitness– When KL leaves Goneril’s castle for Regan’s, Goneril tells Albany that she wrote a letter to Regan with everythign KL said and wants Regan to treat KL poorly too. This highlights Goneril’s true nature as a scheming villain. She doesn’t care about KL.
How far your eyes may pierce I cannot tell. striving to better, oft we mar what’s well…well, well, th’ event. After seeing Goneril treat KL poorly and after Goneril tells him that she is scheming with Regan to strip KL of his power, Albany, instead of acting, chooses to be passive and to not interfere with Goneril’s plans (“time will tell”). This choice highlights Albany’s passivity, a trait that will change throughout the course of the play.
I did her wrong On his way to Regan’s, KL says this to the Fool. Could be 1.) Goneril, saying that he raised her poorly and thus she is rude to me because I was a bad father, or 2.) Cordelia, saying that he should not have banished her.
O, let me not be mad, not mad, sweet heaven! Keep me in temper. I would not be mad! On his way to Regan’s, King Lear prays to not let his misery lead to madness. KL is afraid he’s getting senile, and the tragedy of KL’s developing madness is heightened by his being aware of it.
She will taste as like this as a crab does to a crab. On their way to Regan’s, the Fool warns KL that Regan is probably going to treat King Lear the same as Goneril treated him.
I will forget my nature! So kind a father! ?
The duke be here tonight? The better–best! This weaves itself perforce into my business. Upon hearing that the Duke of Cornwall is coming to Gloucester’s castle, Edmund decides to take advantage of the situation. This highlight’s Edmund’s scheming nature.
O sir, fly this place, Intelligence is given where you are hid. You have now the good advantage of the night. After hearing that the Cornwall is coming to Gloucester’s castle, Edmund decides to take advantage of the situation and tells Edgar that Cornwall is out to get him and that Edgar must flee.
In cunning I must draw my sword upon you…Seem to defend yourself. After hearing that the Cornwall is coming to Gloucester’s castle, Edmund decides to take advantage of the situation and tells Edgar that Cornwall is out to get him and that Edgar must flee. As part of his plan, Edmund makes it look like Edgar and he were dueling.
Some blood drawn on me would beget opinion of my more fierce endeavor. After hearing that the Cornwall is coming to Gloucester’s castle, Edmund decides to take advantage of the situation and tells Edgar that Cornwall is out to get him and that Edgar must flee. As part of his plan, Edmund makes it look like Edgar and he were dueling and goes so far as to even wound himself to make it more convincing.
Look, sir, I bleed. After hearing that the Cornwall is coming to Gloucester’s castle, Edmund decides to take advantage of the situation and tells Edgar that Cornwall is out to get him and that Edgar must flee. As part of his plan, Edmund makes it look like Edgar and he were dueling and goes so far as to even wound himself to make it more convincing.
Here stood he in the dark, his sharp sword out, Mumbling of wicked charms, conjuring the moon to stand ‘s auspicious mistress— After hearing that the Cornwall is coming to Gloucester’s castle, Edmund decides to take advantage of the situation and tells Edgar that Cornwall is out to get him and that Edgar must flee. As part of his plan, Edmund makes it look like Edgar and he were dueling. This line is what Edmund tells Gloucester regarding his and Edgar’s “duel”.
Let him fly far! Not in this land shall he remain uncaught, and found–dispatch… He that conceals him, death. After Edmund lies to Gloucester and tells him that Edgar fled after a duel, Gloucester sentences Edgar to death.
“Thou unpossessing bastard! Dost thou think If I would stand against thee, would the reposal Of any trust, virtue, or worth in thee Make thy words faithed? No. What I should deny—As this I would, ay, though thou didst produce my very character—I’d turn it all to thy suggestion, plot, and damnèd practice. And thou must make a dullard of the world, if they not thought the profits of my death were very pregnant and potential spiritsTo make thee seek it.” After Edmund lies to Gloucester and tells him that Edgar fled after a duel, Edmund also tries to close any potential holes in his plans for his father’s land. Edmund essentially tells Gloucester to not believe any denying Edgar might do. Effectively, Edmund secures his plans for his father’s land. Now, if somehow Gloucester finds Edgar and Edgar denies ever writing a letter plotting Gloucester’s murder, Gloucester will not believe him. This highlights Edmund’s cunning, scheming mind.
And of my land, Loyal and natural boy, I’ll work the means to make thee capable. It worked! Edmund is now the heir to Gloucester’s land, and Edgar is out of the picture (for now).
O madam, my old heart is cracked; it’s cracked. Right after Gloucester put a warrant for Edgar’s death and made Edmund the heir to his land, Regan and Cornwall appear. When Regan asks how Gloucester is, Gloucester tells her that his heart is broken from the family turmoil he has gone through. This parallels King Lear’s plot, as KL also feels the same, as Regan and Goneril have mistreated him.
I hear that you have shown your father a childlike office. Cornwall praises Edmund for his loyalty to his father, as word is that Edgar planned to kill Gloucester, Edmund dueled Edgar, and Edgar fled. Ironic, however, as Edmund is the treacherous one. Furthermore, this praise reflects just how well Edmund’s treacherous plan worked and serves to emphasize Edmund’s deception.
For you…whose virtue and obedience doth this instant so much commend itself, you shall be ours. In the first scene that Regan, Cornwall, and Edmund meet, Cornwall extends to Edmund an offer to work for him and Regan. At this point, the plots merge as villains from both sides join together. (Add to this)
His countenance does me not. Kent and Oswald show up at Gloucester’s house at the same time, and they start bickering. When Cornwall asks why he doesn’t like Oswald, he simply states he doesn’t like him. Also, Kent remembers Oswald’s shunning KL and remains loyal to KL.
Fetch forth the stocks. After Kent answers Cornwall’s questions regarding Kent and Oswald’s commotion rudely, Cornwall demands him to be put in stocks. This both insults Kent and King Lear.
You shall do small respect, show too bold malice against the grace and person of my master, stocking his messenger. Kent tries to warn Cornwall to not put him in stocks, as it would display great disrespect toward King Lear. Of course, Cornwall doesn’t want to hear it.
Till noon? Till night, my lord, and all night too. When Cornwall demands Kent to be put in stocks until noon, Regan speaks up and says to keep him there all night too. This highlights the evil bond between Regan and Cornwall, and how unmerciful Regan and Cornwall are.
Let me beseech your Grace not to do so. His fault is much, and the good king his master will check him for ‘t…The King must take it ill that he, so slightly valued in his messenger, should have him thus restrained. Gloucester tries to stop Cornwall and Regan’s putting Kent in stocks, but he is unsuccessful. Furthermore, Gloucester fails to assert his own authority in his own castle, emphasizing Gloucester’s inability to assert himself and highlighting his lack of power amidst the presence of others.
Approach, thou beacon to this under globe, that by thy comfortable beams I may peruse this letter. Nothing almost sees miracles but misery. I know ’tis from Cordelia, who hath most fortunately been informed of my obscured course and shall find time from this enormous state, seeking to give losses their remedies. After being locked up in a stocks by Regan and Cornwall, Kent comforts himself by reading a letter from Cordelia, who is keeping herself informed about her sisters’ treatment of their father. She also says that she will find time to make things right again now that she is away from the monstrous conditions in the kingdom.
O Fortune, good night. Smile once more; turn thy wheel. When Kent is tied in the stocks, he prays that he will soon be brought to good fortune, as those at the bottom of Fortune’s wheel will eventually find good fortune.
I will preserve myself, and am bethought to take the basest and most poorest shape that ever penury in contempt of man brought near to beast. My face I’ll grime with filth, blanket my loins, elf all my hairs in knots, and with presented nakedness outface the winds and persecutions of the sky. After fleeing Gloucester’s castle, Edgar decides to disguise himself as a beggar “Poor Tom” in order to find out who is after him. This parallels the KL plot of Kent’s disguise–in both, the truly honorable man must disguise himself while the treacherous rise to power.
Mak’st thou this shame thy pastime? When King Lear arrives Gloucester’s castle (after going to Regan’s and finding no one there) and finds Kent tied in the stocks, King Lear is shocked and rhetorically asks whether or not he is being mocked.
O, how this mother swells up toward my heart! Hysterica passio, down, thou climbing sorrow! Thy element’s below. King Lear, distraught after Kent tells him Regan and Cornwall put him in the stocks, becomes full of grief. He tries to control his grief (and imminent madness). Again, the tragedy of King Lear’s madness is heightened by his own awareness of it.
Thy sister’s naught…she hath tied sharp-toothed unkindness, like a vulture, here. I can scarce speak to thee. When KL finally sees Regan at Gloucester’s castle, he explains to her that Goneril has been treating him rudely (with some animal imagery) and that he can hardly speak. But when he says this, though, Regan chooses to side with Goneril, replying that Goneril has good reason to get rid of his knights and that he is old and senile.
I cannot think my sister in the least would fail her obligation. She have restrained the riots of your followers, ’tis on such ground and to such wholesome end as clears her from all blame. When KL finally sees Regan at Gloucester’s castle, he explains to her that Goneril has been treating him rudely and that he can hardly speak. But when he says this, though, Regan chooses to side with Goneril, replying that Goneril has good reason to get rid of his knights and that he is old and senile.
Therefore, I pray you that to our sister you do make return. Say you have wronged her. When KL finally sees Regan at Gloucester’s castle, he explains to her that Goneril has been treating him rudely and that he can hardly speak. But when he says this, though, Regan chooses to side with Goneril, replying that Goneril has good reason to get rid of his knights and that he is old and senile. He tells him to return to Goneril and apologize.
Dear daughter, I confess that I am old. Age is unnecessary. On my knees I beg that you’ll voucesafe me raiment, bed, and food. When KL finally sees Regan at Gloucester’s castle, he explains to her that Goneril has been treating him rudely (with some animal imagery) and that he can hardly speak. But when he says this, though, Regan chooses to side with Goneril, replying that Goneril has good reason to get rid of his knights and that he is old and senile. He tells him to return to Goneril and apologize. KL sarcastically (and desperately) kneels in front of Regan and says an apology, only for Regan to ignore it and send him back go Goneril’s.
Good sir, no more. These are unsightly tricks. Return you to my sister. When KL finally sees Regan at Gloucester’s castle, he explains to her that Goneril has been treating him rudely (with some animal imagery) and that he can hardly speak. But when he says this, though, Regan chooses to side with Goneril, replying that Goneril has good reason to get rid of his knights and that he is old and senile. He tells him to return to Goneril and apologize. KL sarcastically (and desperately) kneels in front of Regan and says an apology, only for Regan to ignore it and send him back go Goneril’s.
She hath abated me of half my train, looked black up on me, struck me with her tongue most serpentlike upon the very heart. All the stored vengeances of heaven fall on her ingrateful top! Strike her young bones, you taking airs, with lameness! After Regan tells KL to go back to Goneril’s and apologize, KL refuses, asserting his position againster her (Goneril) and calling her “serpentlike” (re: Animal imagery).
Thou shalt never have my curse. Thy tender-hafted nature shall not give the o’er to harshness. Her eyes are fierce, but thine do comfort and not burn. ‘Tis not in thee to grudge my pleasures, to cut off my train, to bandy hasty words, to scant my sizes, and in conclusion to oppose the bold against my coming in. Thou better know’st the offices of nature, bond of childhood, effects of courtesy, dues of gratitude. Thy half o’ th’ kingdom hast thou not forgot, wherein I thee endowed. After Regan tells KL to go back go Goneril’s to apologize and KL refuses and calls Goneril “serpentlike”, KL says he will never curse Regan because she would never be harsh like Goneril. She would never lock him out of her house and insult him thoughtlessly. These lines highlight King Lear’s blindness toward Regan’s true nature, as he believes she is a faithful daughter when, in fact, she participated in locking Kent in the stocks and has sided with Goneril.
O heavens, if you do love old men, if your sweet sway allow obedience, if you yourselves are old, make it your cause. Send down and take my part. When Goneril enters (with KL, Regan and Cornwall already onstage), King Lear prays to the heavens to give him strength, as King Lear now hates Goneril for being disobedient.
No! Rather I abjure all roofs, and choose to wage against the enmity o’ th’ air, to be a comrade with the wolf and owl, necessity’s sharp pinch. When Regan once again tries to get King Lear to go stay with Goneril, King Lear exclaims that he would rather be homeless and live with the wolves than to live with Goneril.
I prithee, daughter, do not make me mad. After King Lear refuses to return to Goneril’s, saying he’d rather be homeless, and after Goneril agrees, King Lear begs her to not make him mad (meaning both angry and crazy).
I can stay with Regan, I and my hundred knights. After refusing to go back go Goneril’s, KL tells Goneril that he can just stay with Regan while also keeping his one hundred knights. Unfortunately, Regan will object to this, and say he will only need 25 knights.
What, fifty followers? Is it not well? What should you need of more? Yea, or so many, sith that both charge and danger speak ‘gaisnt so great a number? How in one house should many people under two commands hold amity? ‘Tis hard, almost impossible…I entreat you to bring but five-and-twenty. To no more will I give place or notice. After refusing to return to Goneril’s and confident that Regan will house him and his hundred knights, Regan replies coldly, saying that he can only have twenty-five of his knights. Effectively, Regan and Goneril are stripping King Lear of any remaining power he has left after giving up his land. Like in the beginning of the play with KL’s land, Regan and Goneril are trying to rid KL of as much power as possible.
I gave you all. After refusing to return to Goneril’s place and after Regan tells him to give up 75 of his knights, King Lear is shocked and says this. He is shocked that even after giving his daughters all of his land they treat him so poorly.
And in good time you gave it. After refusing to return to Goneril’s place and after Regan tells him to give up 75 of his knights, King Lear is shocked about how poorly he is treated and says that he gave them everything. Regan, in response, says that it’s about time he gave them everything, too. This highlights Regan’s greediness and callousness toward her father.
O reason not the need! When Regan asks why King Lear even needs one knight (Regan and Goneril have been slowly stripping him of his knights in their housing offers), King Lear exclaims that he does not need them. King Lear needs the knights because they are his only source of power since he gave up all his land. Lear needs his servants not because of the service that they provide him but because of what they represent: his authority and his importance
You see me here, you gods, a poor old man as full of grief as age, wretched in both. Lear, who declares his heart is broken, struggles not to embarrass himself by weeping in frustration. He prays to the heavens to give him strength.
Touch me with noble anger, and let not women’s weapons water drops, stain my man’s cheeks. Lear, who declares his heart is broken, struggles not to embarrass himself by weeping in frustration. He prays to the heavens to give him strength.
I will have such revenges on you both that all the world shall–I will do such things After Regan and Goneril effectively strip King Lear of his power, King Lear swears revenge on them both, highlighting the hatred between Lear and his daughters.
O Fool, I shall go mad! After Regan and Goneril effectively strip King Lear of his power, King Lear starts to break down, praying to the heavens to give him strength and says this line. Lear’s cry foreshadows’ his fate in becoming mad. Once again, the tragedy of Lear’s madness is furthered by his own awareness of it.
‘Tis a wild night…Come out o’ th’ storm. After kicking King Lear out, Cornwall demands the doors to be locked, locking King Lear out in the storm. The storm serves as a symbol for both the family tension between KL and his daughters as well as Lear’s developing mental madness.
That things might change or cease; tears his white hair, which the impetuous blasts with eyeless rage catch in their fury and make nothing of. A Gentleman tells Kent that, after Regan and Goneril refuse to house King Lear, King Lear is stuck in the storm with his Fool.
For confirmation that I am much more than my outwall, open this purse and take what it contains. Kent asks the gentleman to be a messenger for him. He instructs the man to go to Dover (where Cordelia is) and report of Lear’s recent ill-treatment by Regan and Goneril.
Ask thy daughter’s blessing. Here’s a night pities neither wise men nor fools. The Fool begs Lear to find shelter, but the King refuses; he would rather face the relentless elements than his ungrateful children.
Rumble thy bellyful! Spit, fire! Spout, rain! Nor rain, wind, thunder, fire are my daughters. I tax not you, you elements, with unkindness.I never gave you kingdom, called you children; You owe me no subscription. After the Fool begs Lear to find shelter, the King refuses; he would rather face the relentless elements than his ungrateful children. He believes that the cruelty of his daughters is much worse than the cruelty of nature.
No, I will be the pattern of all patience. I will say nothing. As the Fool and the King are in the storm and after the Fool asks Lear to just apologize to his daughters in order to get shelter, Lear refuses and says that he will never apologize to them. Rather, he is going to wait for their apologies. This highlights King Lear’s egotistical nature (like how he banished Cordelia for not flattering him in Act I), believing that it is below him to apologize . This also references the theme of nothing, and as stated by Gloucester earlier in the play, nothing will come of nothing; if King Lear refuses to talk to his daughters, it is likely nothing will change.
I am a man more sinned against than sinning. In the storm with the Fool, King Lear exclaims that though he has sinned before, he what he has done pales in comparison to what he is subject to now: wandering in a storm having been refused shelter by his two daughters who took his land ungraciously.
My wits begin to turn…The art of our necessities is strange and can make vile things precious. King Lear says this among Kent and the Fool’s company in the storm when Kent leads Lear and the Fool to a hovel where he can take shelter. This is one of the first humbling moments that breaks Lear’s self-centeredness. Although he feels the hovel is below him, Lear having ruled a kingdom, Lear understands that his survival depends on the hovel and goes inside. Additionally, King Lear is aware that he is slowly become mad.
Most savage and unnatural. When Gloucester tells Edmund how he does not like how Regan and Cornwall took his house after he expressed his desire to shelter King Lear, Edmund responds (acting like a good boy) that Regan and Cornwall’s actions is savage and unnatural. The line could also be in reference to his own acts; by commenting on the savagery of Regan and Cornwall’s actions, Edmund maintains his “good boy” image and father’s favor while masking his own treacherous motives. This comment highlights Edmund’s deceptive nature.
We must incline to the King. I will look him and privily relieve him. Go you and maintain talk with the Duke, that my charity be not of him percieved. If he ask for me, I am ill and gone to bed. Gloucester tells Edmund, trusting him, that he is going against Cornwall’s orders and is going to find the King and tell him about the contents of the letter Gloucester just got: the French are coming to liberate Britain and avenge Lear’s wrongful treatment. Though he tells Edmund to not tell Cornwall, Edmund, the treacherous villain he is, uses this information to his advantage and tells Cornwall so that Edmund can take Gloucester’s wealth and position.
This courtesy forbid thee shall the Duke instantly know, and of that letter too. Gloucester tells Edmund, trusting him, that he is going against Cornwall’s orders and is going to find the King and tell him about the contents of the letter Gloucester just got: the French are coming to liberate Britain and avenge Lear’s wrongful treatment. Though he tells Edmund to not tell Cornwall, Edmund, the treacherous villain he is, uses this information to his advantage and tells Cornwall so that Edmund can take Gloucester’s wealth and position.
The younger rises when the old doth fall. Gloucester tells Edmund, trusting him, that he is going against Cornwall’s orders and is going to find the King and tell him about the contents of the letter Gloucester just got: the French are coming to liberate Britain and avenge Lear’s wrongful treatment. Though he tells Edmund to not tell Cornwall, Edmund, the treacherous villain he is, uses this information to his advantage and tells Cornwall so that Edmund can take Gloucester’s wealth and position.
This tempest in my mind doth from my senses take all feeling else save what beats there. Filial ingratitude! Right before entering the hovel, King Lear explains to Kent that he doesn’t want to go inside because the storm distracts him from the “storm” in his own mind, lamenting his thankless children. Soon after, however, he decides to shun those thoughts, as harping on them, he believes, will lead to madness. (re: KL aware of his madness = tragic)
You old kind father whose frank heart gave all! O, that way madness lies. Let me shun that; No more of that. Right before entering the hovel, King Lear explains to Kent that he doesn’t want to go inside because the storm distracts him from the “storm” in his own mind, lamenting his thankless children. Soon after, however, he decides to shun those thoughts, as harping on them, he believes, will lead to madness. (re: KL aware of his madness = tragic)
O, I have ta’en too little care of this. Take physic, pomp. Expose thyself to feel what wretches feel, that thou may’st shake the superflux to them and show the heavens more just. After entering the Hovel, Lear talks among Kent’s and the Fool’s company about the homeless and how during his reign he had neglected this part of the kingdom. Now having experienced it first hand and having realized his own wretchedness, Lear swears he will try to assist the poor and miserable in the future. This further illustrates Lear’s shift from a self-centered king to a humbled man.
Away. The foul fiend follows me. When KL, the Fool, and Kent come across Edgar, disguised as Poor Tom, Edgar pretends to be crazy, and exlaims that a foul fiend is following him. Ironically (dramatic irony, in fact) there is a foul fiend that’s after him: Edmund.
A spirit, a spirit! He says his name is Poor Tom! When KL, the Fool, and Kent enter the hovel, they come across Edgar disguised as Poor Tom. The Fool immediately thinks that Poor Tom is a ghost. The scene serves as one that ties the two plots of the play together and depicts the play’s theme of insanity–King Lear is slowly becoming insane, Edgar is feigning insanity, and the Fool thinks that spirits are among them (Kent, disguised, is in the scene too, but he’s not really going insane).
This cold night will turn us all to fools and madmen. The Fool exclaims this after he and King Lear finding Poor Tom (Edgar) in the hovel. He expresses his fear that they will all become insane that night. Ironically, the insanity has already started to occur; King Lear is slowly becoming insane, Edgar is feigning insanity, and the Fool thinks that spirits are among them (Kent, disguised, is in the scene too, but he’s not really going insane).
Let not the creaking of shoes nor the rustling of silks betray thy poor heart to woman. Edgar, as Poor Tom, tells his back-story (Poor Tom’s back-story) to KL, saying he was a devoted servant who had a mistress but was disloyal and violent. He warns Lear to never trust women. Edgar’s warning, while based on Poor Tom’s made-up back-story, relates to KL, as he too was betrayed by his own daughters. Edgar’s warning also fits with the play’s overall depiction of women (except Cordelia) as ruthless and untrustworthy.
Is man no more than this? Unaccommodated man is no more but such a poor, bare, forked animal as thou art. When King Lear sees Edgar (disguised as Poor Tom) in the hovel, Lear begins to philosophize and states that man without possessions is nothing but an animal. This refers to the play’s theme of animal imagery and conveys the idea that man is animal in his true nature. Feeling as though he doesn’t deserve any better, Lear proceeds to take off his clothes.
My duty cannot suffer T’ obey in all your daughter’s hard commands. Though their injunction be to bar my doors and let this tyrannous night take hold upon you, yet have I ventured to come seek you out and bring you where both fire and food is ready. Gloucester finds King Lear, the Fool, Kent, and Poor Tom on the heath and explains to KL that, while Gloucester is at risk for being there (as Regan wanted KL to be locked in the storm), he wants to help KL. This will ultimately result in Gloucester’s eyes being gouged out when he returns to his own castle.
Our flesh and blood, my lord, is grown so vile that it doth hate what gets it. After Gloucester arrives at the heath to assist King Lear against his daughter’s orders, Gloucester tells Lear that their children have become so beastly that they have their own parents. While KL’s daughter’s treachery is apparent to King Lear and Gloucester at this point in the play, there is some dramatic irony to this statement in that Gloucester still believes Edgar is the villainous child while Edmund is truly the treacherous one.
I am almost mad myself. I had a son, now outlawed from my blood. He sought my life but lately, very late. I loved him, friend, no father his son dearer. True to tell thee, the grief hath crazed my wits. Gloucester speaks to Kent, who tells Gloucester that KL is going mad, and explains the situation with him and his sons. Dramatic Irony: At this point, Gloucester believes that Edgar is the treacherous one who fled the castle, while the true villain is Edmund. Furthermore, this statement to Poor Tom illustrates that Edgar’s disguise as Poor Tom works. The scene as a whole, with both Kent and Edgar in disguise, conveys the idea that good must hide while evil presides. Also, there is a parallel between KL’s madness and Gloucester’s madness and their awareness of it.
With him. I will keep still with my philosopher. As Gloucester finally convinces Lear to come out of the storm and into the hovel, Lear insists to bring Poor Tom with him. This illlustrates King Lear’s new compassion for the poor and the loss of his self-centeredness.
I may be censured, that nature thus gives way to loyalty, something fears me to think of. In other words, Edmund says, “I’m afraid to think how I’ll be criticized for letting my natural affection for my father give way to my loyalty to you.” (Edmund humbly suggests that he’s made a great sacrifice by placing his loyalty to Cornwall above his filial duty). Edmund’s lie that he loves his father dearly and is afraid to betray him illustrates Edmund’s deceptive nature.
O heavens, that this treason were not, or not I the detector. Edmund tells Cornwall that Gloucester is going to help King Lear in the storm. Edmund, pretending to be the good boy, tells Cornwall that he wishes that it were not true and that he wishes Gloucester had never betrayed them. Edmund’s treacherous act in telling Cornwall about Gloucester shows his willingness to betray and his ability to deceive others and manipulate situations in order to obtain his desires.
True or false, it hath made thee Earl of Gloucester Edmund tells Cornwall that Gloucester is going to help King Lear in the storm, and Cornwall, who now hates Gloucester for going against his orders (even though they are in Gloucester’s castle), makes Edmund the head of the castle. This highlights the assertive character Cornwall has, as he appoints Edmund without Gloucester’s consent, and conveys the play’s prominent notion that there is loyalty between villains.
I will lay trust upon thee, and thou shalt find a dearer father in my love. Edmund tells Cornwall that Gloucester is going to help King Lear in the storm, and Cornwall, who now hates Gloucester for going against his orders (even though they are in Gloucester’s castle), makes Edmund the head of the castle and takes Edmund under his wing. This highlights the assertive character Cornwall has, as he appoints Edmund without Gloucester’s consent, and conveys the play’s prominent notion that there is loyalty between villains.
I will persevere in my course of loyalty, though the conflict be sore between that and my blood. Edmund tells Cornwall that Gloucester is going to help King Lear in the storm. Edmund, pretending to be the good boy, tells Cornwall that he wishes that it were not true and that he wishes Gloucester had never betrayed them. Edmund’s treacherous act in telling Cornwall about Gloucester shows his willingness to betray and his ability to deceive others and manipulate situations in order to obtain his desires.
My tears begin to take his part so much they mare my counterfeiting. As Edgar sees King Lear go insane and hold a jury with stools as his daughters in the hovel, Edgar begins to feel bad for King Lear and says in an aside that his pity for Lear may cause him to give himself away.
When we our betters see bearing our woes, we scarcely think our miseries our foes. Who alone suffers suffers most i’ th’ mind, leaving free things and happy shows behind. But then the mind much sufferance doth o’erskip when grief hath mates and bearing fellowship. How light and portable my pain seems now when that which makes me bend makes the King bow! After Edgar sees King Lear go crazy and hold a jury with stools as his daughters in the hovel, Edgar compares his troubles to Lear’s troubles and realizes that his troubles pale in comparison to Lear’s. Lear’s pathetic situation makes Edgar feel better about his own; at least Edgar isn’t going crazy (though he is disguised as a beggar).
The revenges we are bound to take upon your traitorous father are not fit for your beholding. Cornwall tells Edmund to keep his sister (Goneril) company at Goneril’s castle, as their punishment for Gloucester when will be too much for Edmund to handle. (III.vii.9)
Though well we may not pass upon his life without the form of justice, yet our power shall do a court’sy to our wrath, which men may blame but not control. Cornwall says this to himself right before Gloucester is brought into the scene by servants. He essentially says “I can’t condemn him to death without a formal trial, but I’m powerful enough that I can still do something to express my anger. Some men may blame me for doing this, but they won’t be able to do anything about it.” This highlights the lack of power Gloucester has in his own castle and how evil can easily rule over the good and innocent.
What means your Graces? Good my friends, consider you are my guests; do me no foul play, friends. Gloucester says this to Regan and Cornwall as they are calling him a traitor and deciding how to punish him. Gloucester has yet to find out that Edmund had told Regan and Cornwall of Gloucester’s assisting King Lear.
Unmerciful lady as you are, I’m none. Gloucester says this to Regan as she calls him a traitor and decides with Cornwall how to punish him. Gloucester has yet to find out that Edmund had told Regan and Cornwall of Gloucester’s assisting King Lear.
Because I would not see thy cruel nails pluck out his poor old eyes, nor thy fierce sister in his anointed flesh stick boarish fangs. When Regan asks why Gloucester sent the King to Dover, Gloucester says it’s because he does not want King Lear to be subject to the wrath of Regan and Goneril. Finally, after rather passively letting Regan and Cornwall order him around in his own castle, Gloucester musters up the courage to speak up against Regan’s and Goneril’s actions, albeit too late. (Also re: Animal imagery).
See ‘t shalt thou never. Cornwall tells Gloucester that he will never be able to see as he is about to gouge out one of Gloucester’s eyes. This refers to the theme of sight vs. insight and how up to this point, Gloucester was not able to see through Edmund’s lies, and how from this point, Gloucester will not be able to physically see anything.
One side will mock another. Th’ other too. After Cornwall gouges out one of Gloucester’s eyes, Regan tells Cornwall to get rid of the other eye too. This fits with the play’s theme that evil breeds further evil; Regan and Cornwall’s alliance in evil serves to amplify the torture of their victims (in this case, Gloucester looses both eyes thanks to Regan’s presence).
I have served you ever since I was a child, but better service have I never done you than now to bid you hold. Cornwall’s servant says this to Cornwall after Cornwall plucked one of Gloucester’s eyes out. The servant states that though he served Cornwall for a long time, he cannot stand any more of Cornwall’s cruelty and believes that he (the servant) must oppose it.
All dark and comfortless! Where’s my son Edmund? Edmund, enkindle all the sparks of nature to quit this horrid act. Dramatic Irony: As Gloucester has his eyes removed, he cries for Edmund’s help, since he believes at this point that Edmund is the good son.
Thou call’st on him that hates thee. It was he that made the overture of thy treasons to us, who is too good to pity thee. As Gloucester cries for Edmund’s help (as he believes he is the good son), Regan informs Gloucester that it was Edmund who told her and Cornwall of Gloucester’s assisting King Lear. Finally, Gloucester sees Edmund’s treachery and realizes he has done Edgar wrong.
Let him smell his way to Dover. After Cornwall gouges his eyes out, Regan tells her servants to thrust him out the gates and let him smell his way to Dover. Utterly cruel, Regan’s cold order illustrates her lack of sympathy for Gloucester and also conveys a key theme of the play: the “moral stench” and corruption of society.
To be the worst, the lowest and most dejected thing of fortune, stands still in esperance, lives not in fer. The lamentable change is from the best; the worst returns to laughter. Edgar, in a short soliloquy, talks about the “wheel of fortune”; no matter how bad times get, one will always return to the top of the wheel.
Good friend, begone. Thy comforts can do me no good at all; thee they may hurt. Gloucester to an Old Man as the Old Man helps him find his way and they come across Poor Tom. ?
I have no way and therefore want no eyes. I stumbled when I saw. Full oft ’tis seen our means secure us, and our mere defects prove our commodities. Gloucester tells the Old Man that he doesn’t want to be around him anymore and that he doesn’t need to see since he has nowhere to go. He realizes that only when he looses his sight does he gain insight; often when we lose something, not having it turns out to be beneficial.
The food of thy abused father’s wrath might I but live to see thee in my touch, I’d say I had eyes again. Gloucester says this to the Old Man (and technically to Edgar spiritually) regretting his treatment of Edgar, saying that if he is able to be with Edgar again, it would be like getting his eyesight back. Ironically, Edgar is also in the scene, but Gloucester can’t see him and doesn’t know Edgar is there.
And worse I may be yet. The worst is not so long as we can say “This is the worst.” Edgar says this in an aside as Gloucester and the Old Man leading him enter the scene. After seeing his father with his eyes gouged out and miserable, Edgar realizes that there is always something to be thankful for even in the most dire situations. (Re: Wheel of Fortune).
As flies to wanton boys are we to th’ gods; They kill ups for their sport. Gloucester tells the Old Man that he thinks the gods must hate mankind; they kill man for sport. This pessimistic view of life stems from Gloucester’s recent downturn of events, from gouged out eyes to realizing Edmund’s deception. Only when Edgar deceives Gloucester into thinking he survived jumping off a cliff does Gloucester lose this pessimistic outlook and stop being suicidal.
If for my sake thou wilt o’ertake us hence a mile or twain i’ the’ way toward Dover, do it for ancient love. And bring some covering for this naked soul, which I’ll entreat to lead me. Gloucester speaks to the Old Man who led him after his eyes were gouged out. He dismisses the Old Man from service, but also asks him to bring Poor Tom some clothes. Gloucester’s willingness to help a beggar parallels the King Lear plot; King Lear also recognized and sympathized with the poor beggars in the kingdom.
Here, take this purse, thou whom the heavens’ plagues have humbled to all strokes. That I am wretched makes thee the happier. Heavens, deal so still. Let the superfluous and lust-dieted man, that slaves your ordinance, that will not see because he doth not feel, feel your power quickly. So distribution should undo excess, and each man have enough. Gloucester, after talking to Edgar (as Poor Tom), gives him a purse with money in it. Gloucester explains that, in comparison, Edgar is much more fortunate than himself, and that the spoiled man who cannot see the misery around him should rightfully be subject to agony so he may learn to share his wealth. This parallels KL’s recognizing and sympathizing for the poor in his kingdom.
There is a cliff, whose high and bending head looks fearfully in the confined deep. Bring me but to the very brim of it. Gloucester tells Poor Tom to lead him to the cliff of Dover so he may kill himself. This stems from Gloucester’s new pessimistic view of life, believing that the gods must enjoy torturing man. Only when Edgar deceives him into thinking that he survived a jump does he lose this suicidal behavior. (Paralell: Edgar helps Gloucester, Cordelia helps KL)
but never a man so changed. I told him of the army that was landed; He smiled at it. I told him you were coming; His answer was “The worse.” Oswald tells Goneril that when he told Albany Goneril was coming, Albany responded “too bad”. Albany has changed from the whipped, passive husband is initially. Now he seems to defy Goneril and her treacherous actions.
It is the cowish terror of his spirit, that dares not undertake. He’ll not feel wrongs which tie him to an answer. Our wishes on the way may prove effects. After Oswald tells Goneril that Albany has recently gotten a backbone, Goneril tells Oswald that Albany probably is just a coward who can’t get himself to follow through with her evil plans.
Hasten his musters and conduct his powers. I must change names t home and give the distaff into my husband’s hands. After hearing from Oswald that Albany won’t go through with Goneril’s plans, Goneril tells Edmund to go to Cornwall’s place to organize his soldiers and troops. Goneril plans to take charge once again and to make Albany submissive to her. This is also the beginning of Goneril’s love for Edmund (Edmund is so much more assertive than Albany, and that’s attractive).
This kiss, if it durst speak, would stretch thy spirits up into the air. Conceive, and fare thee well. After telling Edmund to return to Cornwall to pick up the slack that Albany left (Albany now defies Goneril’s actions), Goneril kisses Edmund and tells him she will be his mistress. Edmund is so much more assertive than Albany, and that’s attractive. Of course, there’s the problem that Albany is still Goneril’s husband, but that doesn’t seem to stop her from having the hots for Edmund.
You are not worth the dust which the rude wind blows in your face. Albany tells this to Goneril right after Goneril kisses Edmund and sends Edmund to Cornwall. Albany scolds her for her treatment of her father, highlighting his change from a passive, whipped husband to a man who stands up for what he believes is right. (IV.ii.39)
Wisdom and goodness to the vile seem vile. Filths savor but themselves…Tigers, not daughters, what have you performed? Right after Goneril kisses Edmund and sends Edmund to Cornwall, Albany scolds Goneril for her treatment of her father. He calls her vile (he says that vile people are disgusted by good) and calls her a tiger. (Re: animal imagery, people are savage at heart)
Where’s thy drum? As Albany berates Goneril for her treatment of her father, Goneril says, essentially, “why are you moralizing while the French invasion is emminent?”. She calls him a coward, believing that he doesn’t have the courage for follow through with her plans when he actually is opposed to them.
Were ‘t my fitness to let these hands obey my blood, they are apt enough to dislocate and tear thy flesh and bones. Howe’er thou art a fiend, a woman’s shape doth shield thee. As Albany berates Goneril for her treatment of her father, he says that if she were not a women he’d kill her right now. This refers to the play’s theme of man’s innate savagery and also highlights the transformation in Albany from a passive husband to one who is willing to openly defy his treacherous wife.
Marry, your manhood, mew– As Albany berates Goneril for her treatment of her father, Goneril mews at him, mocking his newly found manhood (his new courage in berating her) and highlighting her desire for control. Goneril’s mew emphasizes the play’s theme of man’s innate savagery, and how once man is stripped down he is no more than an animal.
O, my good lord, the Duke of Cornwall’s dead, slain by his servant, going to put out the other eye of Gloucester. A messenger comes to Goneril and Albany amidst their quarrel (IV.ii) and tells them that Cornwall is dead, killed by the servant who defied him as Cornwall was gouging out Gloucester’s eyes.
This shoes you are above, you justicers, that these our nether crimes so speedily can venge. But, O poor Gloucester, lost he his other eye? When the messenger tells him that Cornwall is dead from his servant’s blow, Albany exclaims that there’s justice in heaven (Albany is definitely not on Goneril’s side anymore) and that perhaps justice will eventually prevail. Additionally, apparently Albany wasn’t aware of Gloucester’s eyes being gouged out of his skull, and Albany is horrified at Goneril’s treatment of Gloucester.
One way I like this well. But being widow and my Gloucester with her may all the building in my fancy pluck upon my hateful life. Another way the news is not so tart. After the messenger tells Goneril that Cornwall is dead and that Gloucester’s eyes were removed, Goneril has mixed feelings; she likes how, with Gloucester out of the picture, she can get all of the land, but she is afraid that the new widow Regan will try to take Edmund from her.
I live to thank thee for the love thou show’d’st the king, and to revenge thine eyes. After the messenger tells Albany that Gloucester’s eyes were gouged out and that Cornwall is dead, Albany swears to avenge Gloucester’s mistreatment. (re: Albany’s change from being passive).
It is the stars. The stars above us govern our conditions, else one self mate and make could not beget such different issues. Kent (disguised) tells this to the gentleman who delivered his letter to Cordelia explaining KL’s mistreatment and her sisters’ wickedness. Kent comments on the difference between Cordelia and her sisters and that it’s not possible for someone as good as Cordelia to be related to people as vile as her sisters. It must be fate that makes us who we are.
These things sting his mind so venomously that burning shame detains him from Cordelia. Kent says this to the Gentlemen who sent Cordelia his letter regarding her father’s mistreatment and her sister’s wickedness. Kent reveals that though Lear’s in town near Cordelia, he refuses to see her; not because he’s stubborn, but because he’s really ashamed himself. His shame (and his pride, implicitly) consume him so much that he can’t bring himself to see his only good daughter.
It is thy business that I go about. Therefore great France my mourning and importuned tears hath pitied. No blown ambition doth are arms incide, but love, dear love, and our aged father’s right. Cordelia tells a messenger that she brought an army from France not because she wants power herself but because she wants to help her father. (re: Cordelia’s true love).
Might not you transport her purposes by word? Belike, somethings–I know not what. I’ll love thee much–Let me unseal the letter. Regan tells Oswald that she wants to see the letter that Goneril wants him to give to Edmund. (Add to this)
I know your lady does not love her husband…She gave strange eliads and most speaking looks to noble Edmund. Regan tells Oswald that she knows Goneril love Edmund and not her husband Albany. Regan is starting to get the hots for Edmund, too and presses Oswald for more information.
My lord is dead; Edmund and I have talked, and more convenient is he for my hand than for your lady’s. Regan lets Oswald know that she is also out to get Edmund for herself. Since Cornwall died, Regan is attracted to Edmund for the same reason Goneril is: he’s assertive and attractive. Regan speaks plainly that although her sister might “love” Edmund too, she (Regan) should really get to marry him, as something of a consolation prize for her husband who died yesterday.
If you do chance to hear of that blind traitor, preferment falls on him that cuts him off. Regan tells Oswald to kill Gloucester if he sees him. Ever since Cornwall took Gloucester’s eyes out, Regan thinks that Gloucester deserved worse and wishes him to be killed.
You do climb up it now. Look how we labor. Edgar is talking to Gloucester, pretending to take him to the cliffs. Edgar doesn’t want his father to kill himself and has a plan: to deceive him into thinking he survived jumping of a cliff to end his suicidal demands.
Hark, do you hear the sea? Edgar is talking to Gloucester, pretending to take him to the cliffs. Edgar doesn’t want his father to kill himself and has a plan: to deceive him into thinking he survived jumping of a cliff to end his suicidal demands.
Why the, your other senses grow imperfect by your eyes’ anguish Edgar is talking to Gloucester, pretending to take him to the cliffs. Edgar doesn’t want his father to kill himself and has a plan: to deceive him into thinking he survived jumping of a cliff to end his suicidal demands.
How fearful and dizzy ’tis to cast one’s eyes so low! The crows and choughs that wing the midway air show scarce so gross as beetles…I’ll look no more lest my brain turn and the deficient sight topple down headlong. Edgar is talking to Gloucester, pretending to take him to the cliffs. Edgar doesn’t want his father to kill himself and has a plan: to deceive him into thinking he survived jumping of a cliff to end his suicidal demands.
You are now within a foot of th’ extreme verge. For all beneath the moon would I not leap upright. Edgar is talking to Gloucester, pretending to take him to the cliffs. Edgar doesn’t want his father to kill himself and has a plan: to deceive him into thinking he survived jumping of a cliff to end his suicidal demands.
This world I do renounce, and in your sights shake patiently my great affliction off. If I could bear it longer, and not fall to quarrel with your great opposeless wills, my snuff and loathed part of nature should burn itself out. If Edgar live, O, bless him! Right before he is about to jump (he thinks off a cliff), Gloucester renounces the world, saying that if he could cope with the world’s cruelty he would have waited until his natural death. He also asks the gods to bless Edgar (with dramatic irony as Poor Tom is Edgar).
Hadst thou been aught a gossamer, feathers, air, so many fathom down precipitating, Thou’dst shivered like an egg; but thou dost breathe, hast heavy substance, bleed’st not, speak’st, art sound. Ten masts at each make not the altitutde which thou hast perpendicularly fell. Thy life’s a miracle. Edgar, pretending to be someone at the bottom of the cliffs of Dover, tricks Gloucester into thinking that he jumped off a cliff and survived. Edgar does this to break Gloucester of his being suicidal, telling Gloucester that he was led off the cliffs by a demon and that the gods themselves preserved him.
Alack, I have no eyes. Is wretchedness deprived that benefit to end itself by death? Gloucester asks Edgar (as the man at the bottom of the Cliffs of Dover) why he didn’t die; if one is wretched and desperate, isn’t he allowed to kill himself? Gloucester wanted to die.
He had a thousand noses, horns whelked and waved like the enraged sea. It was some fiend. Therefore, thou happy father, think that the clearest gods, who make them honors of men’s imposiblities, have preserved thee. Edgar, pretending to be someone at the bottom of the cliffs of Dover, tricks Gloucester into thinking that he jumped off a cliff and survived. Edgar does this to break Gloucester of his being suicidal, telling Gloucester that he was led off the cliffs by a demon and that the gods themselves preserved him.
I do remember now. Henceforth I’ll bear affliction til it do cry out itself “Enough, enough!” and die. That thing you speak of, I took it for a man. Gloucester tells Edgar (as the man at the bottom of the cliffs of Dover) that he will stop being suicidal, believing that the gods saved his life since he didn’t die after jumping off a cliff.
Bear free and patient thoughts. Edgar (as the man at the bottom of the cliffs of Dover) tells Gloucester that he should stop being suicidal because the gods saved him. This goes against the pessimistic view of the worlds Gloucester had before “jumping off a cliff”, and proves to stop Gloucester’s suicidal thoughts. Edgar saves his father and frees him from his pessimistic view of the world and his hopelessness.
O thou side-piercing sight! Edgar says this in an aside as Gloucester and King Lear stumble across one another, King Lear now insane and Gloucester blind. The two fathers of treacherous children finally meet.
I know that voice…The trick of that voice I do well remember. Gloucester recognizes KL’s voice as KL walks into the scene (right after he thinks he jumped of a cliff and that the gods spared him).
Go to, they are not men o’ their words. They told me I was everything. ‘Tis a lie, I am not ague-proof. King Lear says this to Gloucester (though it seems more like self-reflection), reflecting on how Goneril and Regan decieved KL, saying he was wise. Only when he is subject to a storm does he realize their treachery.
They flattered me like a dog and told me I had the white hairs in my beard ere the black ones were there. To say “ay” and “no” to everything that I say “ay” and “no” to was no good divinity. King Lear says this to Gloucester (though it seems more like self-reflection), reflecting on how Goneril and Regan decieved KL, saying he was wise and agreeing with whatever KL agreed. Only when he is subject to a storm does he realize their treachery.
Let copulation thrive, for Gloucester’s bastard son was kinder to his father than my daughters got ‘tween the lawful sheets. King Lear, in the presence of Gloucester and Edgar, raging against sex and his daughters, saying that Gloucester’s bastard son was kinder than his daughters. (Dramatic Irony) Little does he know, however, that Gloucester’s bastard son is actually just as treacherous.
O, let me kiss that hand! Gloucester, moved by KL’s speech about the treachery of women, asks to kiss KL’s hand.
Let me wipe it first; it smells of mortality. King Lear says this to Gloucester in response to Gloucester’s request to kiss his hand. Mortality could refer to either a) death, and KL foresees his own death or b) life, as he has managed to live this long, through a storm and relationship torment. Everyone smells the moral stench, the corruption of family and power in society.
No eyes in your head, nor no money in your purse? Your eyes are in a heavy case, your purse in a light, yet you see how this world goes. King Lear speaks to Gloucester, putting the theme of sight v. insight into words; even though Gloucester no longer has eyes, he now understands the true treachery of their world.
I see it feelingly. Gloucester says this in response to King Lear’s observation that Gloucester now knows the true treachery of their world only when his eyes are gone. Re: sight v. insight.
O, matter and impertinency mixed, reason in madness! Edgar, seeing King Lear go insane and babble, realizes that there is some truth to King Lear’s nonsense, especially the part about how justice is a sham and that there’s no real difference between the thief and the judge who sentences him, or between the prostitute and the officer who whips a prostitute’s back for her crimes, when really he’d like to commit those crimes with her. (Re: Hamlet, similar to Polonius – method in madness).
We came crying hither; thou know’st the first time that we smell the air we wawl and cry…When we are born, we cry that we are come to this great stage of fools. Lear, now insane, talks in Edgar and Gloucester’s presence about why we cry when we are born: we are sad that we must live in a world dominated by fools. (Re: pessimistic view of the world).
I’ll put ‘t in proof, and when I have stol’n upon these son-in-laws, then kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill! Lear, firmly believing that the world is full of moral stench and that his daughter’s branch of the family tree is all evil, is out to prove that everyone is bad and to get revenge on his sons-in-law. Little does he know, however, that Albany has actually become good.
A proclaimed prize! Most happy! That eyeless head of thine was first framed flesh to raise my fortunes. Oswald is ecstatic to find Gloucester; now he can kill him, get the reward money, and gain Goneril’s favor.
Villain, take my purse. If ever thou wilt thrive, bury my body, and give the letters which thou find’st about me to Edmund, Earl of Gloucester. Defeated by Edgar after his attempt to kill Gloucester, Oswalt tells Edgar to give a letter to Edmund from Goneril. (The letter asks Edmund to kill Albany so that Goneril and Edmund can be together). Edgar will realize that his brother is a bad guy after all. Oswald’s death serves as a comment to blind loyalty; Oswald’s blind loyalty to Regan and Goneril results in his death. People need their own moral compass like, for example, Albany and Cornwall’s servant, who were willing to fight for their morals no matter their position.
Leave, gentle wax, and, manners, blame us not. To know our enemies’ minds, we rip their hearts. Their papers is more lawful. Edgar, feeling a bit guilty, takes Oswald’s letter from Goneril to Edmund and reads it. The letter asks Edmund to kill Albany so that Goneril and Edmund can be together. Edgar will realize that his brother is a bad guy after all. Oswald’s death serves as a comment to blind loyalty; Oswald’s blind loyalty to Regan and Goneril results in his death. People need their own moral compass like, for example, Albany and Cornwall’s servant, who were willing to fight for their morals no matter their position.
Let our reciprocal vows be remembered. You have many opportunities to cut him off. If your will want not, time and place will be fruitfully offered. There is nothing done if he return the conqueror. Then am I the prisoner, and his bed my jail, from the loathed warmth whereof deliver me and supply the place for your labor. Edgar reads aloud, in the presence of Gloucester, the contents of Oswald’s letter from Goneril to Edmund. The letter calls for Edmund to kill Albany so that she and Edmund can be together. From this letter, Edgar realizes that his brother is a villain.
How stiff is my vile sense that i satnd up and have ingenious feeling of my huge sorrows! Better I were distract. So should my thoughts be severed from my griefs, and woes, by wrong imaginations, lose the knowledge of themselves. Re: KL’s awareness of his madness. Gloucester comments on Lear’s insanity and how he himself (Gloucester) hates how he’s sane enough to be aware of his own suffering. He’d rather be delirious and unaware of everything.
Be better suited. These weeds are memories of those worser hours. I prithee put them off. In a French camp, Cordelia tells Kent to lose the disguise, but Kent doesn’t want to; he has a plan and he doesn’t’ want Cordelia to reveal his true identity.
Alack, Alack, ’tis wonder that thy life and wits at once had not concluded at all. Cordelia talks to KL (who’s sleeping) and is amazed that he survived until now considering his insanity and the torment her sisters put him through.
You do me wrong to take me out o’ the’ grave. Thou art a soul in bliss, but I am bound upon a wheel of fire, that mine own tears do scald like molten lead…You are a spirit, I know. Where did you die? As KL awakes to Cordelia’s presence, he initially thinks that he is in hell. He thinks Cordelia is a spirit that comes to haunt him, and based on his actions toward Cordelia last time he saw her (banished her from Kingdom, disowned her), her spirit’s haunting him would not come as a surprise.
No, sir, you must not kneel. As Lear kneels before Cordelia as he sees her for the first time since he banished her. Cordelia doesn’t want him to do this though. (Re: unspoken love). This highlights Cordelia’s belief that love shouldn’t have to be romantically displayed.
If you have poison for me, I will drink it…You have some cause; they have not. King Lear, upon seeing Cordelia for the first time since he banished her, says to her he will willingly drink poison if she wants him to, as she has every right to be angry with her after what he has done to her (unlike Regan and Goneril, who have no cause to be angry with him and treat him terribly anyway).
No cause, no cause. In response to KL’s expressing his willingness to drink poison if Cordelia wants him to, Cordelia says this to Lear. Even after everything he did to her, Cordelia believes that she still does not have a reason to be mad at her father. Her lack of flowery language, too, does not detract from how moving the scene is and contrasts with the fake, flowery language Regan and Goneril used to get KL’s land.
Pray you now, forget, and forgive. I am old and foolish. Lear asks Cordelia to forgive and forget his wrongdoings toward her as they go for a walk and continue the touching reunion offstage. King Lear realizes that he is old and crazy, and asks Cordelia to bare with him, and Cordelia gladly does so.
They say Edgar, his banished son, is with the Earl of Kent in Germany. A Gentleman tells this to disguised Kent right after Cordelia’s and KL’s touching reunion. There’s gossip that Edgar is with Kent (dramatic irony, as the gentlemen is unknowingly speaking to Kent).
In honored love. When Regan asks Edmund whether or not he loves her sister, Edmund replies this. It’s neither yes nor no.
But have you never found my brother’s way to the forfended place? Regan asks Edmund whether or not he had sex with Goneril. Ever since Cornwall died Regan has been developing a love for Edmund.
I’d rather lose the battle than that sister should loosen him and me. Goneril says this in an aside, saying that she’d rather lose against the French than to give up Edmand to Regan.
Where I could not be honest, I never yet was valiant. For this business, it touches us as France invades our land, not bolds the King, with others whom, I fear, most just and heavy causes make oppose. Albany ends up joining forces with Goneril against the French despite his berating her treatment of King Lear earlier. He explains he is doing so solely on the principle that the French are invading, not because they support King Lear. While Albany had begun to show signs of courage in opposing Goneril, his joining her troops shows that he still doesn’t have the guts to stand up to evil. While Albany does transform from a passive husband to one who is willing to speak his mind, he is far from being courageous enough to stop Goneril’s plans.
Combine together ‘gainst the enemy, for these domestic and particular broils are not the question here. Goneril tells Regan and Albany to join forces against France despite their personal quarrels.
Oho, I know the riddle.–I will go Goneril says this to Regan, as she doesn’t want Regan to be alone with Edmund as Regan and Edmund go with Albany to determine a course of action for the upcoming war with France.
Before you fight the battle, ope this letter. If you have victory, let the trumpet sound for him that brought it. Wretched though I seem, I can produce a champion that will prove what is avouched there. If you miscarry, your business of the world hath so an end, and machination ceases. Fortune love you. Edgar, disguised, gives Albany Oswald’s letter from Goneril (the one that asks Edmund to kill Albany). Edgar says for Albanyto read the letter before battle and to sound a trumpet so that Edgar will appear and defend his claims.
To both these sisters have I sworn my love, each jealous of hte other as the stung are of the adder. Which of them shall I take? Both? One? Or neither? Neither can be enjoyed if both remain alive. Edmund, in a soliloquy, debates whether or not to take Regan, Goneril, or reject both.
To take the widow exasperates, makes mad her sister Goneril, and hardly shall I carry out my side, her husband being alive. Now, then, we’ll use his countenance for the battle, which, being done, let her who would be rid of him devise his speedy taking off. Edmund, in a soliloquy, debates whether or not to take Regan, Goneril, or reject both. On one hand, being with Regan will make Goneril angry, and on the other hand, being with Goneril will be bad since she’s married to Albany. He decides to wait until after the battle (and use Albany’s power to win) and see if Albany is killed by either Regan of Goneril.
As for the mercy which he intends to Lear and to Cordelia, the battle done and they within our power, shall never see his pardon, for my state stands on me to defend, not to debate. After Edmund’s pondering to take either Regan or Goneril, Edmund also decides to take Lear and Cordelia prisoner so that they won’t get Albany’s mercy and he can do what he wants with them (i.e. kill them). Edmund, in his soliloquy, expresses his desire to go to war solely for defending his state; he wants Lear and Cordelia out of the way so that he can control the kingdom.
Away, old man. Give me thy hand. Away. King Lear hath lost, he and his daughter ta’en. Edgar tells Gloucester that the French have lost and that KL and Cordelia have been taken prisoner. He asks for Gloucester’s hand so they may flee.
No further, sir. A man may rot even here. Gloucester says this to Edgar. After Edgar tells him that the French lost and that KL and Cordelia were taken as prisoners, Gloucester starts talking about suicide again. To this, Edgar tells him that he cannot chose when to die and that they must remain ready for anything in their lifetime (re: Hamlet to Horatio – “the readiness is all”)
Men must endure their going hence even as their coming hither. Ripeness is all. Edgar says this to Gloucester. After Edgar tells him that the French lost and that KL and Cordelia were taken as prisoners, Gloucester starts talking about suicide again. To this, Edgar tells him that he cannot chose when to die and that they must remain ready for anything in their lifetime (re: Hamlet to Horatio – “the readiness is all”)
We are not the first who with best meaning have incurred the worst. For thee, oppressed king, I am cast down. Myself could else outfrown false Fortune’s frown. Shall we not see these daughters and these sisters? Captive by Edmund, Cordelia tells Lear that if she were alone she could endure what’s to come, but she’s much more concerned about King Lear and what he will have to endure.
No, no, no, no. Come, let’s away to prison. We two alone will sing like birds i’ th’ cage. When thou dost ask me blessing, I’ll kneel down and ask thee forgiveness. So we’l live, and pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh at gilded butterflies, and hear poor rogues talk of court news…And we’ll wear out, in a walled prison, packs and sects of great ones that ebb and flow by th’ moon. When Cordelia expresses her concern for what King Lear will have to endure while they are held captive by Edmund, Lear tells her that he’s resigned to being prisoner. He wants to spend the time in prison with Cordelia. Power doesn’t matter to him anymore, he says; what he cares about is being with his beloved daughter.
The gods themselves throw incense. Lear tells Cordelia that the gods admire how much she sacrificed for him, and that when people sacrifice, the gods are happy.
Take thou this note. Go follow them to prison. One step I have advanced thee. If thou dost as this instructs thee, thou doest make thy way to noble fortunes. Know thou this: that men are as the time is; to be tender-minded does not become a sword. Thy great employment will not bear question. Either say thou’lt do ‘t, or thrive by other means. Edmund gives a note to a captain, telling him that in order to follow through with the orders in the note the captain must not be tender-hearted. The note orders for the death of Cordelia and King Lear. Edmund really does not have the authority to do this (as this is Albany’s army), highlighting Edmund’s treacherous nature and his determination to get what he wants.
You have the captives who were the opposites of this day’s strive. I do require them of you, so to use them as we shall find their merits and our safety may equally determine. Albany speaks to Edmund, telling Edmund to give him Cordelia and King Lear. Edmund has other plans though: he had just ordered a captain to kill Cordelia and KL.
Sir, I thought it fit to send the old and miserable king to some retention and appointed guard, whose age had charms in it, whose title more, to pluck the common bosom on his side and turn our impressed lances in our eyes. Edmund tells Albany, when Albany asks him to turn over Cordelia and KL, that he (Edmund) sent him to a prison cell, worried that Lear may cause an uprising with their soldiers due to his popularity. Edmund does not, however, mention his order to execute KL and Cordelia to Albany.
Sir by your patience, I hold you but a subject of this war, not as a brother. Albany, fed up with Edmund’s taking control of his army and taking KL and Cordelia, tells Edmund that they are not equal and that he does not consider him a brother, but rather as a subordinate. (Re: Albany’s change: he no longer lets others step all over him).
That’s as we list to grace him. Me thinks our pleasure might have been demanded ere you had spoke so far. He led our powers, bore the commission of my place and person, the which immediacy may well stand up and call itself your brother. When Albany demands Edmund to turn over KL and Cordelia, telling him that he considers him a subordinate and not an equal, Regan says this to Albany, that she gave him the power over his troops and that his association with her makes him Albany’s equal. (Re: Regan’s love for Edmund, Re: Good is a weak force compared to evil).
Not so hot. In his own grace he doth exalt himself more than in your addition. When Regan tells Albany that Edmund is now his equal through Edmund’s connection with Regan, Goneril says this to Regan, saying that Edmund has distinguished himself as a great soldier in his own right, deserving more than Regan. (Re: sisters’ love for Edmund, this is the beginning of the sisters’ hatred for each other) Also, Goneril fawns over Edmund with Albany still in the scene.
Witness the world that I create thee here my lord and master. Regan tells Edmund to take her soldiers, prisoners, and inheritance, making Edmund her lord and master. Not only does this fuel the fire between her and Goneril, but Edmund, through their quarreling, ends up with even more power.
I arrest thee on capital treason; and, in thine attaint, this gilded serpent. Albany, after Regan gives Edmund her soldiers, prisoners, and land as a sign of her devotion to him, arrests Edmund for treason. (Re: Albany’s transformation)
For your claim, fair sister, I bar it in the interest of my wife, ‘Tis she is subcontracted to this lord, and I, her husband, contradict your banns. (?)Interestingly, Albany vetos Regan’s declaration of marriage to Edmund for the benefit of Goneril, saying that Goneril is already engaged to Edmund.
Lady, I am not well, else I should answer from a full-flowing stomach. Amidst Regan and Goneril’s scuffle over Edmund’s love, Regan says that she feels sick. Little does she know that Goneril poisoned her.
If not, I’ll ne’er trust medicine. Goneril, in an aside, informs the audience that it was she that poisoned Regan.
There’s my exchange. What in the world he is that names me traitor, villain-like he lies. Call by the trumpet. He that dares approach, on him, on you, who not, I will maintain my truth and honor firmly. Edmund accepts Albany’s charges that he is a traitor and says he will accept anyone who challenges him.
Know my name is lost, by treason’s tooth bare-gnawn and canker-bit. Yet am I noble as the adversary I come to cope. Edgar tells Edmund that he lost his name and title to a traitor. At this point, though, Edgar is in a mask and Edmund doesn’t know who is challenging him.
Despite thy victor-sword and fire-new fortune, thy valor, and thy heart, thou art a traitor, false to thy gods, thy brother, and thy father, conspirant ‘gainst this high illustrious prince, and from th’ extremest upward of thy heard to the descent and dust below thy foot, a most toad-spotted traitor. Say thou “no,” this sword, this arm, and my best spirits are bent to prove upon thy heart, whereto I speak, thou liest. Edgar, in armor, charges Edmund of being a traitor. “Despite your youth, rank, courage, and victory at war, you’ve betrayed the gods, your brother, and your father, and plotted against this noble duke (Albany).
By rule of knighthood, I disdane and spurn. Back do I toss these treasons to thy head…This sword of mine shall give them instsant way, where they shall rest forever. Edmund, to Edgar (armored), cites common duel rules, which say that opponents must identify themselves to each other. However, Edmund decides to fight nonetheless, as his opponent looks fine and noble.
Shut your mouth, dame, or with this paper shall I stopple it…Thou worse than any name, read thine own evil. Albany says this to Goneril when Goneril tells Edmund that he was tricked into fighting the mystery knight (armored Edgar). Albany’s command to Goneril illustrates Albany’s change from being passive to showing courage, no longer letting others step over him and no longer giving his wife the benefit of the doubt.
Save him, save him! Albany says this to Edgar, telling Edgar to save Edmund after Edgar stabbed Edmund. Perhaps Albany wants Edmund to stand trial, believing that an instant death would be too merciful for Edmund and that legal punishment would be more severe.
Go after her, she’s desperate. Govern her. Albany tells a soldier to go after Goneril after she runs offstage after Albany shows her that he has the letter she gave to Oswald calling for Albany’s death. Albany is afraid Goneril will commit suicide. (Perhaps he also wants her to stand trail.)
What you have charged me with, that I have done, and much, much more. Edmund, defeated by Edgar (though he doesn’t know it’s Edgar yet), tells Edgar that he is guilty of what he is charged with and more, referencing his sending King Lear and Cordelia to die.
Let’s exchange charity. I am no less in blood than thou art, Edmund. If more, the more thou’st wronged me. Edgar, still in armor, tells Edmund “Let’s forgive each other” and that he (Edgar) is no less noble than Edmund is.
The dark and vicious place where thee he got cost him his eyes. Edgar tells Edmund, right after he revealed himself to Edmund, that Gloucester paid for his adultery (re: Edmund is illegitimate) with his eyes. In other words, it is Edmund who is responsible for Gloucester’s blindness.
The wheel is come full circle; I am here. Edmund says this to Edgar when Edgar reveals himself to Edmund. (Re: wheel of fortune, also that Edmund and Edgar are reunited).
Not sure, though hoping of this good success, I asked his blessing, and from first to last told him our pilgrimage. BUt his flawed heart (Alack, too weak the conflict to support), ‘twixt two extremes of passion, joy, and grief, burst smilingly. Edgar tells Edmund what Edgar has been up to, and here tells Edmund that when he revealed himself to Gloucester, Gloucester died, too weak to grapple with conflicting emotions of joy and sadness. (Note: Gloucester dies offstage to put Lear in spotlight; also, both KL and Gloucester die of heartbreak after being reunited with their faithful child.).
This speech of yours hath moved me, and shall perchance do good. Edmund tells this to Edgar, saying that he is moved by Edgar’s story of what he’s been up to, disguising as a beggar and leading his blind father. Edmund changes sincerely here, and he soon after decides to try and stop Cordelia’s and KL’s execution, though he is too late.
Kent, sir, the banished Kent, who in disguise followed his enemy king and did him service improper for a slave. Edgar also tells Albany and Edgar about Kent’s story and how he was exiled by Lear and still returned to be loyal to him.
What means this bloody knife? Edgar asks the gentleman who entered the scene holding a bloody knife what the meaning of the knife is. As it turns out, Goneril killed herself.
‘Tis hot, it smokes! It came even from the heart of–O, she’s dead! A gentleman carrying a bloody knife tells everyone (Edgar, Albany, Edmund) that Goneril killed herself.
You lady, sir, your lady. And her sister by her is poisoned. She confesses it. A gentleman carrying a bloody knife tells everyone (Edgar, Albany, Edmund) that Goneril killed herself and that Goneril confessed to poisoning Regan.
I was contracted to them both. All three now marry in an instant. Edmund, after hearing that Goneril committed suicide and that Regan died of poison, rays this aloud in the presence of Edgar and Albany. He states how he was engaged to both of them, and now all three will soon be together in death.
Yet Edmund was beloved. Truly a moving moment. When Edmund hears that Regan and Goneril are dead, Edmund feels something he never felt before: being loved. As a bastard child, he felt as though no one loved him, and he now hears that Regan and Goneril killed each other over him.
Quickly send–be brief in it–to th’ castle, for my writ is on the life of Lear, and on Cordelia. After Edmund is moved by Edgar’s telling of Edgar and Kent’s journey and after he hears of Goneril’s and Regan’s deaths, Edmund makes a last minute attempt to save Cordelia and Lear from his execution order, albiet too late.
He hath commission from thy wife and me to hang Cordelia in the prison, and to lay the blame upon her own despair, that she fordid herself. After Edmund sends a soldier to stop his execution order for Cordelia and Lear, Edmund explains to Albany that he was going to have Cordelia hanged to make it look like a suicide.
She’s gone forever. I know when one is dead and when one lives. She’s dead as earth. –Lend me a looking glass. If that her breath will mist or stain the stone, why, then she lives. After Edmund sends a soldier to stop the execution order, Lear enters with Cordelia in his arms, saying that she is dead. Lear, now crazy, is desperate for her to live, and asks for a glass so that he may see her breathing.
A plague upon you, murderers, traitors all! I might have saved her. Now she’s gone forever…Her voice was ever soft, gentle,and low, an excellent thing in woman. I killed the slave that was a-hanging thee. Lear curses the traitors who caused Cordelia’s death. He also states how her voice was soft and how Cordelia was reserved, saying that those traits are good in a woman. This contrasts with Regan’s and Goneril’s over-the-top flattery and flowery language; after the torment Regan and Goneril put KL through, KL’s preferring Cordelia’s quiet, reserved nature comes as no surprise.
No, my good lord, I am the very man– Kent tries to comfort Lear, and reveals himself as Lear’s guardian in disguise. But Lear brushes him off – he is too preoccupied with the death of his daughter to understand what Kent is trying to say. After sacrificing everything to help the King, Kent doesn’t even get the satisfaction of Lear recognizing his devotion.
That’s but a trifle here. When a messenger says that Edmund died, Albany doesn’t care, telling him that there are more pressing matters at hand.
No, no, no life? Why should a dog, a horse, and a rat have life, and thou no breath at all? Holding Cordelia in his arms, KL wonders why animals should live while his beloved daughter does not. (Re: animal imagery, but even deeper and more pessimistic; perhaps humans are equal with animals no matter how loving and deserving they are otherwise)
I have a journey, sir, shortly to go; My master calls me. I must not say no. Kent tells Albany that he is planning on soon answering God’s call to him and will join King Lear in death soon. (Re: undying loyalty)
Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say. The oldest hath born most; we that are young shall never see so much nor live so long. Edgar, in the presence of Kent and Albany as the closing line of the play, says we’re all going to get old and die. In the meantime, we should all be honest and say what’s in our hearts instead of running around lying all the time. He and Albany were both taken advantage of (by Edmund and Goneril, respectively) and have come to develop maturity and courage.
The wonder is he hath endued so long. He but ursurped his life. Kent says this to Edgar about King Lear. Kent is surpised at how long King Lear actually survived considering everything he had to go through. Perhaps King Lear’s death is merciful–an escape from his life’s torment.

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