King Lear- Lear quotes

“We shall express our darker purpose” Lear- power
“we unburdened crawl toward death” infantalisation theme- Lear will become a child before he dies
“we will divest us both of rule” use of royal “we” Lear is ridding himself of all power- some directors literally have Lear remove a jacket at this point in the scene.
“nothing will come of nothing” contradicts the following events of entire play, through Cordelia saying “nothing” Lear embarks on an emotional trajectory of development and gains insight.
“Out of my sight” eyesight motif- ironic as Lear has lack of insight at this point
“better thou hadst not been born than not to have pleased me better” Lear to Cordelia Act one scene one, he disowns her
“who am I sir?” Lear to Oswald, Act one scene 4
“This is nothing Fool” The Fool’s speech to Lear, this is Lear’s response
“Does any know me here?” Loss of royal “we”, revealing Lear’s loss of status, social identity and power as a King.
“Into her womb convey sterility, Dry up in her the organs of increase” cursing Goneril
“create her child of spleen” give Goneril a child of a violent temper- ironic, Lear is arguably this child “old fools become babes again”. He’s lost his power and like a child is thus dependent upon his two daughters.
“How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child” vitriolic, ironic- Cordelia must feel this in a sense as she projected her true love and Lear being childlike in his anger is thankless.
“O let me not be mad, not mad, sweet heaven!” Lear to fool, Act one scene 5
“We are not ourselvesWhen nature, being oppressed, commands the mind To suffer with the body” Allusion to Edmund’s earlier speech, Lear is indicating that we cannot always be held accountable for our actions when nature or illness is the cause.
” O Regan, she hath tied Sharp- toothed unkindness” Act 2 scene 2, Lear comes to Regan in a childlike way, like a child moving from one parent to another. Reveals his loss of power and status and his dependence on his daughters- he is infantalised.
“Allow not nature more than nature needs,Man’s life is cheap as beast’s” man’s life becomes cheap as a beast
” let not women’s weapons, water-drops, Stain my man’s cheeks””No, you unnatural hags””Nothing could have subdued nature To such a lowness but his unkind daughters””down from the waist they are centaurs, though women all above” Anti-feminist reading- Shakespeare is presenting a dystopian play whereby the struggle for Goneril and Regan to be independent from their father is portrayed as dangerous and threatening.
“Blow winds and crack your cheeks” “Your cataracts and hurricanoes” plosive consonants, to recreate the storm
“drenched our steeples” churches flooded, dystopian play presenting a world without God, ammoral society recreating the apocalypse described in the bible.
“spit fire, spout rain!” monosyllabic, reflecting anger
“I am a man more sinned against than sinning” progresses in this very scene- Marxist reading
“Art cold?I am cold myself” like a toddler, again he is infantalised but begins to learn about the world around him
“where is this straw?” straw becomes a valuable entity, Lear can now empathise with the rest of England, he is progressing as a person through suffering.
“this tempest in my mind””This tempest will not give me leave to ponder” alluding perhaps to Lear’s awareness that he is losing his sanity, dementia, nature taking it’s course
“Poor naked wretches””I have ta’en Too little care of this” social commentary, Lear is realising his lack of insight and his failure as a monarch- trajectory of learning.
“Unaccommodated man is no more but such a poor, bare, forked animal as thou art” Lear to Poor Tom
“Thou robed man of justice”- Edgar”his yoke fellow of equity”- The Fool ‘Shakespeare makes a comment on contemporary justice system by staging a trial by a lunatic, counterfeit and a Fool’- Marxist
“When we are born we cry that we are comeTo this great stage of fools” acknowledges his own foolishness
“We two alone will sing like birds i’the cage””As if we were God’s spies” to Cordelia
“And my poor fool is hanged” reference to Cordelia or actual fool?