king lear quotes

Regan “O sir, you are old. Nature in you stands on the very verge of his confine. You should be ruled and led by some discretion that discerns your state better than you yourself. Therefore, I pray you that to our sister you do make return. Say you have wronged her. “Lear’s old age makes him unfit to rule a kingdom. He would be better off if he let someone else care for him. ( too old to even govern himself)
King Lear “But yet thou art my flesh, my blood, my daughter, or rather, a disease that’s in my flesh, which I must needs call mine. Thou art a boil, a plague-sore or embossed carbuncle in my corrupted blood. “Goneril is evil and plagues Lear’s body, Lear blames all his problems on women.
Gloucester “My duty cannot suffer t’obey in all your daughters’ 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.”He can’t abandon Lear because of what Regan and Goneril have ordered him. He is loyal to Lear and braved the storm for his sake.
Cornwall “I have received a hurt. Follow me lady. Turn out that eyeless villain. Throw his slave upon the dunghill. Regan, I bleed apace. Untimely comes this hurt. Give me your arm”Cornwall gets stabbed by his servant who was attempting to stop Cornwall from gouging out Glocester’s eyes.
King Lear “I pray, weep not. If you have poison for me, I will drink it. I know you do not love me, for your sisters have, as I do remember, done me wrong. You have some cause; they have not.”Lear acknowledges that he hurt Cordelia and that she has a cause to want to hurt him/ not forgive him but Cordelia forgives him anyway
Gloucester “Though this knave came something saucily to the world before he was sent for, yet was his mother fair, there was good sport at his making and the whoreson must be acknowledged.”G is pointing out that he has a legitimate son and a “whoreson” but doesn’t love one more than the other (said in the previous line)
Edmund “Why ‘bastard’? Wherefore ‘base’, when my dimensions are as well compact, my mind as generous and my shape as true as honest madam’s issue?”E questions why he is considered a bastard and a lowlife when he is just as legitimate as anyone else. Begins his cheating and scheming against his dad and brother in order to gain status and legitimacy
Cordelia “Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave my heart into my mouth. I love your Majesty according to my bond, no more nor less.”Instead of giving the empty flattery like her sisters, C gives her father a truthful statement of her love for him and recognizes that it is her duty to love him as a father and king. Her integrity and loyalty to her father prevents her from making false declaration of her love in order to gain Lear’s wealth, which Lear falsely judges, thus beginning the conflict in the story.
Goneril “As you are old and reverend, should be wise. Here do you keep a hundred knights and squires, men so disordered, so debauched and bold, that this our court, infected with their manners, shows like a riotous inn.” G is telling her father that since he is old and respected, he should be smart and get rid of his knights who are disorderly, and obnoxious and make the palace seem like a pub. She thinks it’s a shame and that changes need to be made, which upsets Lear because although he doesn’t need all the knights, he wants to keep his authority.
King Lear “Let it stamp wrinkles in her brow of youth, with cadent tears fret channels in her cheeks, turn all her mother’s pains and benefits to laughter and contempt, that she may feel how sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child”KL is enraged about his daughter’s betrayal of him and curses them a painful labor and hopes that they will have “thankless children” who make them miserable for the rest of their lives.
Kent “A knave, a rascal, an eater of broken meats; a base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited hundred-pound, filthy worsted-stocking knave; a lily-livered, action-taking, whoreson, glass-gazing, superserviceable, finical rouge; on-trunk-inheriting slave….” K is insulting Oswald because he wasn’t loyal to Lear and is following what Regan and Goneril are ordering of him instead of standing up for Lear.
Edgar “My face I’ll grime with filth, blanket my loins, elf all my hairs I knots, and with presented nakedness outface the winds and persecutions of the sky. ” Edgar decided to disguise himself as an insane beggar called “crazy tom” to escape all the people trying to capture him after Edmund lied and told everyone that Edgar was trying to murder Gloucester.
Edmund “But that I told him the revenging gods ‘gainst parricides did all the thunder bend, spoke with how manifold and strong a bond the child was bound to th’ father—sir, in fine, seeing how loathly opposite I stood to his unnatural purpose, in fell motion with his prepared sword he charges home my unprovided body.” Edmund is lying to his father by telling him that Edgar was planning to murder their dad and wanted Edmund’s help, and when Edmund refused, Edgar stabbed him in the arm
Fool “All that follow their noses are led by their eyes but blind men, and there’s not a nose among twenty but can smell him that’s stinking.” He is basically saying that if there is no profit, there is no point in working towards something. Serving Lear won’t get you anywhere; everyone can see it and even the blind men can smell the misery of lear.
Regan “Therefore I do advise you take this note: My lord is dead; Edmund and I have talked, and more convenient is he for my hand than for your lady’s.”R is speaking to Oswald and saying how it makes more sense for Regan to marry Edmund because her husband is dead whereas Goneril is married to Albany, so she is trying to intercept Goneril’s letter to Edmund and give Oswald a letter to give him from her.
Edgar “O indistinguished space of woman’s will! A plot upon her virtuous husband’s life, and the exchange my brother”after intercepting oswald and reading the letter he has for edmund from goneril asking edmund to murder her husband so they can be together, E questions women’s limits which further shows how the play blames a lot on women