King Lear Quotes

Nothing. Nothing can come of nothing, speak again. (Act 1 Scene 1) Lear-CordeliaTranslation: Come on, “nothing” will get you nothing. Try again.
Now, gods, stand up for bastards! (Act 1 Scene 2) Edmund-audienceTranslation: Look out, I’m on my way up. Three cheers for bastards!
How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is To have a thankless child! (Act 1 Scene 4) Lear-AlbanyTranslation: Make my daughter feel—make her feel how an ungrateful child hurts worse than a snakebite.—Now let’s leave. Go!
Thou shouldst not have been old till thou hadst been wise. (Act, 1 Scene 5) Fool-LearTranslation: You’re not supposed to get old until you’re wise.
Blow winds and crack your cheeks! Rage, blow, You cataracts and hurricanoes. (Act 3 Scene 2) Lear-FoolTranslation: Blow, winds! Blow until your cheeks crack! Rage on, blow! Let tornadoes spew water until the steeples of our churches and the weathervanes are all drowned.
I am a man More sinned against than sinning. (Act 3 Scene 2) Lear-KentTranslation: Other people have sinned against me more than I have sinned against them.
As flies to wanton boys are we to th’ gods: They kill us for their sport. (Act 4 Scene 1) Gloucester-EdgarTranslation: The gods play around with us as cruelly as schoolboys who pull the wings off flies.
So distribution should undo excess, And each man have enough. (Act 4 Scene 1) Gloucester-EdgarTranslation: That way wealth would be redistributed until everyone has enough to survive. Are you familiar with Dover?
They told me I was everything: ’tis a lie, I am no ague-proof. (Act 4 Scene 5) Lear-GloucesterTranslation: They told me I was everything. It’s a lie. I’m not immune to chills.
Get thee glass eyes, And like a scurvy politician seem To see the things thou dost not. (Act 4 Scene 5) Lear-GloucesterTranslation: Get yourself some glass eyes, and pretend to see things you can’t, like a crooked politician.
When we are born, we cry that we are come To this great stage of fools. (Act 4 Scene 5) Lear-GloucesterTranslation: When we’re born, we cry because we’ve arrived on the stage of life, like all the other fools.
Men must endure Their going hence, even as their coming hither. (Act 5 Scene 2) Edgar-GloucesterTranslation: You can’t choose your time of death any more than your time of birth. We live and die when our time comes.
When thou dost ask me blessing, I’ll kneel down And ask of thee forgiveness. (Act 5 Scene 3) Lear-CordeliaTranslation: When you ask for my blessing, I’ll get down on my knees and ask you to forgive me.
Why should a dog, a horse, a rat have life, And thou no breath at all? (Act 5 Scene 3) Lear-Edgar/KentTranslation: Why should a dog or horse or rat have life, but not you?
We that are young Shall never see so much, nor live so long. (Act 5 Scene 3) Albany-Kent/EdgarTranslation: We young ones will never see as much as he has seen, or live as long.

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