Power Quotes and Analysis – King Lear

Goneril “I love you more than word can wield the matter” – link to Niccolò Machiavelli
Lear – “Come not between the dragon and his wrath”- Ironic use of zoomorphism as he is giving up power
When Regan asks why Lear needs a servant, he replies “O reason not the need”- Suggests how human nature would be no different from that of animals if humans didn’t need more Han life’s fundamentals.- Lear doesn’t need servants but rather, the sense of power that they represent.- Power can be seen as synonymous with Lear’s identity that he has built up for himself- By denying Lear his servants, it could appear that this is also denying Lear what he needs as part of his identity.
Stage Direction – Regan “Regan plucks his beard” – the beard was a symbol of power
“Doth any here know me now? This is not Lear.” – Lear questioning his own identity
The Heath (Stage direction) “A heath. A storm, with thunder and lightning.”
“Blow winds and crack your cheeks! Rage, blow!” – Epanalepsis emphasises Lear’s pain and madness.- Lear discovers that he is as much inferior to nature as any man caught in a storm.- Lear’s attempt to speak to the storm shows how he has lost touch with the natural world and his relation to it.- Diatribe
“Crowned with rank fumiter and furrow-weeds” – Shift in Lear’s character.- Lear no longer sees himself as a heroic figure who transcends nature but sees himself as a meaningless component of it.
“Fie, fie, fie! Pah, pah!” – Lear is carried to the point of incoherence as he deserts iambic pentameter
Edmund – “Why brand they us with base? with baseness? bastardy?” – Polyptoton
Edmund – “As to th’ legitimate. Fine word, ‘legitimate!” – Diacope
Edmund – “Our father’s love is to the bastard Edmund” – need for filial recognition
“A credulous father and a brother noble whose nature is so far from doing harms that he suspects none”
“All with me’s meet that I can fashion fit” (link to the Wheel of Fortune)