Shakespeare and King Lear William Shakespeare, 1564-1616 Grammar school Married at 18 to Anne Hathaway (shotgun marriage) Three children (Hamnet, only son) Started in the theatre around 1590 Referred to in 1592 publication Closing of London theatres between 1592-1594
Part of Kings players from 1594 at Globe theatre Coat of arms granted to Shakespeares father in 1596 New Place, 1597 (second-largest in town) Retired to Stratford in 1612 Shakespeare Sharer, one of ten owners of the company House-holder, one of the owners or lease-holders of the Globe and Blackfriars theatres Dramatist
Actor Wrote 2 plays per year until 1602, and thereafter 1 play per year He did act exceedingly well he was a much better poet than player After 1603, he dropped out of his companys actor-lists (Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare) Investments / Purchases 1597: buys three storey-house (New Place) 1597: owns 80 bushels of corn and malt 1598: A Stratford man asks Shakespeare for a loan of 30.
1602: pays 320 for 127 acres of land and pasture 1602: buys title to a cottage and garden near New Place 1605: Paid $440 for a lease of tithes in neighboring villages 1613: Purchased Blackfriars Gatehouse (Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare) Shakespeares Will Item, I give unto my wife my second-best bed with the furniture Shotgun marriage; no children post-1585; annual trip to Stratford; stories about women and Shakespeare (inc. Dark Lady); my wife
instead of my loving wife; not executor of will (Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare) History plays Henry IV, parts 1-2; Henry V, Henry VI, parts 1-3; Henry VII; Henry VIII Richard II, Richard III King John Julius Caesar Comedies
The Two Gentlemen of Verona The Comedy of Errors Loves Labours Lost Taming of the Shrew A Midsummer Nights Dream The Merchant of Venice Much Ado about Nothing As You Like It Twelfth Night Merry Wives of Windsor
Tragedies Titus Andronicus Romeo and Juliet Hamlet Othello King Lear Macbeth Antony and Cleopatra Timon of Athens
Coriolanus Romances (Tragicomedies) Pericles The Winters Tale Cymbeline The Tempest Problem Plays Alls Well that ends well
Measure for Measure Troilus and Cressida Poems Sonnets Venus and Adonis Rape of Lucrece Henry Wriothesley, earl of Southampton Sources for Shakespeares Plays
Plutarch Ovid Plautus / Terence Boccaccio Chaucer Raphael Holinshed Bible Contemporary writers (Sidney, Marlowe) Influence on English
Coined 2,000 words (OED) King Lear Dating of King Lear 1603-4: Othello 1604-5: Alls Well that Ends Well 1605: Timon of Athens 1605-1606: The History of King Lear
1606: Macbeth 1606: Antony and Cleopatra (Oxford Companion to Shakespeare) Dramatis personae King Lear and his three daughters: Goneril, Regan, and Cordelia Duke of Gloucester and his two sons: Edgar and Edmund Duke of Cornwall (Gonerils husband) Duke of Albany (Regans husband) King of France (suitor and then husband to Cordelia)
Fool 5 acts Plot (1/2) The aging King Lear decides to divide his kingdom among his three daughters, allotting each a portion in proportion to the eloquence of her declaration of love. The hypocritical Goneril and Reganmake grand pronouncements and are rewarded; Cordelia, the youngest daughter, who truly loves Lear, refuses to make an insincere speech to prove her love and is disinherited. The two older sisters mock Lear and renege on their promise to support him. Cast out, the king slips into
madness and wanders about accompanied by his faithful Fool. He is aided by the Earl of Kent, who, though banished from the kingdom for having supported Cordelia, has remained in Britain disguised as a loyal follower of the king. Cordelia, having married the king of France, is obliged to invade her native country with a French army in order to rescue her neglected father. She is brought to Lear, cares for him, and helps him regain his reason. When her army is defeated, she and her father are taken into custody. Plot (2/2) The subplot concerns the Earl of Gloucester, who gullibly believes the lies of his
conniving illegitimate son, Edmund, and spurns his honest son, Edgar. Driven into exile disguised as a mad beggar, Edgar becomes a companion of the truly mad Lear and the Fool during a terrible storm. Edmund allies himself with Regan and Goneril to defend Britain against the French army mobilized by Cordelia. He turns his father over to Regans brutal husbandthe Duke of Cornwall, who gouges out Gloucesters eyesand then imprisons Cordelia and Lear, but he is defeated in chivalric combat by Edgar. Jealous of Edmunds romantic attentions to Regan, Goneril poisons her and commits suicide. Cordelia is hanged on the orders of Edmund, who experiences a change of heart once he has been defeated and fatally wounded by Edgar but is too late in his attempt to reverse the death order.
The Duke of Albany, Gonerils well-meaning husband, has attempted to remedy injustice in the kingdom but sees at last that events have overwhelmed his good intentions. Lear, broken, dies with Cordelias body in his arms. (David Bevington) Lear's story had often been told and Shakespeare appears to have known several versions. He treats it with great freedom, especially by adding Lear's madness and giving it a tragic conclusion. (Oxford Companion to Shakespeare) Ending of Lear: who reigns?
Folio: Edgar Quarto: Albany (the unfortunate life of Edgar, title page) The two endings are irreconcilable; scholars may argue that one or the other is corrupt, but that is a judgement, not a necessary conclusion from the evidence. Each is justifiable theatrically and intellectually. Cambridge Companion to Shakesperean Tragedy Language Most of play written in blank verse (unrhymed iambic pentameter)
Difference between speaking in verse and prose Characters can shift between verse and prose High-status characters speak in verse; comic/low-rank/mad characters speak in prose Rhyming In King Lear are 37 rhyming five-stress iambic couplets, used chiefly for the following purposes: (1) to give a certain amount of emotional pitch and intensity, as in the king of France's farewell, I, i, 248-255, Lear's reply, I, i, 256-259, and Edgar's speech, III, vi, 100-111; (2) to
give epigrammatic effect to a sententious generalization, I, iv, 335336; and (3), as so frequently in Elizabethan plays, to mark an exit or round off a speech. Shakespeare, William. King Lear. Ed. Henry Norman Hudson. New York: Ginn and Co., 1911. Shakespeare Online. 20 Aug. 2009. Metrical forms Fool: Verses with 2/3/4 stresses Edgar: Ballad rhythm (4 stresses) Lear to daughters, 1.1
Meantime we shall express our darker purpose. Give me the map there. Know that we have divided In three our kingdom; and tis our fast intent To shake all cares and business from our age, Conferring them on younger strengths while we Unburdened crawl toward death. Our son of Cornwall, And you, our no less loving son of Albany, We have this hour a constant will to publish Our daughters' several dowers, that future strife May be prevented now.
The two great princes, France and Burgundy, Great rivals in our youngest daughters love, Long in our court have made their amorous sojourn, And here are to be answered. Tell me, my daughters Since now we will divest us both of rule, Interest of territory, cares of state Which of you shall we say doth love us most That we our largest bounty may extend Where nature doth with merit challenge? Goneril, Our eldest born, speak first. Cordelia to Lear, 1.1
Good my lord, You have begot me, bred me, loved me: I Return those duties back as are right fit, Obey you, love you, and most honour you. Why have my sisters husbands, if they say They love you all? 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: Sure, I shall never marry like my sisters, To love my father all.
Lear to Cordelia, 1.1 Let it be so; thy truth, then, be thy dower: For, by the sacred radiance of the sun, The mysteries of Hecate, and the night; By all the operation of the orbs From whom we do exist, and cease to be; 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, for ever. The barbarous Scythian, Or he that makes his generation messes To gorge his appetite, shall to my bosom Be as well neighbour'd, pitied, and relieved, As thou my sometime daughter. Lear to Kent, 1.1 Peace, Kent! Come not between the dragon and his wrath. I loved her most, and thought to set my rest
On her kind nursery. Hence, and avoid my sight! So be my grave my peace, as here I give Her father's heart from her! Call France; who stirs? Call Burgundy. Cornwall and Albany, With my two daughters' dowers digest this third: Let pride, which she calls plainness, marry her. I do invest you jointly with my power, Pre-eminence, and all the large effects That troop with majesty. Ourself, by monthly course, With reservation of an hundred knights,
By you to be sustain'd, shall our abode Make with you by due turns. Only we still retain The name, and all the additions to a king; The sway, revenue, execution of the rest, Beloved sons, be yours: which to confirm, This coronet part betwixt you. Lear to Kent, 1.1 Hear me, recreant! On thine allegiance, hear me!
Since thou hast sought to make us break our vow, Which we durst never yet, and with strain'd pride To come between our sentence and our power, Which nor our nature nor our place can bear, Our potency made good, take thy reward. Five days we do allot thee, for provision To shield thee from diseases of the world; And on the sixth to turn thy hated back Upon our kingdom: if, on the tenth day following, Thy banish'd trunk be found in our dominions,
The moment is thy death. Away! by Jupiter, This shall not be revoked. King of France to Cordelia, 1.1 Fairest Cordelia, 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. Gods, gods! 'tis strange that from their cold'st neglect My love should kindle to inflamed respect.
Thy dowerless daughter, king, thrown to my chance, Is queen of us, of ours, and our fair France: Not all the dukes of waterish Burgundy Can buy this unprized precious maid of me. Bid them farewell, Cordelia, though unkind: Thou losest here, a better where to find. Act 1, scene 2 Edmund, soliloquy, 1.2
Thou, nature, art my goddess; to thy law My services are bound. Wherefore should I Stand in the plague of custom, and permit The curiosity of nations to deprive me, For that I am some twelve or fourteen moon-shines Lag of a brother? 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? Why brand they us With base? with baseness? bastardy? base, base?
Who, in the lusty stealth of nature, take More composition and fierce quality Than doth, within a dull, stale, tired bed, Go to the creating a whole tribe of fops, Got 'tween asleep and wake? Well, then, Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land: Our father's love is to the bastard Edmund As to the legitimate: fine word,--legitimate! Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed, And my invention thrive, Edmund the base
Shall top the legitimate. I grow; I prosper: Now, gods, stand up for bastards! Gloucester, 1.2 These late eclipses in the sun and moon portend no good to us: though the wisdom of nature can reason it thus and thus, yet nature finds itself scourged by the sequent effects: love cools, friendship falls off, brothers divide: in cities, mutinies; in countries, discord; in
palaces, treason; and the bond cracked 'twixt son and father. This villain of mine comes under the prediction; there's son against father: the king falls from bias of nature; there's father against child. We have seen the best of our time: machinations, hollowness, treachery, and all ruinous disorders, follow us disquietly to our graves. Find out this villain, Edmund; it shall lose thee nothing; do it carefully. And the noble and true-hearted Kent banished! his
offence, honesty! 'Tis strange. Edmund, 1.2 This is the excellent foppery of the world, that, when we are sick in fortune,--often the surfeit of our own behavior,--we make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars: as if we were villains by necessity; fools by heavenly compulsion; knaves, thieves, and treachers, by spherical predominance; drunkards,
liars, and adulterers, by an enforced obedience of planetary influence; and all that we are evil in, by a divine thrusting on: an admirable evasion of whoremaster man, to lay his goatish disposition to the charge of a star! My father compounded with my mother under the dragon's tail; and my nativity was under Ursa major; so that it follows, I am rough and lecherous. Tut, I should have been that I am, had the maidenliest star in the firmament
twinkled on my bastardizing. Edgar-- Act 1, scene 4 Fool, to Lear, 1.4 Mark it, nuncle: Have more than thou showest, Speak less than thou knowest, Lend less than thou owest, Ride more than thou goest,
Learn more than thou trowest, Set less than thou throwest; Leave thy drink and thy whore, And keep in-a-door, And thou shalt have more Than two tens to a score. Lear and Fool, 1.4 KING LEAR: When were you wont to be so full of songs, sirrah? Fool: I have used it, nuncle, ever since thou madest thy
daughters thy mothers: for when thou gavest them the rod, and put'st down thine own breeches, Singing Then they for sudden joy did weep, And I for sorrow sung, That such a king should play bo-peep, And go the fools among. Lear, 1.4 Doth any here know me? This is not Lear:
Doth Lear walk thus? speak thus? Where are his eyes? Either his notion weakens, his discernings Are lethargied--Ha! waking? 'tis not so. Who is it that can tell me who I am? Lear, 1.4 O Lear, Lear, Lear! Beat at this gate, that let thy folly in, Striking his head And thy dear judgment out!
Lear, 1.4 Hear, nature, hear; dear goddess, hear! Suspend thy purpose, if thou didst intend To make this creature fruitful! Into her womb convey sterility! Dry up in her the organs of increase; And from her derogate body never spring A babe to honour her! If she must teem, Create her child of spleen; that it may live,
And be a thwart disnatured torment to her! 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! Away, away! Act 1, scene 5
Fool and Lear, 1.5 Fool: If thou wert my fool, nuncle, I'd have thee beaten for being old before thy time. KING LEAR: How's that? Fool: Thou shouldst not have been old till thou hadst been wise. KING LEAR: O, let me not be mad, not mad, sweet heaven Keep me in temper: I would not be mad! Act 2, scene 2
Kent and Oswald, 2.2 KENT: Fellow, I know thee. OSWALD: What dost thou know me for? 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 knave, a whoreson, glass-gazing, super-serviceable finical rogue; one-trunk-inheriting slave; one that wouldst be a bawd, in way of good service, and art nothing but the composition of a knave, beggar, coward, pander, and the son and heir
of a mongrel bitch: one whom I will beat into clamorous whining, if thou deniest the least syllable of thy addition. Act 2, scene 3 Edgar, soliloquy, 2.3 I heard myself proclaim'd; And by the happy hollow of a tree Escaped the hunt. No port is free; no place, That guard, and most unusual vigilance,
Does not attend my taking. Whiles I may 'scape, 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 hair in knots; And with presented nakedness out-face The winds and persecutions of the sky. The country gives me proof and precedent Of Bedlam beggars, who, with roaring voices,
Strike in their numb'd and mortified bare arms Pins, wooden pricks, nails, sprigs of rosemary; And with this horrible object, from low farms, Poor pelting villages, sheep-cotes, and mills, Sometime with lunatic bans, sometime with prayers, Enforce their charity. Poor Turlygod! poor Tom! That's something yet: Edgar I nothing am. Act 2, scene 4
Regan to Lear, 2.4 REGAN: O, sir, you are old. Nature in you stands on the very verge Of her 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 wrong'd her, sir. Lear, 2.4
O, reason not the need: our basest beggars Are in the poorest thing superfluous: Allow not nature more than nature needs, Man's life's as cheap as beast's: thou art a lady; If only to go warm were gorgeous, Why, nature needs not what thou gorgeous wear'st, Which scarcely keeps thee warm. But, for true need,-You heavens, give me that patience, patience I need! You see me here, you gods, a poor old man, As full of grief as age; wretched in both! If it be you that stir these daughters' hearts
Against their father, fool me not so much To bear it tamely; touch me with noble anger, And let not women's weapons, water-drops, Stain my man's cheeks! No, you unnatural hags, I will have such revenges on you both, That all the world shall--I will do such things,-What they are, yet I know not: but they shall be The terrors of the earth. You think I'll weep No, I'll not weep: I have full cause of weeping; but this heart Shall break into a hundred thousand flaws,
Or ere I'll weep. O fool, I shall go mad! Act 3, scene 2 Lear, 3.2 Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow! You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout Till you have drench'd our steeples, drown'd the cocks! You sulphurous and thought-executing fires, Vaunt-couriers to oak-cleaving thunderbolts,
Singe my white head! And thou, all-shaking thunder, Smite flat the thick rotundity o' the world! Crack nature's moulds, an germens spill at once, That make ingrateful man! Lear, 3.2 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, call'd you children,
You owe me no subscription: then let fall Your horrible pleasure: here I stand, your slave, A poor, infirm, weak, and despised old man: But yet I call you servile ministers, That have with two pernicious daughters join'd Your high engender'd battles 'gainst a head So old and white as this. O! O! 'tis foul! Lear, 3.2 I am a man
More sinn'd against than sinning. Lear, 3.2 My wits begin to turn. Come on, my boy: how dost, my boy? art cold? I am cold myself. Where is this straw, my fellow? The art of our necessities is strange, That can make vile things precious. Come, your hovel. Poor fool and knave, I have one part in my heart
That's sorry yet for thee. Act 3, scene 4 Lear, 3.4 Prithee, go in thyself: seek thine own ease: This tempest will not give me leave to ponder On things would hurt me more. But I'll go in. To the Fool In, boy; go first. You houseless poverty,-Nay, get thee in. I'll pray, and then I'll sleep.
Fool goes in Poor naked wretches, whereso'er you are, That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm, How shall your houseless heads and unfed sides, Your loop'd and window'd raggedness, defend you From seasons such as these? O, I have ta'en Too little care of this! Take physic, pomp; Expose thyself to feel what wretches feel, That thou mayst shake the superflux to them, And show the heavens more just.
Lear, 3.4 Why, thou wert better in thy grave than to answer with thy uncovered body this extremity of the skies. Is man no more than this? Consider him well. Thou owest the worm no silk, the beast no hide, the sheep no wool, the cat no perfume. Ha! here's three on 's are sophisticated! Thou art the thing itself: unaccommodated man is no more but such a poor bare, forked animal as thou art. Off, off, you lendings!
come unbutton here. Edgar, 3.4 Poor Tom; that eats the swimming frog, the toad, the tadpole, the wallnewt and the water; that in the fury of his heart, when the foul fiend rages, eats cow-dung for sallets; swallows the old rat and the ditch-dog; drinks the green mantle of the standing pool; who is whipped from tithing to tithing, and stock- punished, and imprisoned; who hath had three suits to his back, six shirts to his body, Horse to ride, and weapon to wear; But mice and rats, and such small deer,
Have been Tom's food for seven long year. Beware my follower. Peace, Smulkin; peace, thou fiend! Act 3, scene 7 Duke of Gloucester, 3.7 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. The sea, with such a storm as his bare head
In hell-black night endured, would have buoy'd up, And quench'd the stelled fires: Yet, poor old heart, he holp the heavens to rain. If wolves had at thy gate howl'd that stern time, Thou shouldst have said 'Good porter, turn the key,' All cruels else subscribed: but I shall see The winged vengeance overtake such children. Duke of Gloucester, 3.7 All dark and comfortless. Where's my son Edmund?
Edmund, enkindle all the sparks of nature, To quit this horrid act. Regan and Duke of Gloucester, 3.7 REGAN: Out, treacherous villain! 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. GLOUCESTER: O my follies! then Edgar was abused. Kind gods, forgive me that, and prosper him!
REGAN: Go thrust him out at gates, and let him smell His way to Dover. Act 4, scene 1 Gloucester, 4.1 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. O dear son Edgar,
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! Edgar, 4.1 EDGAR: [Aside] O gods! Who is't can say 'I am at the worst'? I am worse than e'er I was. [Aside] And worse I may be yet: the worst is not So long as we can say 'This is the worst.'
Act 4, scene 2 King of Albany, 4.2 Wisdom and goodness to the vile seem vile: Filths savour but themselves. What have you done? Tigers, not daughters, what have you perform'd? A father, and a gracious aged man, Whose reverence even the head-lugg'd bear would lick, Most barbarous, most degenerate! have you madded.
Could my good brother suffer you to do it? A man, a prince, by him so benefited! If that the heavens do not their visible spirits Send quickly down to tame these vile offences, It will come, Humanity must perforce prey on itself, Like monsters of the deep. Act 4, scene 6
Edgar to Duke of Gloucester, 4.6 Come on, sir; here's the place: stand still. 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: half way down Hangs one that gathers samphire, dreadful trade! Methinks he seems no bigger than his head: The fishermen, that walk upon the beach, Appear like mice; and yond tall anchoring bark, Diminish'd to her cock; her cock, a buoy
Almost too small for sight: the murmuring surge, That on the unnumber'd idle pebbles chafes, Cannot be heard so high. I'll look no more; Lest my brain turn, and the deficient sight Topple down headlong. Duke of Gloucester, 4.6 [Kneeling] O you mighty gods! 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! Now, fellow, fare thee well. He falls forward Edgar and Duke of Gloucester, 4.6 EDGAR: This is above all strangeness. Upon the crown o' the cliff, what thing was that
Which parted from you? GLOUCESTER: A poor unfortunate beggar. EDGAR: As I stood here below, methought his eyes Were two full moons; he had a thousand noses, Horns whelk'd and waved like the enridged sea: It was some fiend; therefore, thou happy father, Think that the clearest gods, who make them honours Of men's impossibilities, have preserved thee. GLOUCESTER: I do remember now: henceforth I'll bear Affliction till it do cry out itself
'Enough, enough,' and die. That thing you speak of, I took it for a man; often 'twould say 'The fiend, the fiend:' he led me to that place. Duke of Gloucester and Lear, 4.6 GLOUCESTER: The trick of that voice I do well remember: Is 't not the king? KING LEAR: Ay, every inch a king: When I do stare, see how the subject quakes. I pardon that man's life. What was thy cause? Adultery?
Thou shalt not die: die for adultery! No: The wren goes to 't, and the small gilded fly Does lecher in my sight. Let copulation thrive; for Gloucester's bastard son Was kinder to his father than my daughters Got 'tween the lawful sheets. To 't, luxury, pell-mell! for I lack soldiers. Behold yond simpering dame, Whose face between her forks presages snow; That minces virtue, and does shake the head
To hear of pleasure's name; The fitchew, nor the soiled horse, goes to 't with a more riotous appetite, down from the waist they are Centaurs, though women all above: but to the girdle do the gods inherit, beneath is all the fiends'; there's hell, there's darkness, there's the sulphurous pit, burning, scalding, stench, consumption; fie, fie, fie! pah, pah! Give me an ounce of civet, good apothecary, to sweeten my imagination: there's money for thee. Duke of Gloucester and Lear, 4.6 GLOUCESTER: O, let me kiss that hand! KING LEAR: Let me wipe it first; it smells of mortality.
Duke of Gloucester and Lear KING LEAR: If thou wilt weep my fortunes, take my eyes. I know thee well enough; thy name is Gloucester: Thou must be patient; we came crying hither: Thou know'st, the first time that we smell the air, We wawl and cry. I will preach to thee: mark. GLOUCESTER: Alack, alack the day! KING LEAR: When we are born, we cry that we are come To this great stage of fools: this a good block; It were a delicate stratagem, to shoe
A troop of horse with felt: I'll put 't in proof; And when I have stol'n upon these sons-in-law, Then, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill! Act 4, scene 7 Lear, 4.7 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 moulten lead. Lear to Cordelia, 4.7 Pray, do not mock me: I am a very foolish fond old man, Fourscore and upward, not an hour more nor less; And, to deal plainly, I fear I am not in my perfect mind. Methinks I should know you, and know this man; Yet I am doubtful for I am mainly ignorant
What place this is; and all the skill I have Remembers not these garments; nor I know not Where I did lodge last night. Do not laugh at me; For, as I am a man, I think this lady To be my child Cordelia. Act 5, scene 2 Edgar and Duke of Gloucester, 5.2 EDGAR: Away, old man; give me thy hand; away!
King Lear hath lost, he and his daughter ta'en: Give me thy hand; come on. GLOUCESTER: No farther, sir; a man may rot even here. EDGAR: What, in ill thoughts again? Men must endure Their going hence, even as their coming hither; Ripeness is all: come on. Act 5, scene 3 Lear to Cordelia, 5.3
Come, let's away to prison: We two alone will sing like birds i' the cage: When thou dost ask me blessing, I'll kneel down, And ask of thee forgiveness: so we'll 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 talk with them too, Who loses and who wins; who's in, who's out; And take upon's the mystery of things, As if we were God's spies: and we'll wear out,
In a wall'd prison, packs and sects of great ones, That ebb and flow by the moon. Edmund and Lear, 5.3 EDMUND: Take them away. KING LEAR: Upon such sacrifices, my Cordelia, The gods themselves throw incense. Have I caught thee? He that parts us shall bring a brand from heaven, And fire us hence like foxes. Wipe thine eyes; The good-years shall devour them, flesh and fell,
Ere they shall make us weep: we'll see 'em starve first. Come. Edmund, 5.3 EDMUND: I pant for life: some good I mean to do, Despite of mine own nature. Quickly send, Be brief in it, to the castle; for my writ Is on the life of Lear and on Cordelia: Nay, send in time.
Lear, 5.3 Howl, howl, howl, howl! O, you are men of stones: Had I your tongues and eyes, Id use them so That heaven's vault should crack: she's gone for ever! 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.
This feather stirs; she lives! if it be so, It is a chance which does redeem all sorrows That ever I have felt. Lear, 5.3 A plague upon you, murderers, traitors all! I might have saved her; now she's gone for ever! Cordelia, Cordelia! stay a little. Ha! What is't thou say'st? Her voice was ever soft, Gentle, and low, an excellent thing in woman.
I kill'd the slave that was a-hanging thee. Lear, 5.3 And my poor fool is hang'd! No, no, no life! Why should a dog, a horse, a rat have life, And thou no breath at all? O thou'lt come no more, Never, never, never, never, never! Pray you, undo this button: thank you, sir. O, o, o, o. Do you see this? Look on her: look, her lips, Look there, look there!
He dies Duke of Albany, 5.3 The weight of this sad time we must obey; Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say. The oldest hath borne most: we that are young Shall never see so much, nor live so long.