“Striving to be better, oft we mar what's well.”Duke of Albany
“Howl, howl, howl, howl! O, you are men of stones:Had I your tongues and eyes, I’d use them soThat heaven’s vault should crack. She’s gone forever!I know when one is dead, and when one lives;She’s dead as earth.”Lear utters these words as he emerges from prison carrying Cordelia’s body in his arms.
“As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods;They kill us for their sport.”Gloucester speaks these words as he wanders on the heath after being blinded by Cornwall and Regan
“O, reason not the need! Our basest beggarsAre in the poorest thing superfluous.Allow not nature more than nature needs,Man’s life’s as cheap as beast’s . . .…You heavens, give me that patience, patience I need!…If it be you that stir these daughters’ heartsAgainst their father, fool me not so muchTo 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,…No, I’ll not weep.I have full cause of weeping, but this heartShall break into a hundred thousand flaws,Or ere I’ll weep. O fool, I shall go mad!”Lear delivers these lines after he has been driven to the end of his rope by the cruelties of Goneril and Regan.
“Thou, nature, art my goddess; to thy lawMy services are bound. Wherefore should IStand in the plague of custom, and permitThe curiosity of nations to deprive me,For that I am some twelve or fourteen moonshinesLag of a brother? Why bastard? wherefore base?…Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land.Our father’s love is to the bastard EdmundAs to the legitimate. Fine word—“legitimate”!Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed,And my invention thrive, Edmund the baseShall top the legitimate. I grow; I prosper.Now, gods, stand up for bastards!”Edmund delivers this soliloquy just before he tricks his father, Gloucester, into believing that Gloucester’s legitimate son, Edgar, is plotting against him.
“Unhappy that I am, I cannot heaveMy heart into my mouth. I love your majestyAccording to my bond; no more nor less.”Cordelia speaks these words when she address her father, King Lear, who has demanded that his daughters tell him how much they love him before he divides his kingdom among them.
Act 1, Scene 1: King Lear's palace.
Act 1, Scene 2: The Earl of Gloucester's castle.
Act 1, Scene 3: The Duke of Albany's palace.
Act 1, Scene 4: A hall in the same.
Act 1, Scene 5: Court before the same.
Act 2, Scene 1: GLOUCESTER's castle.
Act 2, Scene 2: Before Gloucester's castle.
Act 2, Scene 3: A wood.
Act 2, Scene 4: Before GLOUCESTER's castle. KENT in the stocks.
Act 3, Scene 1: A heath.
Act 3, Scene 2: Another part of the heath. Storm still.
Act 3, Scene 3: Gloucester's castle.
Act 3, Scene 4: The heath. Before a hovel.
Act 3, Scene 5: Gloucester's castle.
Act 3, Scene 6: A chamber in a farmhouse adjoining the castle.
Act 3, Scene 7: Gloucester's castle.
Act 4, Scene 1: The heath.
Act 4, Scene 2: Before ALBANY's palace.
Act 4, Scene 3: The French camp near Dover.
Act 4, Scene 4: The same. A tent.
Act 4, Scene 5: Gloucester's castle.
Act 4, Scene 6: Fields near Dover.
Act 4, Scene 7: A tent in the French camp. LEAR on a bed asleep,
Act 5, Scene 1: The British camp, near Dover.
Act 5, Scene 2: A field between the two camps.
Act 5, Scene 3: The British camp near Dover.
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