King Lear

King Lear is surely a central hero of the play. Before us, the governor is avid for flattery and compliments. It is his passion for empty-headedness that causes the death of many worthy people. He rejects the honesty of younger daughter Cordelia, choosing fake instead of common sense. Lear cannot admit his own mistakes. It is easier for him to drive out a faithful counselor than to sacrifice own pride.

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King Lear Quotes

When we are born, we cry that we are come
To this great stage of fools.


Who is it that can tell me who I am?


How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is
To have a thankless child.


I am a man,
More sinn'd against than sinning.


Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!
You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout
Till you have drenched our steeples, drowned the cocks!
You sulphurous and thought-executing fires,
Vaunt-couriers to oak-cleaving thunderbolts,
Singe my white head! And thou, all-shaking thunder,
Strike flat the thick rotundity o' the world!
Crack nature's molds, all germens spill at once
That make ingrateful man!


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.


Nothing can come of nothing.


Through tattered clothes great vices do appear;
Robes and furred gowns hide all. Plate sin with gold,
And the strong lance of justice hurtless breaks.


Poor naked wretches, whereso'er you are,
That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm,
How shall your houseless heads and unfed sides,
Your looped and windowed 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 may'st shake the superflux to them
And show the heavens more just.


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.


O, that way madness lies; let me shun that;
No more of that.


There thou mightst behold the great image of authority: a dog's obeyed in office.


And my poor fool is hanged. No, no, no life?
Why should a dog, a horse, a rat, have life,
And thou no breath at all? Thou 'lt come no more,
Never, never, never, never, never.


King Lear in the Essays