King Lear important quotes

Lear: Nothing will come of nothing. (Act 1, Scene 1, Line 99) Lear is conducting his “love test” with his three daughters; he wants them to tell him how much they love him, and that will determine how he will divide up his kingdom. Goneril and Regan, his two oldest daughters, flatter Lear with empty words of their devotion, telling him absolutely impossible things–that they love him more than their husbands, more than sight, and even more than life itself. Cordelia, on the other hand, tells her father that she cannot put her love into words; she loves him with the true love of a devoted daughter, and she can’t make herself give him the same flatteries that her sisters did. In response, Lear speaks this stand-alone quote. Nothing in our natural world comes from nothing; everything has a beginning, a parent, an author. So if Cordelia won’t flatter her father, he–blinded by his own self-importance and the inflated flatteries of his two unfaithful daughters–will disown her.
Lear: The bow is bent and drawn. Make from the shaft. (Act 1, Scene 1, Line 160) Lear likens his anger to a bow–a deadly weapon–which is ready to loose the arrow at his archer’s intended victim. He warns Kent to get out of the way. If Kent tries to protect Cordelia, he will also be shot with Lear’s fierce anger.
Cornwall: Why dost thou call him “knave”? What is his fault? Kent: His countenance likes me not. (Act 2, Scene 2, Lines 93-94) When asked why he attacked Oswald, Kent’s somewhat humorous reason is, “I don’t like his face.” Oswald doesn’t know who Kent-in-disguise really is, so from his side of the altercation, some random guy walked up to him, started an argument, and began beating him up. But Kent really does have a grivance against Oswald, because Oswald blindly follows the commands of his evil mistress General. Kent takes this oppurtunity to take out some of his anger on Oswald, since he can’t stop Goneril herself.
Fool: Winter’s not gone yet if the wild geese fly that way. (Act 2, Scene 4, Lines 52-53) When King Lear arrives, he is shocked to find that Regan and Cornwall have confined Kent, his own servant, to the stocks for punishment. While Kent quickly explains the King the events that led to his captivity, the Fool observes that more stormy events are yet to occur; the “winter–the trouble in Lear and Gloucester’s families–is not gone yet. Geese fly south in the winter, away from the colder air. The Fool says that the geese haven’t flown away yet, so the sense is that situation in the play is about to become even worse.
Lear: I am a man More sinned against than sinning. (Act 3, Scene 2, Lines 62-63) Lear continues to bemoan the treachery within his household. He is certain that more people have sinned against him than he has sinned against himself. He still refuses to see that he is actually the author of his own problems; at this point in the play, he still sees what has happened as everyone else’s fault, even though he clearly put himself into this situation by his unwise actions in the beginning of the play.
Cornwall: Lest it see more, prevent it. Out, vile jelly! (Act 3, Scene 7, Line 101) Gloucester states that he will see the day when the King will be revenged. Cornwall replies that he will never see such a thing, and he proceeds to pluck out one of Gloucester’s eyes. Throughout the play, one of Shakespeare’s main themes is sight and blindness. Gloucester is more blind when he has his eyestrain when he becomes actually physically blind; once he loses his physical sight, he can finally see Edmund’s betrayal and Edgar’s loyalty.
Albany: You are not worth the dust which the rude wind Blows in your face. (Act 4, Scene 2, Line 39-40) Albany makes his distrust for his wife known. Because of Goneril’s cruelty to her father, Albany claims that she is lower than the dust that the wind blows in her face. Man is made of dust, but in Albany’s opinion, Regan is entirely worthless at heart–even less than the dust she is made of.
Cordelia: O dear father, It is thy business that I go about. (Act 4, Scene 4, Lines 26-27) Throughout the play, Shakespeare crafts Cordelia into a character who is in some ways Christ-like. She is unjustly accused and has to suffer because of other people’s crimes, which eventually leads to her death. Shakespeare seems to set her up as a near-perfect heroine, making her a foil to her purely evil sisters and to the evil in the rest of the play. This quote is one of the most direct connections Shakespeare makes between Cordelia and her certain Christ-like attributes. In Luke 2:49, Christ told his parents, “Know you not that I must go about my Father’s business?” Cordelia almost quotes Him, but in reference to her physical father, Lear.
Lear: We two alone will sing like birds i’ th’ cage. When thou dost ask me a blessing, I’ll kneel down And ask of thee forgiveness. (Act 5, Scene 3, Lines 10-12) As Lear and Cordelia are taken captive, Cordelia expresses concern for the well-being of her father. She asks if it would not be better to speak with her sisters for his safety. The King rejects this idea, and declares that he would rather spend his life with her in prison, happily together. Now that he has been stripped of his power and wealth, he realises that the only way he can be truly happy is to be with the people he loves and who love him back.
Regan: Jesters do oft prove prophets. (Act 5, Scene 3, Line 83) The competition between Goneril and Regan for Edmund’s affection intensifies. Regan claims that Edmund is her close ally. Albany sarcastically comments that this would certainly be the case if Edmund married her. Regan retorts that his remark could certainly become a reality; Albany meant it in jest, but Regan has plans to make his jest come true. Sometimes the fool is the smart one.
Edgar: The gods are just, and of our pleasant vicesMake instruments to plague us. The dark and vicious place where thee he gotCost him his eyes.Edmund: Th’ hast spoken right. ‘Tis true. The wheel has come full circle; I am here.(Act 3, Scene 3, Lines 204-209) Edgar defeats Edmund in a duel, after which he reveals his true identity to his brother. Edgar comments how man is often punished by his own vices. The tragedy of his father’s current circumstances seems to be the result of Gloucester’s adulterous acts in the past. Edmund has also reaped the destruction he has sown, dying from a fatal wound. The whell referred to here is Fortune’s wheel, which draws up one to a postion of power and then casts one down as it continues to turn. When the wheel has come full circle, you are back where you began–back to the beginning.