King Lear Passages Identification

Meantime we shall express our darker purpose.—Give me the map there.—Know that we have dividedIn three our kingdom, and ’tis our fast intentTo shake all cares and business from our age,Conferring them on younger strengths while weUnburdened crawl toward death.—Our son of Cornwall,And you, our no less loving son of Albany,We have this hour a constant will to publishOur daughters’ several dowers, that future strifeMay be prevented now.The two great princes, France and Burgundy,Great rivals in our youngest daughter’s 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 mostThat we our largest bounty may extendWhere nature doth with merit challenge?—Goneril,Our eldest born, speak first. King LearBeginning of the story; he is announcing that he is dividing his land and would like to give it to his three daughtershe is asking them to perform- his introductions of Cornwall and Albany is showey, he is bragging, performing-then he announces Cordelia’s suitors, another performance; “great princes”- asking daughters to perform as well- he makes them perform for him, probably their whole life
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 meFor that I am some twelve or fourteen moonshinesLag of a brother? Why “bastard”? Wherefore “base”?When my dimensions are as well compact,My mind as generous, and my shape as trueAs honest madam’s issue? Why brand they usWith “base,” with “baseness,” “bastardy,” “base,” “base”—Who in the lusty stealth of nature takeMore composition and fierce qualityThan doth within a dull, stale, tirèd bedGo to th’ creating a whole tribe of fopsGot ‘tween a sleep and wake? Well then,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 speedAnd my invention thrive, Edmund the baseShall top th’ legitimate. I grow, I prosper.Now, gods, stand up for bastards! Edmund- after the King of France agrees to marry cordelia and has taken her with him- before he betrays gloucester and Edgar
It may be so, my lord.Hear, Nature, hear, dear goddess, hear!Suspend thy purpose if thou didst intendTo make this creature fruitful.Into her womb convey sterility.Dry up in her the organs of increase,And from her derogate body never springA babe to honor her. If she must teem,Create her child of spleen, that it may liveAnd 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 benefitsTo laughter and contempt, that she may feel—That she may feelHow sharper than a serpent’s tooth it isTo have a thankless child.—Away, away! – King Lear- after goneril tells him he cannot have his knights and he wants to go to Regan’s- he is calling on nature to barren his daughter
Good King, that must approve the common saw,Thou out of heaven’s benediction comestTo the warm sun.(takes out a letter)Approach, thou beacon to this underglobe,That by thy comfortable beams I mayPeruse this letter. Nothing almost sees miraclesBut misery. I know ’tis from Cordelia,Who hath most fortunately been informedOf my obscurèd course and (reads the letter) “shall find timeFrom this enormous state, seeking to giveLosses their remedies.” All weary and o’erwatched,Take vantage, heavy eyes, not to beholdThis shameful lodging.Fortune, good night. Smile once more. Turn thy wheel.(sleeps) – Kent (disguised as Caius)- After Lear sends him to Regan’s estate and he fights with oswald and is punished to spend the night at the stables- talking of letters from Cordelia
I heard myself proclaimed,And by the happy hollow of a treeEscaped the hunt. No port is free, no placeThat guard and most unusual vigilanceDoes not attend my taking. Whiles I may ‘scape,I will preserve myself, and am bethoughtTo take the basest and most poorest shapeThat ever penury in contempt of manBrought near to beast. My face I’ll grime with filth,Blanket my loins, elf all my hair in knots,And with presented nakedness outfaceThe winds and persecutions of the sky.The country gives me proof and precedentOf Bedlam beggars, who with roaring voicesStrike in their numbed and mortified bare armsPins, wooden pricks, nails, sprigs of rosemary,And with this horrible object from low farms,Poor pelting villages, sheepcotes, and mills,Sometime with lunatic bans, sometime with prayers,Enforce their charity. “Poor Turlygod!” “Poor Tom!”—That’s something yet. Edgar I nothing am. – Edgar- After Kent gets punished to the stables and before Lear arrives- he’s announcing that he will disguise himself- he is becoming Tom the beggar which is a stereotype; a mad begging character – this juxtaposed with Lear’s true madness
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. 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’ 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,I will have such revenges on you bothThat all the world shall—I will do such things—What they are yet I know not, but they shall beThe terrors of the earth. You think I’ll weep?No, I’ll not weep.STORM AND TEMPESTI 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- After Goneril arrives at Regan’s estate and Regan tells him he should only need one knight- He’s getting stripped away his power and becoming exposed and ultimately undone
Thou think’st ’tis much that this contentious stormInvades us to the skin. So ’tis to thee.But where the greater malady is fixedThe lesser is scarce felt. Thou’dst shun a bear,But if thy flight lay toward the raging seaThou’dst meet the bear i’ th’ mouth. When the mind’s free,The body’s delicate. The tempest in my mindDoth from my senses take all feeling elseSave what beats there—filial ingratitude.Is it not as this mouth should tear this handFor lifting food to ‘t? But I will punish home.No, I will weep no more. In such a nightTo shut me out! Pour on, I will endure.In such a night as this! O Regan, Goneril,Your old kind father, whose frank heart gave all—Oh, that way madness lies. Let me shun that.No more of that. – Lear- after gloucester decides to help lear and trusts edmund with his plan- outside in the storm- in grief & despair, feeling betrayed
Prithee, go in thyself. Seek thine own ease.This tempest will not give me leave to ponderOn things would hurt me more. But I’ll go in.(to FOOL) In, boy. Go first. You houseless poverty—Nay, get thee in. I’ll pray, and then I’ll sleep.EXIT FOOLPoor 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 youFrom seasons such as these? Oh, I have ta’enToo little care of this! Take physic, pomp.Expose thyself to feel what wretches feel,That thou mayst shake the superflux to themAnd show the heavens more just. – Lear- During the storm, after Lear is kicked out of Regan and Goneril’s estates- telling the others to go in- cursing his daughters- feels sympathy from homeless and poor- becoming kinder as he loses power and gets more mad
When we our betters see bearing our woes,We scarcely think our miseries our foes.Who alone suffers, suffers most i’ th’ mind,Leaving free things and happy shows behind.But then the mind much sufferance doth o’erskipWhen grief hath mates and bearing fellowship.How light and portable my pain seems nowWhen that which makes me bend makes the king bow.He childed as I fathered. Tom, away!Mark the high noises and thyself bewrayWhen false opinion, whose wrong thought defiles thee,In thy just proof repeals and reconciles thee.What will hap more tonight, safe ‘scape the king!Lurk, lurk. – Edgar (disguised)- In the shed after Lear comes in and Edgar sees his madness- after gloucester wants to take lear to dover and before he is captured by cornwall- begins to feel sympathy for him and compares his pain to Lear’s as nothing- KINDNESS- CHARITY
Had you not been their father, these white flakesDid challenge pity of them. Was this a faceTo be opposed against the warring winds?To stand against the deep dread-bolted thunderIn the most terrible and nimble strokeOf quick cross lightning? To watch—poor perdu!—With this thin helm? Mine enemy’s meanest dog,Though he had bit me, should have stood that nightAgainst my fire. And wast thou fain, poor father,To hovel thee with swine and rogues forlornIn short and musty straw? Alack, alack!’Tis wonder that thy life and wits at onceHad not concluded all.—He wakes. Speak to him. CordeliaAfter Lear is found and Cordelia is back in england, before they are capturedshe is with Lear as he wakes upbeing kind and charitable to lear even though he did her harmgiving him respect
Caritas altruistic love- what the prioress SHOULD be advocating for – instead advocates for amor which is romantic love
Royal Edict of 1920 – expulsion of all jews from england by king edward 1
Kind vs Natural -kind = natural, native, and related senses (OED) -natural = consistent with nature, normal, expected -acting in accordance with nature, positive or negative -uncontrolled human desires -Cordelia when she does not give a giant speech for King Lear -she is being natural and therefore kind but gets punished for it -she loves him as a daughter “naturally” should