King Lear – Key Quotes


A few classic quotes……

  1. “Which of you shall we say doth love us most
    That we our largest bounty may extend.”


  1. I love your majesty
    According to my bond; no more nor less.”


  1. “Nothing will come of nothing.”


  1. “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.”


  1. “I am a man more sinned against than sinning.”


  1. “Man’s life’s as cheap as beast’s.”


  1. “this heart
    Shall break into a hundred thousand flaws,
    Or ere I’ll weep. O fool, I shall go mad!”


  1. “How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child”


  1. “Reason in madness!” (EDGAR)


  1. “Unaccommodated manis no more but such a poor, bare, forked animal.”
  2. “A man may see how this world goes with no eyes.”


  1. “When we are born, we cry that we are come to this great stage of fools.”



……..and your exam friends (Utility quotes!)

Lear – ‘Which of you shall we say doth love us most?
That we our largest bounty may extend.’

Cordelia – ‘the glib and oily art’

 Lear – ‘I cannot heave
my heart into my mouth. I love your majesty
According to my bond; no more nor less.’   Cordelia

Cordelia -‘Nothing my Lord.’

Lear – ‘Nothing can come of nothing, speak again’ (Act 1, Scene 1)

Cordelia – ‘Return those duties back as are right fit:
Obey you, love you, and most honor you.’

Lear – ‘I disclaim all my paternal care’

Kent – ‘check this hideous rashness.’

Lear – ‘Come not between the dragon and his wrath’

Goneril – ‘Yet he hath ever but slenderly known himself.’

Goneril – ‘the best and soundest of his time hath been but rash.’

Edmund – ‘Thou, nature, art my goddess; to thy law
my services are bound.

Edmund – ‘Now gods, stand up for bastards’ (Act 1 Scene 2)

Lear – ‘How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child’ (Act 1, Scene 4)

Fool – ‘I am better than thou art now; I
am a fool, thou art nothing.’

Goneril – ‘all-licensed fool’

Lear – ‘Pelican daughters’

Albany -‘Tigers, not daughters’

Edmund – ‘Gilded serpent’

Lear –  ‘Into her womb convey sterility. Dry up in her the organs of increase’

Regan – ‘shut up your doors’

Goneril – ‘pluck out his eyes’

Regan – ‘Let him smell his way to Dover’

Regan – ‘hang him instantly’                             

Lear – Poor Fool and knave, I have one part in my heart
That’s sorry yet for thee.

Lear – ‘Man’s life’s as cheap as beast’s . . . ‘         

Lear – ‘O, I have ta’en
Too little care of this.’

Lear – ‘Poor naked wretches, wheresoe’er you are’

Fool – ‘Thou shouldst not have been old before thou hadst been wise’ (Act, 1, Scene 5)

Lear – ‘I am a man more sinned against than sinning’ (Act 3, Scene 2)

Gloucester – ‘As flies to wanton boys are we to th’ gods, they kill us for their sport’ (Act 4, Scene 1)

Gloucester – ‘So distribution should undo excess, and each man have enough’ (Act 4, Scene 1)

Lear – ‘They told me I was everything; ’tis a lie, I am no ague-proof’ – (Act 4, Scene 5)

Lear – ‘Get thee glass eyes, and like a scurvy politician seem to see the things thou dost not’ (Act 4, Scene 5)

Lear – ‘When we are born, we cry that we are come to this great stage of fools’ (Act 4, Scene 5)

Edgar (as Poor Tom) – ‘Men must endure their going hence even as their coming hither’ (Act 5, Scene 2)

Lear – ‘When thou dost ask me blessing, I’ll kneel down and ask of thee forgiveness’ (Act 5, Scene 3)

Edgar – ‘We that are young shall never see so much, nor live so long’ (Act 5, Scene 3)



Super extra bonus crucial quotes………..

‘Lear’s shadow’  (Fool)


‘My lady’s father’ (Oswald)


‘Credulous’ (Edmund)


‘Loyal and natural boy’


‘I gave you all’ (Lear)

‘And in good time you gave it’  (Goneril)


‘Milky kindness’ (Goneril)


‘Twas this flesh begot’  (Lear)


‘I had rather lose the battle’ (Goneril)


‘Didst thou give all to thy daughters?’ (Lear)


‘A dog’s obeyed in office’ (Lear)

‘robes and furred gowns hide all’



‘reason in madness’ (Edgar)


‘ay, every inch a king’


‘I am old and foolish’


‘A sovereign shame so elbows him’ (Kent)


‘If you have poison for me, I will drink it’


‘no cause, no cause’


‘I killed the slave that was a-hanging thee’


‘The stars above us, govern our condition’ (Kent)


‘The Gods are just. And of our pleasant vices make instruments to plague us’ (Edgar)


‘men must endure their going hence, even as their coming hither. Ripeness is all’ (Edgar)


‘All friends shall taste the wages of their virtue, and all foes the cup of their deservings’  (Albany)


‘the rack of this tough world’ (Kent)


‘All’s cheerless dark and deadly’  (Kent)


Remember, where possible, keep them short, integrated – and always always proving something.