32 Best 'King Lear' Quotes By William Shakespeare | Kidadl


32 Best 'King Lear' Quotes By William Shakespeare

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'King Lear' is considered to be amongst Shakespeare's greatest tragedies ever written.

It is centered on a king named Lear, who suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and how he passes on his power to his two elder daughters Goneril and Regan after they extravagantly express their love for him instead of his youngest daughter Cordelia who refused to flatter him. After having been betrayed by his two daughters because of this tragic flaw, he is driven to a state of insanity.

There are several fascinating characters in the play like the Earl of Gloucester, the youngest and betrayed daughter of King Lear, Cordelia, his other daughters, Regan and Goneril, as well as side characters like Edmund. This play teaches us quite a few morals including how one should stay humble and also that actions speak louder than words.

Here is a list of some important quotes from this play. We have put together King Lear quotes explained, King Lear blindness quotes, King Lear famous quotes, King Lear fool quotes, and other quotes from King Lear. The other quotes also are part of King Lear important quotes and important Shakespeare quotes, including Edmund Quotes King Lear, Regan quotes King Lear, Edgar quotes King Lear and King Lear Cordelia quotes.

If you like our content, you can check out other articles like, Tybalt quotes and Shakespeare love quotes.

Important Quotes In 'King Lear'

Child king laughing on a summer day

Here's a comprehensive list of some of the most important quotes from this iconic Shakesperean tragic play.

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

-King Lear, Act 4, Scene 4.

2. "As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods. They kill us for their sport."

-King Lear, Act 4, Scene 1.

3. "Nothing will come of nothing: speak again."

-King Lear, Act 1, Scene 1.

4. "The prince of darkness is a gentleman!"

-Edgar, Act 3, Scene 4.

5. "This is the excellent foppery of the world, that, when we are sick in fortune,--often the surfeit of our own behavior,--we make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars: as if we were villains by necessity; fools by heavenly compulsion; knaves, thieves, and treachers, by spherical predominance; drunkards, liars, and adulterers, by an enforced obedience of planetary influence; and all that we are evil in, by a divine thrusting on: an admirable evasion of whoremaster man, to lay his goatish disposition to the charge of a star."

-Edmund, Act 1, Scene 2

6. "I cannot heave my heart into my mouth. I love your majesty according to my bond; no more no less."

-Cordelia, Act 1, Scene 1

7. "Thou shouldst not have been old till thou hadst been wise."

-Fool, Act 1 Scene 5

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

-King Lear, Act 1, Scene 4

9. "The weight of this sad time we must obey, Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say. The oldest hath borne most: we that are young Shall never see so much, nor live so long."

-Edgar, Act 5, Scene 3

10. "I am a man more sinned against than sinning."

-King Lear, Act 3, Scene 2

11. “O, let me kiss that hand!

King Lear: Let me wipe it first; it smells of mortality.”

-Act 4, Scene 6

12. "A knave; a rascal; an eater of broken meats; a base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited, hundred-pound, filthy, worsted-stocking knave; a lily-livered, action-taking knave, a whoreson, glass-gazing, super-serviceable finical rogue; one-trunk-inheriting slave; one that wouldst be a bawd, in way of good service, and art nothing but the composition of a knave, beggar, coward, pandar"

-Kent, Act 2, Scene 2

13. " My love's more ponderous than my tongue"

-Cordelia, Act I Scene I

14. " Now, our joy, Although our last and least "

-King Lear, Act I Scene I

15. "Thy dow'rless daughter, king, thrown to my chance, Is queen of us, of ours, and our fair France."

-The King Of France, Act 1, Scene 1

16. "The art of our necessities is strange, That can make vile things precious. Come, your hovel.'

-King Lear, Act I Scene I

17. "And worse I may be yet: the worst is not so long as we can say 'This is the worst."

-Edgar, Act 4, Scene 1

Quotes About Madness And Betrayal In 'King Lear'

The recurring theme of madness and betrayal is of innate importance in the play. Here are some quotes about madness from 'King Lear.' These include the famous King Lear madness quotes, and some of the famous king lear quotes.

18. "Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! Rage! Blow! You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout Till you have drenched our steeples, drowned the cocks! You sulfurous 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!"

-King Lear, Act 3, Scene 2

19. "No, no, no, no! Come, let's away to prison: We two alone will sing like birds i' the cage: When thou dost ask me blessing, I'll kneel down, And ask of thee forgiveness: so we'll live, And pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh At gilded butterflies, and hear poor rogues Talk of court news; and we'll talk with them too, Who loses and who wins; who's in, who's out; And take upon's the mystery of things, As if we were God's spies: and we'll wear out, In a wall'd prison, packs and sects of great ones, That ebb and flow by the moon."

-King Lear, Act 5, Scene 3

20. "Thou art a boil, a plague sore, an embossed carbuncle in my corrupted blood."

-King Lear, Act 2, Scene 4

21. "O, that way madness lies; let me shun that."

-King Lear, Act 2, Scene 4

22. "Time shall unfold what plighted cunning hides. Who cover faults, at last shame them derides."

-Cordelia, Act 1, Scene 1

23. "Truth's a dog must to kennel; he must be whipped out, when Lady the brach may stand by the fire and stink."

-The Fool, Act 1, Scene 4

24. "How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child!"

-King Lear, Act 1, Scene 4

25. "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."

-King Lear, Act 2, Scene 4

26. "Poor naked wretches, whereso'er you are, That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm, How shall your houseless heads and unfed sides, Your loop'd and window'd 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"

-King Lear, Act 3, Scene 4

27. "Proper deformity shows not in the fiend so horrid as in woman."

-Albany, Act 4, Scene 2

28. "I have full cause of weeping; but this heart Shall break into a hundred thousand flaws, Or ere I'll weep. O Fool, I shall go mad!"

-King Lear, Act 2, Scene 4

29. "Return to her, and fifty men dismiss'd? No, rather I abjure all roofs, and choose to wage against the enmity o' th' air, to be a comrade with the wolf and owl,— Necessity's sharp pinch!"

-King Lear, Act 2, Scene 4

30. "Ingratitude, thou marble-hearted fiend, More hideous when thou show'st thee in a child than the sea-monster!"

-King Lear, Act 1, Scene 4

31. "I tax not you, you elements, with unkindness; I never gave you kingdom, call'd you children, You owe me no subscription: then let fall Your horrible pleasure: here I stand, your slave, A poor, infirm, weak, and despised old man."

-King Lear, Act 3, Scene 2

32. "Who is it that can tell me who I am?"

-King Lear, Act 1, Scene 1

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for King Lear quotes then why not take a look at Midsummer Night's Dream Quotes, or Othello quotes.

Rajnandini is an art lover and enthusiastically likes to spread her knowledge. With a Master of Arts in English, she has worked as a private tutor and, in the past few years, has moved into content writing for companies such as Writer's Zone. Trilingual Rajnandini has also published work in a supplement for 'The Telegraph', and had her poetry shortlisted in Poems4Peace, an international project. Outside work, her interests include music, movies, travel, philanthropy, writing her blog, and reading. She is fond of classic British literature.

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