Quotes or quotations are phrases, sentences, lines, and paragraphs taken from a literary piece. These quotes or quotations express universal truths or situations. William Shakespeare’s King Lear, too, has famous quotes given for different situations. Some of the best quotes from King Lear have been analyzed below.
Quotations from King Lear
Nothing will come of nothing. Speak again.
Act -I, Scene -I
Here, King Lear is talking to his daughters. When Cordelia says nothing, he also utters nothing and adds that if she has nothing else to say about his question of love, then he too has nothing to say. It shows King’s sadness over the fact that his daughter is arrogant or straightforward, and also foreshadows that King Lear might disinherit her.
I am made of that self mettle as my sister
And prize me at her worth. In my true heart
I find she names my very deed of love;
Act -I, Scene -I
Regan speaks the above lines when she starts declaring her love that she is equal to her elder sister in the intensity of her love toward her father. She tells him that in her heart she thinks that her sister has spoken about her is the same as she thinks about her father. Hence, she does not have a need to speak to him, as her sister has already conveyed the same feelings.
Come not between the dragon and his wrath.
I loved her most and thought to set my rest
On her kind nursery.
Act -I, Scene -I
King Lear speaks to Kent when he tries to speak out the truth. In fact, King Lear wants to listen to what he has in his heart. He thinks that Kent should not try to teach him to whom he should love and what he should speak. He tells it clearly that he loved Cordelia best and that was it.
Thou, Nature, art my goddess. To thy law
My services are bound. Wherefore should I
Stand in the plague of custom.
Act -I, Scene -II
Edmund speaks these lines to express his view. Although he is bound to serve the laws of nature that is his goddess, he does not find conventions or customers governing children like him. Because he is the younger illegitimate son of Gloucester which is in accordance with the laws of nature. Here Edmund doesn’t like to follow the old customs and he also mentions that he doesn’t have a choice but to obey it.
How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is
To have a thankless child.—Away, away!
Act -I, Scene -IV
King Lear believes that as he has divided his kingdom, Goneril has not thanked him, while Regan has already ignored him. Therefore, he thinks that a thankless child is even more deadly than the fangs of a serpent. His view is based on the infidelity of his two elder daughters.
That such a slave as this should wear a sword,
Who wears no honesty. Such smiling rogues as
Act -II, Scene -II
These lines occur in the second scene of the first act where Earl of Kent shows that if a slave such as Oswald wears a sword in such times, it means there is no honesty and the world has turned topsy-turvy. In other words, these lines show that if such rogue people are becoming knights, the Earl of Kent means that chaos is going to rule the kingdom now.
Close pent-up guilts,
Rive your concealing continents and cry
These dreadful summoners grace. I am a man
More sinned against than sinning.
Act -III, Scene -II
King Lear talks about the unfortunate state of the kingdom. He believes that God punishes all sinners. He also hopes that people, especially sinners should be afraid of the consequences, while also accepting that he had done wrong.
As flies to wanton boys are we to th’ gods;
They kill us for their sport.
Act -IV, Scene -I
The Earl of Gloucester speaks to an old farmer who is his guide. He says that actually, gods consider human beings equal to flies as both plays with them and then kill them for their sport. He means that divine powers only play with human beings and that human beings are plaything exactly like flies are for the boys.
You are not worth the dust which the rude wind
Blows in your face. I fear your disposition.
Act -IV, Scene -II
The Duke of Albany tells his wife calling her to feel ashamed at her actions as they are not worth the dust. He thinks that her rudeness has surpassed the way rude winds fly dust and even she is worth that dust. He also thinks that her character is not suitable for a princess.
Jesters do oft prove prophets.
Act -V, Scene -3
Regan is talking to Goneril, her sister, she means sometimes the court jests prove true. The jesters are usually entertainer and to Regan, jesters appear as if they are prophets. Perhaps to express what they say to be true. She also means it to her joke of Edmund as becoming her husband.