Sunday, January 17, 2010

King Lear, William Shakespeare

I had never read King Lear before and had only a rudimentary knowledge of the plot. And, wow it is really depressing! I used the Alistair McCallum Shakespeare Handbook while reading which was helpful. Edmund, Regan, & Goneril are quite the horrible villains. Even though I knew I was reading a tragedy I still couldn't help but be shocked by the bleak ending, especially for Cordelia. I think part of my shock stemmed from the fact that I really didn't know how this play ended before I read it unlike Romeo & Juliet or MacBeth or Hamlet; plays that I can't remember not knowing the endings to. Now I want to watch Ian McKellen's King Lear.


I cannot heave my heart into my mouth (I.1.80)

Fairest Cordelia, that art most rich being poor,
Most choice forsaken, and most loved despised,
Thee and thy virtues here I seize upon.
Be it lawful I take up what's cast away.
Gods, gods! 'Tis strange that from their cold'st neglect
My love should kindle to inflamed respect...
Bid them farewell, Cordelia, though unkind;
Thou losest here, a better where to find. (I.1.239-250)

the bond cracked between son and father (I.2.107)

I should have been that I am had the maidenliest star of
the firmament twinkled on my bastardy. (I.2.125)

How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is
To have a thankless child. (I.4.283)

Thou shouldst not have been old before thou hadst been wise. (I.5.43)

the child was bound to the father (II.1.47)

my old heart is cracked, is cracked (II.1.89)

I'll so carbonado your shanks (II.2.34)

elf all my hair with knots (II.3.10)

unnatural hags (II.4.255)

Blow wind, and crack your cheeks! Rage, blow,
You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout
Till you have drenched the steeples, drowned the cocks! (III.2.1-3)

I am a man more sinned against than sinning. (III.2.60)

that way madness lies (III.4.20)

I had a son...
I loved him, friend;
No father his son dearer (III.4. 156-159)

As flies are to th'wanton boys are we to th'gods:
They kill us for their sport. (IV.1.34)

No more, the text is foolish (IV.2.37)

Thou knowest the first time that we smell the air,
We wail and cry...
When we are born, we cry that we are come
To this great stage of fools (IV.5.169-173)

Come, let's away to prison.
We two alone will sing like birds i' th' 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 (V.3.8-13)


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