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Kent

Lear Act One Scene One

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King Lear’s first scene is notable in its length and structure. At over 300 lines, with more characters on stage than in all but the last scene of the play, and being divided into three sub-scenes, this first scene is almost a play in itself.

It begins, as do so many of Shakespeare’s plays, with a few minor characters whose dialogue introduces some of the play’s central themes.
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I thought the King had more affected the Duke

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Kent
I thought the King had more affected the Duke
of Albany than Cornwall.
Gloucester
It did always seem so to us, but now in
the division of the kingdom, it appears not which
of the dukes he values most, for equalities are so
weighed that curiosity in neither can make choice
of either’s moiety.
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 1
Line 1

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Connected Notes:
Lear Act One Scene One

Now, our joy, Although our last and least

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King Lear
Now, our joy,
Although our last and least, to whose young love
The vines of France and milk of Burgundy
Strive to be interessed, what can you say to draw
A third more opulent than your sisters’? Speak.
Cordelia
Nothing, my lord.
King Lear
Nothing?
Cordelia
Nothing.
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 1
Line 91

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Royal Lear, Whom I have ever honored as my king

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Kent
Royal Lear,
Whom I have ever honored as my king,
Loved as my father, as my master followed,
As my great patron thought on in my prayers—
King Lear
The bow is bent and drawn. Make from the shaft.
Kent
Let it fall rather, though the fork invade
The region of my heart.
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 1
Line 156

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Fare thee well, king

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Fare thee well, king. Sith thus thou wilt appear,
Freedom lives hence, and banishment is here.
To Cordelia.
The gods to their dear shelter take thee, maid,
That justly think’st and hast most rightly said.
To Goneril and Regan.
And your large speeches may your deeds approve,
That good effects may spring from words of love.—
Thus Kent,
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 1
Line 204

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How now, what art thou?

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King Lear
How now, what art thou?
Kent
A man, sir.
King Lear
What dost thou profess? What wouldst thou with us?
Kent
I do profess to be no less than I seem, to serve
him truly that will put me in trust, to love him that
is honest,
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 4
Line 9

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Sirrah, I’ll teach thee a speech

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Fool
Sirrah, I’ll teach thee a speech.
King Lear
Do.
Fool
Mark it, nuncle:

Have more than thou showest.
Speak less than thou knowest,
Lend less than thou owest,
Ride more than thou goest,
Learn more than thou trowest,
Set less than thou throwest;
Leave thy drink and thy whore
And keep in-a-door,
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 4
Line 119

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Prithee tell him, so much the rent of his land comes to

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Fool, to Kent
Prithee tell him, so much the rent of his
land comes to. He will not believe a Fool.
King Lear
A bitter Fool!
Fool
Dost know the difference, my boy, between a
bitter fool and a sweet one?
King Lear
No, lad,
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 4
Line 138

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Who’s there, besides foul weather?

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Kent
Who’s there, besides foul weather?
Gentleman
One minded like the weather, most unquietly.
Kent
I know you. Where’s the King?
Gentleman
Contending with the fretful elements;
Bids the wind blow the earth into the sea
Or swell the curlèd waters ‘bove the main,
That things might change or cease;
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Source:
Act 3
Scene 1
Line 1

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Alas, sir, are you here?

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Kent
Alas, sir, are you here? Things that love night
Love not such nights as these. The wrathful skies
Gallow the very wanderers of the dark
And make them keep their caves. Since I was man,
Such sheets of fire, such bursts of horrid thunder,
Such groans of roaring wind and rain I never
Remember to have heard.
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Source:
Act 3
Scene 1
Line 44

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Here is the place, my lord

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Kent
Here is the place, my lord. Good my lord, enter.
The tyranny of the open night ‘s too rough
For nature to endure.
Storm still.
King Lear
Let me alone.
Kent
Good my lord, enter here.
King Lear
Wilt break my heart?
Kent
I had rather break mine own.
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Source:
Act 3
Scene 4
Line 1

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