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King Lear

King Lear

Demons & Madness

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Passages with obscure references send scholars on treasure hunts in search of the influences on Shakespeare’s works. In King Lear, Act 3 Scene 6, one such hunt starts with the question, “Who were Frateretto and Hoppedance, or Purr the cat for that matter?” Turns out that in 1603, Samuel Harsnett, the Vicar of Chigwell, wrote a short tract titled, A Declaration of Egregious Popish Impostures,
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Meantime we shall express our darker purpose

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Meantime we shall express our darker purpose.—
Give me the map there. He is handed a map.
Know that we have divided
In three our kingdom, and ’tis our fast intent
To shake all cares and business from our age,
Conferring them on younger strengths, while we
Unburdened crawl toward death. Our son of Cornwall
And you,
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 1
Line 37

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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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This is most strange

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France
This is most strange,
That she whom even but now was your best object,
The argument of your praise, balm of your age,
The best, the dearest, should in this trice of time
Commit a thing so monstrous to dismantle
So many folds of favor. Sure her offense
Must be of such unnatural degree
That monsters it,
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 1
Line 245

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Fairest Cordelia, that art most rich being poor

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France
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 enflamed respect.—
Thy dowerless daughter, king, thrown to my chance,
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 1
Line 290

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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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Nuncle, give me an egg

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Fool
Nuncle, give me
an egg, and I’ll give thee two crowns.
King Lear
What two crowns shall they be?
Fool
Why, after I have cut the egg i’ th’ middle and eat
up the meat, the two crowns of the egg. When thou
clovest thy crown  i’ th’ middle and gav’st away
both parts,
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 4
Line 159

Source Type:
,

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How now, daughter? What makes that frontlet on?

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King Lear
How now, daughter? What makes that frontlet on?
Methinks you are too much of late i’ th’ frown.
Fool
Thou wast a pretty fellow when thou hadst no
need to care for her frowning. Now thou art an O
without a figure. I am better than thou art now. I
am a Fool.
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 4
Line 194

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