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Astrology

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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Two households, both alike in dignity

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Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudgeParenthesis
break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.Antanaclesis & Synecdoche
From forth the fatal loins of these two foesAlliteration & Synecdoche
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;Epithet
Whose misadventur'd piteous overthrows
Doth with their deathAlliteration bury their parents' strife.
The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love,Transferred Epithets
And the continuance of their parents' rage,
Which, but their children's end, nought could remove,Parenthesis
Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage;
The which if you with patient ears attend,
What here Alliterationshall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.Parenthesis & Synecdoche

In the most high and palmy state of Rome

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In the most high and palmy state of Rome,
A little ere the mightiest Julius fell,
The graves stood tenantless, and the sheeted dead
Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets.
As stars with trains of fire, and dews of blood,
Disasters in the sun; and the moist star,
Upon whose influence Neptune’s empire stands,
Was sick almost to doomsday with eclipse.
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 1
Line 124

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Monsieur Parolles, my lord calls for you

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Page
Monsieur Parolles, my lord calls for you.
Parolles
Little Helen, farewell. If I can remember
thee, I will think of thee at court.
Helen
Monsieur Parolles, you were born under a
charitable star.
Parolles
Under Mars, I.Hyperbaton & Ellipsis
Helen
I especially think under Mars.
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These late eclipses in the sun and moon

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Gloucester
These late eclipses in the sun and moon
portend no good to us. Though the wisdom of
nature can reason it thus and thus, yet nature finds
itself scourged by the sequent effects. Love cools,
friendship falls off, brothers divide; in cities, mutinies;
in countries, discord; in palaces, treason; and
the bond cracked ‘twixt son and father.
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 2
Line 109

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Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world

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Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world
Like a ColossusSimile
, and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs, and peep about
To find ourselves dishonorable graves.Adynaton

Men at some time are masters of their fates;
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves,
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You are dull, Casca

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You are dull, Casca; and those sparks of life
That should be in a Roman you do want,
Or else you use not. You look pale, and gaze,
And put on fear, and cast yourself in wonder,Polysyndeton

To see the strange impatience of the heavens;
But if you would consider the true cause
Why all these fires,
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 3
Line 60

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No, sure, my lord, my mother cried

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No, sure, my lord, my mother cried, but then there was a star danc’d, and under that was I born.
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Source:
Act 2
Scene 1
Line 337

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When beggars die there are no comets seen

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Calphurnia
When beggars die there are no comets seen;
The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes.
Julius Caesar
Cowards die many times before their deaths,
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear,
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Source:
Act 2
Scene 2
Line 31

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Did your letters pierce the Queen

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Kent
Did your letters pierce the Queen to any demonstration
of grief?
Gentleman
Ay, sir, she took them, read them in my presence,
And now and then an ample tear trilled down
Her delicate cheek. It seemed she was a queen
Over her passion, who, most rebel-like,
Fought to be king o’er her.
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Source:
Act 4
Scene 3
Line 10

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