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Bastards

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,
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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.
… continue reading this quote

Source:
Act 1
Scene 1
Line 1

Source Type:

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Themes:
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Connected Notes:
Lear: Act One Scene One

Thou, Nature, art my goddess

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Thou, Nature, art my goddess. To thy law
My services are bound. Wherefore should I
Stand in the plague of custom, and permit
The curiosity of nations to deprive me
For that I am some twelve or fourteen moonshines
Lag of a brother? why “bastard”? Wherefore “base,”
When my dimensions are as well compact,
My mind as generous and my shape as true
As honest madam’s issue?
… continue reading this quote

Source:
Act 1
Scene 2
Line 1

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Themes:
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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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Spoken by:
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Themes:
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Brother, I advise you to the best

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Edmund
Brother, I advise you to the best. I am no
honest man if there be any good meaning toward
you. I have told you what I have seen and heard, but
faintly, nothing like the image and horror of it. Pray
you, away.
Edgar
Shall I hear from you anon?
Edmund
I do serve you in this business.
… continue reading this quote

Source:
Act 1
Scene 2
Line 180

Source Type:

Spoken by:
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Themes:
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