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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.
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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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This admiration, sir, is much o’ th’ savor

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Goneril
This admiration, sir, is much o’ th’ savor
Of other your new pranks. I do beseech you
To understand my purposes aright.
As you are old and reverend, should be wise.
Here do you keep a hundred knights and squires,
Men so disordered, so debauched and bold,
That this our court, infected with their manners,
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 4
Line 244

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