King Lear

King Lear Quotes

Read our modern English translation.
Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Simon & Schuster edition of King Lear published in 2004.
Act 1, scene 1 Quotes
"Nothing will come of nothing."
Related Characters: King Lear (speaker)
Page Number: 1.1.99
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation long mobile

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other King Lear quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
"I want that glib and oily art
To speak and purpose not."
Related Characters: Cordelia (speaker)
Page Number: 1.1.258-259
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
"Yet he hath ever but slenderly known himself."
Related Characters: Regan (speaker), King Lear
Page Number: 1.1.339-340
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Act 1, scene 2 Quotes
"Thou, Nature, art my goddess."
Related Characters: Edmund (speaker)
Page Number: 1.2.1
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
"These late eclipses in the sun and moon portend no good to us."
Related Characters: Gloucester (speaker)
Page Number: 1.2.109-110
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
"As if we were villains on necessity; fools by heavenly compulsion."
Related Characters: Edmund (speaker)
Page Number: 1.2.128-129
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Act 1, scene 3 Quotes
"Old fools are babes again."
Related Characters: Goneril (speaker), King Lear
Page Number: 1.3.20
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Act 1, scene 4 Quotes
"Thou hast pared thy wit o' both sides and left nothing in the middle."
Related Characters: Fool (speaker), King Lear
Page Number: 1.4.191-192
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Act 2, scene 1 Quotes
"My old heart is cracked; it's cracked."
Related Characters: Gloucester (speaker), Edgar
Page Number: 2.1.106
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Act 2, scene 3 Quotes
"I will preserve myself, and am bethought
To take the basest and most poorest shape
That ever penury in contempt of man
Brought near to beast."
Related Characters: Edgar (speaker)
Related Symbols: Animals, Clothing and Costumes
Page Number: 2.3.6-9
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Act 2, scene 4 Quotes
"O sir, you are old.
Nature I you stands on the very verge
Of his confine."
Related Characters: Regan (speaker), King Lear
Page Number: 2.4.164-166
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
"O, reason not the need! Our basest beggars
Are in the poorest thing superfluous.
Allow not nature more than nature needs,
Man's life is cheap as beast's."
Related Characters: King Lear (speaker)
Related Symbols: Animals
Page Number: 2.4.304-307
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Act 3, scene 2 Quotes
"Here's a night pities neither wise men nor fools."
Related Characters: Fool (speaker)
Page Number: 3.2.14-15
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
"The art of our necessities is strange
And can make vile things precious."
Related Characters: King Lear (speaker)
Page Number: 3.2.76-77
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Act 3, scene 4 Quotes
"Poor naked wretches, wheresoe'er you are,
That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm,
How shall your houseless heads and unfed sides,
Your looped and windowed raggedness defend you
From seasons such as these? O I have taken
Too little care of this."
Related Characters: King Lear (speaker)
Page Number: 3.4.32-37
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
"Child Rowland to the dark tower came
His word was still 'Fie, foh, and fum,
I smell the blood of a British man."
Related Characters: Edgar (speaker)
Page Number: 3.4.195-197
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Act 3, scene 6 Quotes
"All the power of his wits have given way to his impatience."
Related Characters: Kent (speaker), King Lear
Page Number: 3.6.4-5
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Act 3, scene 7 Quotes
"Out, vile jelly!"
Related Characters: Cornwall (speaker), Gloucester
Page Number: 3.7.101
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Act 4, scene 1 Quotes
"The worst is not
So long as we can say 'This is the worst.'"
Related Characters: Edgar (speaker)
Page Number: 4.1.30-31
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Act 4, scene 2 Quotes
"The nature which contemns its origin
Cannot be bordered certain in itself."
Related Characters: Albany (speaker), Goneril
Page Number: 4.2.41-42
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Act 4, scene 6 Quotes
"How fearful
And dizzy tis to cast one's eyes so low!
[…]
I'll look no more
Lest my brain turn and the deficient sight
Topple down headlong."
Related Characters: Edgar (speaker), Gloucester
Page Number: 4.6.16-29
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
"Gloucester: Oh let me kiss that hand!
Lear: Let me wipe it first; it smells of mortality."
Related Characters: King Lear (speaker), Gloucester (speaker)
Page Number: 4.6.147-148
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Act 5, scene 3 Quotes
"No, no, no, no. Come, let's away to prison.
We two alone will sing like birds in the cage."
Related Characters: King Lear (speaker), Cordelia
Related Symbols: Animals
Page Number: 5.3.9-10
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
"Howl, howl, howl! O, you are men of stones!
Had I your tongues and eyes, I'd use them so
That heaven's vault should crack. She's gone forever."
Related Characters: King Lear (speaker), Cordelia
Page Number: 5.3.308-310
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
"No, no, no life?
Why should a dog, a horse, a rat have life,
And thou no breath at all? Thou'lt come no more,
Never, never, never, never, never."
Related Characters: King Lear (speaker), Cordelia
Related Symbols: Animals
Page Number: 5.3.369-372
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
No matches.