Shakespeare Quotes

Come, let's away to prison; We two alone will sing

Lear:
"Come, let's away to prison;
We two alone will sing like birds I' th' cage."

King Lear (V, iii, 6-8)

At the very end of this play, Lear and Cordelia are prisoners in the British camp. Here the insane Lear addresses his daughter, expressing his fantasy of spending the rest of his life in prison with her. He is sane enough to know his own guilt, however: "I'll kneel down and ask of thee forgiveness." Cordelia is subsequently killed, and the mad Lear dies as well. These words reflect Lear's central trait throughout the play: he is in denial of reality at every turn. Even now, in his madness and defeat he cannot face the political inevitability that neither he nor his daughter is likely to be spared.

Themes: guilt

Speakers: Lear