In Act II, scene 4 of "King Lear", how does Lear's use of language reveal the changes of state in his mind?

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danylyshen eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As Lear becomes increasingly agitated and frustrated with Regan and Goneril his language changes noticeably with his emotions. Firstly he seeks recourse in Latin terms as in (4.3.63) when he cries "hysterica passio, down, thou climbing sorrow," alluding to hysteria and the suffocation he's feeling being mistreated by his daughters.

Secondly, his language starts to become dominated with questions. He cannot believe that his daughters refuse to see him and he asks many questions to Glouchester.

Thirdly, his mind shifts as much as his attention and speech does. In lines (4.3.115-36) Lear's attention becomes as turbulent as his rising anger and again alludes to "my rising heart! But down!"

In the final lines of the scene, Lear is enraged at being told that he must release some of his knights and only keep twenty-five employed. Calling his daughters "unnatural hags" he fumes that he shall not weep raging that his "heart shall break into a hundred thousand flaws" (4.3.325-7).