King Lear Questions and Answers

King Lear

King Lear is a play that explores the relationship between appearance and reality, and the tragic consequences of trusting in appearance more than reality. Lear divides his kingdom between his two...

Latest answer posted September 25, 2018, 1:52 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

King Lear

I tend to agree with the previous post by mfrison. The line implies that it is foolish to gild a butterfly since it is already naturally beautiful and does not need artificial enhancement. It...

Latest answer posted August 25, 2011, 3:16 am (UTC)

5 educator answers

King Lear

Good question. It's a passage that puzzles a lot of readers. Here it is: LEARWe two alone will sing like birds i' the cage:When thou dost ask me blessing, I'll kneel down,And ask of thee...

Latest answer posted July 5, 2010, 6:51 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

King Lear

In King Lear, Shakespeare shows the king's harsh, arrogant conduct in act 1, scene 1. This is when he makes the statement "Nothing will come of nothing" to Cordelia. In fact, it is Goneril and...

Latest answer posted April 28, 2021, 11:18 am (UTC)

3 educator answers

King Lear

When Lear refers to “fools,” he's not talking about court jesters or professional comedians; he's talking about human beings in general. At this late stage of the play, Lear has become thoroughly...

Latest answer posted May 26, 2021, 7:51 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

King Lear

The meaning of the Fool's prophecy in Act 3, Scene 2 has been debated. It is cryptic. There are even some scholars who suppose that Shakespeare did not write it or that it has been misprinted....

Latest answer posted January 11, 2013, 6:12 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

King Lear

The quote "Have more than thou showest, speak less than thou knowest, lend less than thou owest" suggests that it is best to be judicious or sensible when it comes to dealing with others in life...

Latest answer posted March 9, 2015, 10:30 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

King Lear

The subplot of King Lear focuses on the Earl of Gloucester’s loss of power as he misjudges his children’s intentions with regard to their inheritance. Gloucester’s illegitimate son Edmund convinces...

Latest answer posted December 14, 2019, 8:19 pm (UTC)

4 educator answers

King Lear

From the many literary devices that William Shakespeare uses in King Lear, ten examples appear below, numbered. Among those most often used are simile and metaphor. A simile is a comparison for...

Latest answer posted January 22, 2021, 6:56 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

King Lear

We can summarize this line as a statement on being careful in the social world. Have tact. Be careful. Be cagey. "Don't put all your cards on the table." At least, try to refrain from exposing...

Latest answer posted July 12, 2015, 6:46 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

King Lear

These lines are spoken by Edgar when, in his disguise as a poor, mad beggar, he comes upon his father, the Duke of Gloucester, who has been cruelly blinded and cast out by his enemies. Gloucester...

Latest answer posted January 6, 2013, 6:05 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

King Lear

The story of Gloucester and his two sons runs in parallel to the main story of Lear and his three daughters: essentially, the Gloucester story is a B-plot which helps to further illuminate the...

Latest answer posted April 20, 2021, 8:57 am (UTC)

4 educator answers

King Lear

This is a great question. I think what you're being asked to consider is how far Edgar's own experiences over the course of the play actually contradict his assertion here. Edgar is suggesting that...

Latest answer posted May 9, 2021, 12:10 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

King Lear

Fool That lord that counsell'd thee To give away thy land, Come place him here by me, Do thou for him stand: The sweet and bitter fool Will presently appear; The one in motley here, The other...

Latest answer posted February 25, 2012, 10:22 am (UTC)

6 educator answers

King Lear

For me the most important overall message (And I say "most important," because this is Shakespeare and there are, potentially, ump-teen "overall" messages.) would have to relate to the fact that...

Latest answer posted October 19, 2010, 8:07 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

King Lear

King Lear is still relevant today because Shakespeare has a real knack for writing things that contain universal themes. King Lear is no different. One of the core pieces of this play is the...

Latest answer posted August 18, 2019, 10:07 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

King Lear

As far as King Lear is concerned, his relationships with his daughters are based on his power and authority, both as a king and as a father. When his two elder daughters grow up and marry other...

Latest answer posted September 26, 2019, 10:41 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

King Lear

When Lear says "Blow winds and crack your cheeks! Rage, blow!" he is calling upon the storm to do its worst, both to him and to the world. One can tell that he is doing both because of what he says...

Latest answer posted September 30, 2018, 11:04 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

King Lear

Both Lear and Gloucester, who are in many way parallel characters deceived by evil children, learn to understand the difference between appearance and reality and to realize that power can blind...

Latest answer posted September 30, 2017, 1:05 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

King Lear

One of the main themes in King Lear is the relationship between appearance and reality. When Lear calls upon his daughters to profess their love for him publicly, he's much more concerned with the...

Latest answer posted April 9, 2018, 8:09 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

King Lear

As he is aging and thinking about succession, King Lear decides to divide his kingdom among his daughters. If this were the entirety of his plan, it would appear sensible. However, he does not...

Latest answer posted March 29, 2020, 6:53 pm (UTC)

4 educator answers

King Lear

You have hit the meaning exactly. Lear says this as he & his daughter Cordelia are being led to prison. He has since realized that Regan and Goneril have lied to him and betrayed him, while...

Latest answer posted July 2, 2009, 2:47 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

King Lear

There are a number of ways to interpret this question, as King Lear is a more thematically complex play than, say, Othello or Macbeth. However, I would say the main conflict is between Lear's false...

Latest answer posted May 22, 2021, 1:48 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

King Lear

These words are spoken by Gloucester, unknowingly, to his son Edgar. At this point, Gloucester has hit a very low ebb; his eyes have been gouged out by Lear's daughter, Regan, and he is thinking of...

Latest answer posted March 12, 2019, 2:17 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

King Lear

Lear has asked his three daughters to tell him how much they love him, promising to give the most desirable one-third of his kingdom to the one who expresses her love most convincingly. The old man...

Latest answer posted November 2, 2012, 10:23 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

King Lear

It is hard not to hear these words from Cordelia, said to her beloved father, Lear, and not to scream silently at Lear in the hope of making him realise just how stupid he is being! Cordelia,...

Latest answer posted May 4, 2011, 7:15 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

King Lear

When Lear regains consciousness in Cordelia's tent he thinks he is still dead and that she is an angel. His imagination of being dead and in hell is so vivid that he can still see the instruments...

Latest answer posted September 25, 2018, 6:23 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

King Lear

In his play King Lear, William Shakespeare implies that adversity can have a number of different effects on the human spirit. In particular, the play shows that by suffering adversity oneself, one...

Latest answer posted January 7, 2012, 2:56 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

King Lear

A soliloquy is one variant of a monologue, which is a speech spoken by a single character. The soliloquy is spoken by the character alone on the stage, giving the impression of conveying an...

Latest answer posted October 20, 2018, 5:28 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

King Lear

It was a dark and stormy night . . . The rumblings of the famous storm in Shakespeare's King Lear began long before the thunder and lightning appeared in act 2, scene 4 and continued into act 3,...

Latest answer posted June 29, 2019, 1:57 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

King Lear

In one of the most grisly scenes in all of Shakespeare, Gloucester's eyes are gouged out. Cornwall tells Edmund to leave the room so that he will not see what they are going to do to his...

Latest answer posted May 24, 2021, 4:45 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

King Lear

The significance of the opening scene of King Lear lies in the fact that it establishes a number of important dramatic elements that will be developed throughout the rest of the play. First and...

Latest answer posted July 10, 2018, 4:46 am (UTC)

3 educator answers

King Lear

In this emotionally intense scene, Shakespeare has Lear uses pathetic fallacy, the literary device of allowing weather or nature to reflect an emotional state. In the opening, Lear perceives a...

Latest answer posted July 13, 2018, 4:31 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

King Lear

The setting of King Lear is a mythologized ancient Britain; a pagan land, where Christianity and its moral values are unknown. This is crucial because the world of Lear is one in which each...

Latest answer posted November 17, 2018, 10:22 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

King Lear

In act III, scene 6, Lear—with his new, exiled "court" consisting of his Fool, Edgar, and Kent—stages a mock trial of his treacherous daughters, Goneril and Regan. On one level, the scene shows, as...

Latest answer posted January 5, 2020, 2:05 pm (UTC)

4 educator answers

King Lear

All three of King Lear's daughters meet their demise in the final act of the play. Goneril and Regan both die at the hand of Goneril; Regan begins to display symptoms of illness until eventually...

Latest answer posted August 13, 2018, 8:11 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

King Lear

The gradual exposure of Goneril’s and Regan’s motives and Lear’s blindness to them is foreshadowed in their speeches, including through the kind of language Shakespeare puts in their mouths....

Latest answer posted October 8, 2018, 3:58 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

King Lear

The most important scene inKing Learis Scene 4 of Act 2. This is where Lear confronts both of his ungrateful daughters, Goneril and Regan, and realizes that, rather than loving him as they...

Latest answer posted April 3, 2012, 10:08 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

King Lear

Shakespeare's King Lear is a perfect example of Aristotle's definition of a tragic hero. According to Aristotle's theory of tragedy, the protagonist should be of high birth—in this way, his or her...

Latest answer posted August 1, 2019, 1:42 pm (UTC)

4 educator answers

King Lear

Another ironic reversal in King Lear is represented in the relationship between the King and the Fool. The Fool is wiser than the King. Another ironic reversal is when Gloucester becomes blind, he...

Latest answer posted April 12, 2009, 2:06 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

King Lear

[eNotes editors are only permitted to answer one question per posting. If you have additional questions, you must post them separately.] In Act One, scene two, of Shakespeare's King Lear, Edmund is...

Latest answer posted May 6, 2011, 1:22 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

King Lear

Stage directions perform a variety of different functions. On one hand, a playwright's stage directions allow the actors to know who should enter the stage and from where they should enter or exit...

Latest answer posted February 24, 2012, 10:33 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

King Lear

Both the main and the subplot in King Lear take the relationship between a father and his children as the key theme. In both cases, there is a worthy, loyal, dependable child (Edgar/Cordelia) who...

Latest answer posted November 26, 2018, 12:44 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

King Lear

Cordelia is the only one of Lear's daughters who refuses to play along with the public charade in which they're all expected to proclaim their love for the old king. Of course, Cordelia's refusal...

Latest answer posted May 24, 2018, 10:54 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

King Lear

Old age and death are both significant themes in William Shakespeare's play, King Lear. There are several ways in which the characters in the play are confronted with their own mortality. An...

Latest answer posted June 24, 2015, 6:05 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

King Lear

France and Burgundy are, as Lear explains, "rivals" in Cordelia's love and have been waiting in "amorous sojourn" in Lear's court for some time. Lear knows that both of these suitors are interested...

Latest answer posted May 4, 2018, 9:11 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

King Lear

The climax of this play definitely comes in Act V scene 3, which is when Lear and Cordelia have been captured by Edmund and they are brought on stage. What makes this scene the climax is that the...

Latest answer posted February 21, 2013, 6:54 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

King Lear

In King Lear, Act II, Scene 4, the Fool says to Lear Fathers that wear rags Do make their children blind; But fathers that bear bags Shall see their children kind. This statement follows Lear's...

Latest answer posted December 16, 2018, 5:06 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

King Lear

This quotation is taken from act one, scene one of the play. In this scene, King Lear summons his three daughters to him and informs them that he intends to divide his kingdom between the three of...

Latest answer posted June 6, 2019, 11:29 am (UTC)

4 educator answers

King Lear

As the blinded Gloucester and Edgar are wandering, they come across the raving Lear. Gloucester can't see him, of course, but recognizes the voice of his king. Therefore, he asks to kiss his hand...

Latest answer posted May 4, 2019, 12:25 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

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