What does the following quote from King Lear mean?...’tis our fast intent To shake all cares and business from our age, Conferring them on younger strengths while we Unburdened crawl toward death.

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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This quote is from the first scene, and basically what Lear is saying is that he wishes to divest himself of his royal responsibilities ("care and business") because he is getting older. He would like to live out his last years (an "unburdened crawl toward death") without worries that could better be dealt with by a younger man. Of course, this sets the stage for his famous challenge to his daughters, in which he promises the largest dowery to the one who  most convinces him of her love. Goneril and Regan, married to the Dukes of Albany and Cornwall respectively, offer florid, obsequious speeches, but Cordelia, the youngest daughter, is more honest.

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