Have More Than You Show

What is the significance of the quote, "Have more than thou showest, speak less than thou knowest, lend less than thou owest"?

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Michael Ugulini eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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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 relationships. We will look at the three parts of this quote individually as relates to life in general, which is what King Lear is, an examination of a man’s life:

1. Have more than thou showest,

Sometimes it is wise not to reveal to others all that you have. You have to know who you are dealing with and what their motives are. In essence, you are protecting yourself and your family when you think this way. Everyone does not have to know all of your business and what you own.

Also, when we show all that we have, it is sometimes looked upon as being “showy” or flaunting our good fortune and abundant assets. This can invite the jealousy of others.

2. speak less than thou knowest,

It doesn’t have to be physical things either, as mentioned above. In speech, we can flaunt our great knowledge of...

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