What are some examples of similes in Shakespeare's King Lear, Act I and Act II?

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Similes (comparisons using the words “like” or “as”) appear frequently in the first two acts of William Shakespeare’s King Lear and contribute in various ways to the effectiveness of those acts. Examples include the following:

  • At one point the evil, cynical Edmund says that his virtuous brother Edgar comes

like the catastrophe of the old comedy. My 
cue is villainous melancholy, with a sigh like Tom o' Bedlam.

The first simile here is typical of Edmund’s characteristic sarcasm, while the second is ironic since it will later be Edgar who will take on the role of Tom o’ Bedlam.

  • When the Earl of Kent remarks that a passage spoken by the fool “is nothing,” the fool replies,

Then 'tis like the breath of an unfeed lawyer- you gave me 
nothing for't.

This response exemplifies the fool’s quick wit, linguistic playfulness, and sharp-edged humor.

  • When Goneril complains about Lear’s followers and retainers, she says that her residence, now

infected with their manners,
Shows like a riotous...

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