King Lear Act II, Scene 4: Questions and Answers

William Shakespeare

Act II, Scene 4: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Why is the King puzzled when he arrives at Gloucester’s castle?

2. Whom does the King see in the stocks? Why was he put in the stocks?

3. Which metaphor does the Fool use to foreshadow the storm?

4. What excuse do Cornwall and Regan give for not greeting the King when he arrives at Gloucester’s castle?

5. Why has Lear come to Regan’s house?

6. Why does Lear fall on his knees to Regan?

7. How many of Lear’s men has Goneril dismissed when he arrives at Gloucester’s castle?

8. How many men does Regan want him to have in his train?

9. Whom does Lear refer to as “unnatural hags”?

10. Where does Lear go after his daughters reduce his train of followers to nothing?

Answers
1. The King cannot understand the reason for Cornwall and Regan’s absence on the night of his expected arrival.

2. The King sees Kent, his messenger, in the stocks. He has been placed there by Cornwall.

3. The Fool says that those who serve for gain “Will pack when it begins to rain,/ And leave thee in the storm.”

4. Cornwall and Regan say they are tired and sick from traveling all night.

5. Lear and Goneril have quarreled, and he wants Regan to take him to live with her.

6. On his knees, Lear begs Regan to take him in.

7. Goneril has reduced Lear’s train of followers by 50 men.

8. Regan thinks 25 in his train would be an ample amount.

9. Lear refers to his oldest two daughters as “unnatural hags.”

10. Lear goes out into the storm and braves the “wild night.”