King Lear Act IV, Scene 3: Questions and Answers

William Shakespeare

Act IV, Scene 3: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Where has the King of France gone?

2. What letters does Kent ask the Gentleman about?

3. What is Cordelia’s reaction to Kent’s letters about her father?

4. What reason does Kent give for the differences in Lear’s daughters?

5. Why does Lear refuse to see his daughter Cordelia?

6. Who will watch over the King in Kent’s absence?

7. Is Kent aware that Cornwall has died?

8. What does the “holy water” represent in this scene?

9. Who are the “dog-hearted daughters” whom Kent refers to?

10. Where is Lear in this scene?

Answers
1. The King of France has gone back to France to take care of business that could, in his absence, prove dangerous to the state.

2. Kent asks the Gentleman about the letters written to Cordelia containing news of her father’s suffering.

3. Cordelia reacts with sorrow and love for her father.

4. Kent thinks the answer is given in the stars that “govern our conditions.”

5. Lear is filled with guilt and shame for what he has done to her, and, therefore, refuses to see her.

6. The Gentleman will watch Lear while Kent is gone.

7. Kent speaks of Albany and Cornwall’s powers so we can assume he thinks Cornwall is still alive.

8. The “holy water” is a metaphor for Cordelia’s tears.

9. The “dog-hearted daughters” are Goneril and Regan.

10. Lear has been taken to Dover where he will be safe from his older daughters.