King Lear Act I, Scene 4: Questions and Answers

William Shakespeare

Act I, Scene 4: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Why does Kent speak in verse and then change to prose in the beginning of the scene?

2. Why does the Fool offer his coxcomb to Kent?

3. Why is the Fool often referred to as the chorus?

4. What behavior does Oswald demonstrate to the King?

5. Why is Goneril angry at her father in this scene?

6. In Lear’s rage against his daughter Goneril, who does he think he can turn to?

7. How many of Lear’s followers does Goneril take from him?

8. What does Goneril do to warn her sister of Lear’s departure from Albany’s palace?

9. How does the Duke of Albany feel about his wife’s actions against the King?

10. What is Goneril’s response to Albany’s fears?

Answers
1. Kent speaks in verse because he is the Earl of Kent. He speaks in prose when he is disguised as a servant.

2. The Fool offers his coxcomb because he thinks Kent is a fool for following Lear.

3. Traditionally the chorus functions as a commentary on the action of the play. The Fool plays the role of the chorus.

4. Oswald is defiant and treats the King with disrespect.

5. Goneril tells her father that his train of followers are unruly and quarrelsome.

6. Lear says Regan will take him in.

7. Goneril reduces Lear’s followers by 50.

8. Goneril writes Regan a letter warning her of Lear’s arrival.

9. Albany is troubled by his wife’s actions.

10. Goneril accuses Albany of a lack of wisdom in his decision-making.