King Lear Act I, Scene 5: Questions and Answers

William Shakespeare

Act I, Scene 5: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Who is sent with a letter for Lear’s daughter Regan?

2. How does the Fool expect Regan to receive her father?

3. How does Lear feel about Cordelia at this point in the play?

4. What does the Fool mean when he says that a snail has a house to put his “head in, not to give it away to his daughters”?

5. What does Lear want to do to Goneril because of her ingratitude?

6. In what way is Lear’s illusory world disappearing?

7. What does the Fool mean when he says he is “old before his time?”

8. What evidence do we have that Lear believes in a higher being?

9. What is the purpose of the Fool in this scene?

10. What is the main purpose of this short scene?

Answers
1. Kent, the disguised servant of King Lear, is sent to the city of Gloucester with a letter for Regan.

2. The Fool thinks Regan will be exactly like her sister.

3. Lear feels he has not treated Cordelia properly.

4. The Fool is censuring Lear for giving his kingdom to his daughters. He feels it is an unnatural thing to do.

5. He would like to take Goneril’s half of the kingdom back.

6. He has gained new insight regarding his daughter Cordelia.

7. The Fool means that Lear is “old before he is wise.”

8. Lear invokes the heavens to keep him from going mad.

9. The Fool acts as an honest commentary on the King’s fears.

10. This short scene reflects Lear’s emotional state at this point in the play.