King Lear Act 4 Quotes

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Have a look at the quotes for Act 4 attached below. Choose one of them or any other important quote from the act and comment on it below.

1. Re-write the quote

2. Put it in context – speaker, what’s going on at that moment

3. Explain the quote

4. Outline its significance in the scene and in the entire play – imagery, theme, character, plot development etc.

5. Give your own personal response to the significance of the quote – the impact it has made on you.

Don’t forget to read the comments of your classmates. Good luck and enjoy.

Act 4 Quotes

13 thoughts on “King Lear Act 4 Quotes

  1. Lear
    They flattered me like a dog, and told me I had white hairs in my beard ere the black ones were there.
    lear at this point has realized that Goneril and Regan have been lying to him for ages and he has been oblivious to their scheming.

  2. I have no way and therefore want no eyes;
    I stumbled when I saw.

    Gloucester> Old man

    After Gloucester has been kicked out by Regan, he is lead by an old man who served him all his life. He is saying how having advantages, like sight, gives us a false sense of security. When he had eyes, all he saw was Edmunds fake loyalty and believed everything his bastard son said. This realisation has lead him to Edgar who is still disguised as a beggar. Edgar has never seen his father in such a low state.
    This has brought them closer, even though Gloucester still doesn’t know his son is guiding him.

  3. “O dear father, it is thy business that I go about.”- Cordelia

    At the moment, Cordelia is sending out troops to find her father Lear, so that he may be brought to safety with her and the Duke of France. The quote means that she is at the moment, doing the work of her father and this resembles how Cordelia is “Christ Like”. Even though Cordelia has been disowned by Lear, she still loves him and has deep concerns for his health and well being. The quote has made an impact on me because it shows how only Cordelia truly does care about Lear and it shows how Goneril and Regan only use their father for their own personal needs and desires.

  4. “Poor Tom shall lead thee” Edgar to Gloucester
    He is saying that he’ll lead Gloucester to the cliff so he can kill himself but he is trying to think of a way to talk him out of it. I think this shows the loyalty of Edgar and really proves how sly and untruthful Edmund is to his father. This quote makes me feel like Gloucester is going to get better and that Edgar will be by his side the whole time whether he knows it or not.

  5. ”They flattered me like a dog, and told me I had white hairs in my beard ere the black ones were there.” – Lear.
    He speaks to Glouester about Regan and Goneril after they have betrayed him and turned their backs on him while taking full advantage of the money and land they have gotten from their father after they faked their love for him in Act 1 in the ”love test”. In this quote Lear explains to Gloucester how Regan and Goneril have ”bullied” him saying they treated him like a dog and called him an old man. (having no respect for him).
    It uses animal imagery describing how Lear was treated. There’s a theme of betrayal in this scene and basically the whole play.
    Personally I like this quote because I Like the animal imagery in the quote.

  6. “They are not men o’ their words; they told me I was everything; ’tis a lie, I am not ague proof” King Lear to Gloucester

    Lear tells Gloucester of how he realises he is just a man and that being king did not make him anymore special than the next person. Lear realises what a hypocrite he had been. He sees he was only flattered relentlessly in order to gain favor. In the midstof his insanity, King Lear gains a great insight. He now knows he is not “ague-proof” and that he was lied to and flattered often.

    This quote makes me think that Lear may not be such an egotistical person anymore and may become more down-to-earth.

  7. Gloucester
    “I have no way and therefore want no eyes,
    I stumbled when I saw.”

    Gloucester is explaining to the old man that he does not need his eyes any more because when he had them he could not see clearly. He was being deceived by his son Edmund and he banished his other son Edgar who had done nothing wrong. He thinks he is better off without eyes.

  8. “Let the superfluous and the lust-dieted man that slaves your ordinance, that will not see because he doth not feel, feel your power quickly;”

    Gloucester to Edgar.

    This quote is Gloucester expressing his opinion in relation to the people who have wealth and luxury and how they treat the less so fortunate people in society.

    He explains let the man who is living in luxury, who satisfies his lust and desires, who shows contempt for divine law, who refuses to see the needs of others because he has no feeling for them, now feel humbled by heavenly justice.

    For those who don’t see the pain of others, let them feel pain.

    The significance of this quote is that it is very similar to Lear’s in Act 3 Scene 4.

  9. Kent
    “It is the stars,
    The stars above us, govern our conditions;
    Else oneself mate and make could not beget
    Such different issue.”

    Lear
    “by no means
    Will yield to see his daughter.”

    In this moment Kent for not the first time throughout the play explains his beliefs of how the stars above guide our future, before Lear replies with ‘by no means’ as in nothing will persuade him to see his daughter! Lear is so ashamed of how he mistreated her. It has some significance this quote as Kent shows his beliefs which is valuable to him and Lear explains the passion and integrity we thought he might have lost!

  10. Lear to Gloucester: ”They told me I was everything. ‘Tis a lie: I am not ague-proof”

    Lear tells Gloucester that it was during the storm, when he was powerless and vulnerable that he realised the words of his daughters were false. The king sees that he was flattered relentlessly by others because of an alterior motive. In his exile and madness, he acknowledges that he is just a man, no better than anybody else.

    This quote is significant because it shows Lear’s development of a social conscience and his path to self discovery.

  11. “Poor Tom shall lead thee” this is Edgar leading his father to his death …. Although he convinces Gloucester to choose life over death it is still a very emotional scene. Edgar plays upon Gloucester’s superstitions to keep him alive.

  12. “poor Tom shall lead thee” Edgar is speaking to his father Gloucester after his father had his eyes gouged out, Gloucester wants to go to Dover to kill himself but he can’t do it by himself so Edgar offers to bring him to Dover, Edgars plan is to stop his father from killing himself, this shows Edgar compassion to his father

  13. “I have no way and therefore want no eyes;
    I stumbled when I saw.” – Gloucester to Edgar
    Recently blinded by the wicked Cornwall, Gloucester engages in a highly philosophical conversation with Edgar. Here he reveals that he now, in his eyeless state, feels that he is more aware and exposed to what is really going on in the kingdom than when he had his eyes. He believes that when he had the use of his eyes, he was blindly unaware of what was truly happening in the kingdom surrounding him.
    I like this quote as it is Gloucester’s realisation of the deceit that is taking place in the Kingdom. Now blinded, but feeling that he is can see much more than when he had his sight, Gloucester is now aware of the treachery going all around him, crying to the Gods to save Edgar if he does not live to forgive him.

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