Famous quotes

King Lear (2007) - Philip Winchester as Edmund. Photo by Manuel Harlan © RSC

There are many well-known quotes in King Lear - here we've listed a few of them, in order of appearance in the play:

Cordelia -'Nothing my Lord.' Lear - 'Nothing can come of nothing, speak again' (Act 1, Scene 1)

Edmund - 'Now gods, stand up for bastards' (Act 1 Scene 2)

Lear - 'How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child' (Act 1, Scene 4)

Fool - 'Thou shouldst not have been old before thou hadst been wise' (Act, 1, Scene 5)

Lear - 'Blow winds and crack your cheeks! Rage, blow, you cataracts and hurricanoes' (Act 3, Scene 2)

Lear - 'I am a man more sinned against than sinning' (Act 3, Scene 2)

Gloucester - 'As flies to wanton boys are we to th' gods, they kill us for their sport' (Act 4, Scene 1)

Gloucester - 'So distribution should undo excess, and each man have enough' (Act 4, Scene 1)

Lear - 'They told me I was everything; 'tis a lie, I am no ague-proof' - (Act 4, Scene 5)

Lear - 'Get thee glass eyes, and like a scurvy politician seem to see the things thou dost not' (Act 4, Scene 5)

Lear - 'When we are born, we cry that we are come to this great stage of fools' (Act 4, Scene 5)

Edgar (as Poor Tom) - 'Men must endure their going hence even as their coming hither' (Act 5, Scene 2)

Lear - 'When thou dost ask me blessing, I'll kneel down and ask of thee forgiveness' (Act 5, Scene 3)

Lear - 'Why should a dog, a horse, a rat have life, and thou no breath at all' (Act 5, Scene 3)

Edgar - 'We that are young shall never see so much, nor live so long' (Act 5, Scene 3)

Compiled by Kath Bradley, MPhil (Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham)
Kath has worked for the RSC in a variety of roles since 2005.
Photo by Manuel Harlan shows Philip Winchester as Edmund in the RSC's 2007 production © RSC

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