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

Production image of Edmund (Philip Winchester) in King Lear.
Philip Winchester as Edmund. King Lear (2007), directed by Trevor Nunn
Photo by Manuel Harlan © RSC – Image Licensing
  • 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)

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