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Quotes

Quote #4

BERTRAM
What is it, my good lord, the king languishes of?
LAFEU
A fistula, my lord. (1.1.2)
Would I were with him! He would always say--
Methinks I hear him now;
[...]
"Let me not live," quoth he,
"After my flame lacks oil, to be the snuff
Of younger spirits, whose apprehensive senses
All but new things disdain; whose judgments are
Mere fathers of their garments; whose constancies
Expire before their fashions." This he wished.
I after him do after him wish too. (1.3.7)

As the dying king thinks about a friend from his youth, he seems pretty hopeless. Here, he's worried about the future because he doesn't think the younger generation is fit to take over. This is a lot like what King Henry IV goes through in Henry IV Part II. In that play, the dying monarch spends a lot of time worrying about what will happen to England once he's gone and his son takes the throne.

Quote #5

Since I nor wax nor honey can bring home,
I quickly were dissolved from my hive,
To give some labourers room. (1.3.7)

Dang. Is this what we all have to look forward to when we're old? Here, the dying ruler compares his kingdom to a hive and describes what will inevitably happen when he's dead: a new group of "labourers" (a.k.a. worker bees) will take over the business of running the kingdom. In other words, he knows that life won't stop when he's gone.

Quote #6

HELEN
Gentlemen,
Heaven hath through me restored the king to health.
ALL
We understand it, and thank heaven for you. (2.3.2)

Nobody, including the king, expected the French monarch to live much longer after the first act. Yet, after all the doom and gloom that opens the play, the king of France experiences a sudden and miraculous recovery when Helen cures his disease.

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