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King Lear

King Lear


by William Shakespeare

King Lear Compassion and Forgiveness Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Scene.Line). Line numbers correspond to the Norton edition.

Quote #4

EDGAR, aside
My tears begin to take his part so much
They'll mar my counterfeiting. (3.6.63-64)

Edgar almost ruins his "Poor Tom" disguise by weeping in pity for Lear's insanity. The "good" characters in King Lear are unable to control their emotions in the face of injustice and suffering.

Quote #5

Hold your hand,
my lord.
I have served you ever since I was a child,
But better service have I never done you
Than now to bid you hold. (3.7.88-92)

Cornwall's own servant feels so much pity for Gloucester that he rebels against his master to try to prevent him from further wounding Gloucester. The servant's reward, of course, is that Regan stabs him.

Quote #6

CORDELIA, kissing Lear
O, my dear father, restoration hang
Thy medicine on my lips, and let this kiss
Repair those violent harms that my two sisters
Have in thy reverence made.
Kind and dear princess. (4.7.31-35)

As she bends over her ailing father to revive him with a kiss, Cordelia reveals that she has one of the kindest, loving hearts in English literature. Even after her father unfairly banished her, love and forgiveness come naturally. Aww.

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