* Site-Outage Notice: Our engineering elves will be tweaking the Shmoop site from Monday, December 22 10:00 PM PST to Tuesday, December 23 5:00 AM PST. The site will be unavailable during this time.
Dismiss
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
King Lear

King Lear

Justice Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #4

CORNWALL
I have received a hurt: follow me, lady.
Turn out that eyeless villain; throw this slave
Upon the dunghill. Regan, I bleed apace:
Untimely comes this hurt. (3.7.17)

Contrary to what he says, Cornwall's wound is very "timely"; the servant has served up justice for Gloucester's eyes.

Quote #5

GLOUCESTER
As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods
They kill us for their sport. (4.1.4)

This is one of the most famous lines in the play. For Gloucester, the gods are not only indifferent to human suffering but they're excessively cruel, causing human misery just as easily and thoughtlessly as "wanton boys" might swat at "flies."

Quote #6

EDGAR
My name is Edgar, and thy father's son.
The gods are just, and of our pleasant vices
Make instruments to plague us.
The dark and vicious place where thee he got
Cost him his eyes. (5.3.4)

After Edgar mortally wounds his wicked brother, Edmund, he says "the gods are just" because they punish humans for their wrong doings. This seems to suggest that Edmund deserved what he got (a stab to the guts). Edgar also implies his father, Gloucester, got what he deserved for having an affair with Edmunds mother. Remember, Gloucester's eyes were plucked out after he was accused of treason, and he fathered a wicked child, Edmund, who betrayed him.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement
Noodle's College Search
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement