| Quote #1
Tell me, my daughters,--
Now this is strange. According to an earlier conversation between Gloucester and Kent, King Lear has already decided how he'll divide his kingdom among his daughters. So, what's the point of Lear staging a love test to determine which woman will get the "largest bounty" (piece of land)? We might say there is no point – King Lear just wants his daughters to flatter him. Here, we see Lear isn't really interested in knowing who truly loves him most, he wants his daughters to express their feelings for him in a very public way.
| Quote #2
Goneril sure does lay it on thick, doesn't she? Even though she says her love for her father leaves her breathless and "unable" to speak, she still manages to find a bunch of empty, meaningless words to flatter him with.
| Quote #3
Cordelia doesn't know how to respond to Lear's love test, especially since her sisters are full of empty flattery. Here, she decides she won't even try to give voice to her love for her father.