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King Lear Loyalty Quotes

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

Quote #7

[…] Edmund, I arrest thee
On capital treason; and, in thine attaint,
This gilded serpent.—For your claim, fair
I bar it in the interest of my wife.
'Tis she is sub-contracted to this lord,
And I, her husband, contradict your banns.
If you will marry, make your loves to me.
My lady is bespoke. (5.3.98-106)

Gosh. The writers of One Life to Live must have read King Lear because this play is beginning to look and sound a lot like a soap opera. After Albany finds out that his wife has been sleeping with Edmund (and that his sister-in-law, Regan, is trying hook up with Edmund too), he charges Goneril and Edmund with "treason." Because Albany is a ruler, Goneril's infidelity doesn't just make her a disloyal spouse, it makes her a criminal against the state.

Quote #8

We are not the first
Who with best meaning have incurred the worst. (5.3.4-5)

Cordelia seems to recognize that she is one in a long line of people who gets shafted while trying to do the right thing. The kicker is that she doesn't yet know "the worst" consists of her death.

Quote #9

This is a dull sight. Are you not Kent?
                                                            The same,
Your servant Kent. Where is your servant Caius?
He's a good fellow, I can tell you that.
He'll strike, and quickly too. He's dead and rotten.
No, my good lord, I am the very man—
I'll see that straight.
That, from your first of difference and decay
Have followed your sad steps.
                                                 You are welcome
Nor no man else. All's cheerless, dark, and deadly.
Your eldest daughters have fordone themselves,
And desperately are dead.
                                          Ay, so I think.
He knows not what he says, and vain it is
That we present us to him. (5.3.340-356)

Loyalty? It's not rewarded in King Lear. When Kent finally reveals his true identity to Lear, it's too late.

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