| Quote #7
I'll tell thee:
When Goneril reduces Lear's retinue of knights (thus, reducing any power Lear had left after he divided his kingdom), Lear responds as though Goneril has emasculated him – he says his "manhood" has been shaken. For Lear, power and masculinity go hand and hand.
| Quote #8
This man hath had good counsel:--a hundred knights!
When Goneril first confronts her father about the noisy and riotous knights he keeps with him, she claims the knights disrupt her household by treating her palace like a tavern or a brothel. Yet, here, when Lear is absent, Goneril admits to her husband (Albany) that she doesn't like Lear's knights because they protect him, providing Lear with way too much power. Goneril insists that by stripping Lear of all his power, her life and political position are much safer. Whereas Lear sees Goneril's objection to his knights as a matter of family disloyalty, Goneril sees it as a political and military matter.
| Quote #9
Sir, I am too old to learn:
Because Kent is Lear's servant, when Cornwall locks Kent in the stocks, he's being incredibly disrespectful toward King Lear. As Gloucester later points out, "the king must take it ill, / That he, so slightly valued in his messenger [Kent], / Should have him thus restrained" (2.2.1).