King Lear Society and Class Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Scene.Line). Line numbers correspond to the Norton edition.
Put on what weary negligence you please,
You and your fellows; I'll have it come to question:
If he dislike it, let him to our sister,
Whose mind and mine, I know, in that are one,
Not to be over-ruled. Idle old man,
That still would manage those authorities
That he hath given away! Now, by my life,
Old fools are babes again; and must be used
With cheques as flatteries,--when they are seen abused.
Remember what I tell you. (1.3.3)
Just in case you read the previous passage and wanted to get started on that essay about the generation gap in King Lear, we thought we'd help steer you in the right direction. Here, Goneril talks about her retired father in a pretty condescending way that reveals some serious anger and resentment. She calls Lear an "idle old man" who is foolish enough to think that he still wields any power now that he's retired and has given his daughters all his land. According to Goneril, old men are just like babies – whiny, weak, and powerless.