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 overruled. 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 checks as flatteries, when they are seen
Remember what I have said. (1.3.13-23)
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.