You see me here, you gods, a poor old man,
As full of grief as age, wretched in both.
If it be you that stirs these daughters’ hearts
Against their father, fool me not so much
To bear it tamely; touch me with noble anger,
And let not women’s weapons, water drops,
Stain my man’s cheeks.
This piece is in verse, line 5 does not follow iamb pentameter as it has 11 syllables as he is stressing his emotions about his anger. The last line also does not follow this method as he is stressing that he is now stained with shame after his daughter doesn’t obey him by telling of her love for him.
Is man no more than this? Consider him well. Thou ow’st the
worm no silk, the beast no hide, the sheep no wool, the cat no
perfume. Ha! Here’s three on’s are sophisticated. Thou art the
thing itself; unaccomodated man is no more but such a poor,
bare, forked animal as thou art.
This is prose as a far simpler use of words, and he has lowered himself down to the level of others (lower level of society), as his emotions are taking over and starting to influence, just like his emotions he has lost all structure. His sentences are longer with less intense and complicated words.
When I do stare, see how the subject quakes.
I pardon that man’s life. What was thy cause?
Thou shalt not die. Die for adultery? No.
The wren goes to’t, and the small gilded fly
Does lecher in my sight.
Let copulation thrive; for Gloucester’s bastard son
Was kinder to his father than my daughters
Got ‘tween lawful sheets.
To’t, luxury, pell-mell, for I lack soldiers.
This piece is in verse as at the start of each line is a capital letter. The verse is in iamb pentameter except for line 3 which only has 4 stressing his point, line 6 also does not have 10 and same with line 9, the meaning is these instances he is stressing his point, wanting to engage the audience. Compared to the last he one he is questioning a lot of things and is bring the more complicated language back into his speech, but his questioning makes us think about his subconscious and how much of the world he recognised compared to at the start of the play.
And my poor fool is hanged: no, no, no life?
Why should a dog, a horse, a rat, have life,
And thou no breath at all? Thou’lt come no
Never, never, never, never, never.
Pray you undo this button. Thank you, sir.
Do you see this? Look on her! Look, her lips,
Look there, look there—
This is one of Lear’s last speeches before he dies, it is in verse and at the start of each line is a capital letter. This verse is also in iamb pentameter, except for line 4 and 8, on these lines his language is simple but is stressed by not having 10 syllables. By saying “more” is saying that no more shall he endure the pain, no more shall they oppress him, he is over it, he is over death. The last line is talking about Cordelia and how she is dead, he stresses this to show how over it he is and how the fighting and death must stop. He also talks about dogs, and rats have life, and how the humans, the higher up beings in the chain of being are being killed and the lower a living and thriving.