Act 1, Scene 5 Notes from King Lear

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King Lear Act 1, Scene 5

The scene is brief, and begins with Lear returning to the stage, this time only with the Fool and Kent at his side. Instantly, he sends Kent off with a letter to Regan. But unlike Goneril, who told her sender that it would be okay to embellish the story if need be, the king tells Kent to adhere strictly to the facts.

Kent leaves, and Lear is left alone with the Fool. The Fool tries to make the king laugh, but the king isn't paying attention. He says, "I did her wrong." (line 21) But it is unclear if he is referring to Goneril, Cordelia or both. The Fool notes that the king had grown old before he had gained wisdom. The king cracks a bit. He asks heaven to keep him calm. He knows that angering the gods in heaven would be a disastrous fate.

Topic Tracking: The Natural Order 5

The king's defenses are weakening, it seems.

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