Speeches (Lines) for Cordelia in "The Tragedy of King Lear"

Total: 31
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# Act / Scene Speech text
1 I / 1
  • [aside] What shall Cordelia speak? Love, and be silent.
  • [aside] What shall Cordelia speak? Love, and be silent.
  • Goneril. Sir, I love you more than words can wield the matter;
    Dearer than eyesight, space, and liberty;
    Beyond what can be valued, rich or rare;
    No less than life, with grace, health, beauty, honour;
    As much as child e'er lov'd, or father found;
    A love that makes breath poor, and speech unable.
    Beyond all manner of so much I love you.

    Cordelia. [aside] What shall Cordelia speak? Love, and be silent.

2 I / 1
  • [aside] Then poor Cordelia!
    And yet not so; since I am sure my love's
    Mo...
  • [aside] Then poor Cordelia!
    And yet not so; since I am sure my love's
    More richer than my tongue.
  • Regan. Sir, I am made
    Of the selfsame metal that my sister is,
    And prize me at her worth. In my true heart
    I find she names my very deed of love;
    Only she comes too short, that I profess
    Myself an enemy to all other joys
    Which the most precious square of sense possesses,
    And find I am alone felicitate
    In your dear Highness' love.

    Cordelia. [aside] Then poor Cordelia!
    And yet not so; since I am sure my love's
    More richer than my tongue.

3 I / 1
  • Nothing, my lord.
  • Nothing, my lord.
  • Lear. To thee and thine hereditary ever
    Remain this ample third of our fair kingdom,
    No less in space, validity, and pleasure
    Than that conferr'd on Goneril.- Now, our joy,
    Although the last, not least; to whose young love
    The vines of France and milk of Burgundy
    Strive to be interest; what can you say to draw
    A third more opulent than your sisters? Speak.

    Cordelia. Nothing, my lord.

4 I / 1
  • Nothing.
  • Nothing.
  • Lear. Nothing?

    Cordelia. Nothing.

5 I / 1
  • Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave
    My heart into my mouth. I love your Majest...
  • Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave
    My heart into my mouth. I love your Majesty
    According to my bond; no more nor less.
  • Lear. Nothing can come of nothing. Speak again.

    Cordelia. Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave
    My heart into my mouth. I love your Majesty
    According to my bond; no more nor less.

6 I / 1
  • Good my lord,
    You have begot me, bred me, lov'd me; I
    Return those dutie...
  • Good my lord,
    You have begot me, bred me, lov'd me; I
    Return those duties back as are right fit,
    Obey you, love you, and most honour you.
    Why have my sisters husbands, if they say
    They love you all? Haply, when I shall wed,
    That lord whose hand must take my plight shall carry
    Half my love with him, half my care and duty.
    Sure I shall never marry like my sisters,
    To love my father all.
  • Lear. How, how, Cordelia? Mend your speech a little,
    Lest it may mar your fortunes.

    Cordelia. Good my lord,
    You have begot me, bred me, lov'd me; I
    Return those duties back as are right fit,
    Obey you, love you, and most honour you.
    Why have my sisters husbands, if they say
    They love you all? Haply, when I shall wed,
    That lord whose hand must take my plight shall carry
    Half my love with him, half my care and duty.
    Sure I shall never marry like my sisters,
    To love my father all.

7 I / 1
  • Ay, good my lord.
  • Ay, good my lord.
  • Lear. But goes thy heart with this?

    Cordelia. Ay, good my lord.

8 I / 1
  • So young, my lord, and true.
  • So young, my lord, and true.
  • Lear. So young, and so untender?

    Cordelia. So young, my lord, and true.

9 I / 1
  • I yet beseech your Majesty,
    If for I want that glib and oily art
    To spea...
  • I yet beseech your Majesty,
    If for I want that glib and oily art
    To speak and purpose not, since what I well intend,
    I'll do't before I speak- that you make known
    It is no vicious blot, murther, or foulness,
    No unchaste action or dishonoured step,
    That hath depriv'd me of your grace and favour;
    But even for want of that for which I am richer-
    A still-soliciting eye, and such a tongue
    As I am glad I have not, though not to have it
    Hath lost me in your liking.
  • King of France. This is most strange,
    That she that even but now was your best object,
    The argument of your praise, balm of your age,
    Most best, most dearest, should in this trice of time
    Commit a thing so monstrous to dismantle
    So many folds of favour. Sure her offence
    Must be of such unnatural degree
    That monsters it, or your fore-vouch'd affection
    Fall'n into taint; which to believe of her
    Must be a faith that reason without miracle
    Should never plant in me.

    Cordelia. I yet beseech your Majesty,
    If for I want that glib and oily art
    To speak and purpose not, since what I well intend,
    I'll do't before I speak- that you make known
    It is no vicious blot, murther, or foulness,
    No unchaste action or dishonoured step,
    That hath depriv'd me of your grace and favour;
    But even for want of that for which I am richer-
    A still-soliciting eye, and such a tongue
    As I am glad I have not, though not to have it
    Hath lost me in your liking.

10 I / 1
  • Peace be with Burgundy!
    Since that respects of fortune are his love,
    I s...
  • Peace be with Burgundy!
    Since that respects of fortune are his love,
    I shall not be his wife.
  • Duke of Burgundy. I am sorry then you have so lost a father
    That you must lose a husband.

    Cordelia. Peace be with Burgundy!
    Since that respects of fortune are his love,
    I shall not be his wife.

11 I / 1
  • The jewels of our father, with wash'd eyes
    Cordelia leaves you. I know you w...
  • The jewels of our father, with wash'd eyes
    Cordelia leaves you. I know you what you are;
    And, like a sister, am most loath to call
    Your faults as they are nam'd. Use well our father.
    To your professed bosoms I commit him;
    But yet, alas, stood I within his grace,
    I would prefer him to a better place!
    So farewell to you both.
  • King of France. Bid farewell to your sisters.

    Cordelia. The jewels of our father, with wash'd eyes
    Cordelia leaves you. I know you what you are;
    And, like a sister, am most loath to call
    Your faults as they are nam'd. Use well our father.
    To your professed bosoms I commit him;
    But yet, alas, stood I within his grace,
    I would prefer him to a better place!
    So farewell to you both.

12 I / 1
  • Time shall unfold what plighted cunning hides.
    Who cover faults, at last sha...
  • Time shall unfold what plighted cunning hides.
    Who cover faults, at last shame them derides.
    Well may you prosper!
  • Regan. Let your study
    Be to content your lord, who hath receiv'd you
    At fortune's alms. You have obedience scanted,
    And well are worth the want that you have wanted.

    Cordelia. Time shall unfold what plighted cunning hides.
    Who cover faults, at last shame them derides.
    Well may you prosper!

13 IV / 4
  • Alack, 'tis he! Why, he was met even now
    As mad as the vex'd sea, singing al...
  • Alack, 'tis he! Why, he was met even now
    As mad as the vex'd sea, singing aloud,
    Crown'd with rank fumiter and furrow weeds,
    With harlocks, hemlock, nettles, cuckoo flow'rs,
    Darnel, and all the idle weeds that grow
    In our sustaining corn. A century send forth.
    Search every acre in the high-grown field
    And bring him to our eye. [Exit an Officer.] What can man's
    wisdom
    In the restoring his bereaved sense?
    He that helps him take all my outward worth.
  • Earl of Kent. Well, sir, I'll bring you to our master Lear
    And leave you to attend him. Some dear cause
    Will in concealment wrap me up awhile.
    When I am known aright, you shall not grieve
    Lending me this acquaintance. I pray you go
    Along with me. Exeunt.

    Cordelia. Alack, 'tis he! Why, he was met even now
    As mad as the vex'd sea, singing aloud,
    Crown'd with rank fumiter and furrow weeds,
    With harlocks, hemlock, nettles, cuckoo flow'rs,
    Darnel, and all the idle weeds that grow
    In our sustaining corn. A century send forth.
    Search every acre in the high-grown field
    And bring him to our eye. [Exit an Officer.] What can man's
    wisdom
    In the restoring his bereaved sense?
    He that helps him take all my outward worth.

14 IV / 4
  • All blest secrets,
    All you unpublish'd virtues of the earth,
    Spring with...
  • All blest secrets,
    All you unpublish'd virtues of the earth,
    Spring with my tears! be aidant and remediate
    In the good man's distress! Seek, seek for him!
    Lest his ungovern'd rage dissolve the life
    That wants the means to lead it.
  • Doctor. There is means, madam.
    Our foster nurse of nature is repose,
    The which he lacks. That to provoke in him
    Are many simples operative, whose power
    Will close the eye of anguish.

    Cordelia. All blest secrets,
    All you unpublish'd virtues of the earth,
    Spring with my tears! be aidant and remediate
    In the good man's distress! Seek, seek for him!
    Lest his ungovern'd rage dissolve the life
    That wants the means to lead it.

15 IV / 4
  • 'Tis known before. Our preparation stands
    In expectation of them. O dear fat...
  • 'Tis known before. Our preparation stands
    In expectation of them. O dear father,
    It is thy business that I go about.
    Therefore great France
    My mourning and important tears hath pitied.
    No blown ambition doth our arms incite,
    But love, dear love, and our ag'd father's right.
    Soon may I hear and see him!
  • Messenger. News, madam.
    The British pow'rs are marching hitherward.

    Cordelia. 'Tis known before. Our preparation stands
    In expectation of them. O dear father,
    It is thy business that I go about.
    Therefore great France
    My mourning and important tears hath pitied.
    No blown ambition doth our arms incite,
    But love, dear love, and our ag'd father's right.
    Soon may I hear and see him!

16 IV / 7
  • O thou good Kent, how shall I live and work
    To match thy goodness? My life w...
  • O thou good Kent, how shall I live and work
    To match thy goodness? My life will be too short
    And every measure fail me.
  • Edgar. Give me your hand.
    Far off methinks I hear the beaten drum.
    Come, father, I'll bestow you with a friend. Exeunt.

    Cordelia. O thou good Kent, how shall I live and work
    To match thy goodness? My life will be too short
    And every measure fail me.

17 IV / 7
  • Be better suited.
    These weeds are memories of those worser hours.
    I prit...
  • Be better suited.
    These weeds are memories of those worser hours.
    I prithee put them off.
  • Earl of Kent. To be acknowledg'd, madam, is o'erpaid.
    All my reports go with the modest truth;
    Nor more nor clipp'd, but so.

    Cordelia. Be better suited.
    These weeds are memories of those worser hours.
    I prithee put them off.

18 IV / 7
  • Then be't so, my good lord. [To the Doctor] How, does the King?
  • Then be't so, my good lord. [To the Doctor] How, does the King?
  • Earl of Kent. Pardon, dear madam.
    Yet to be known shortens my made intent.
    My boon I make it that you know me not
    Till time and I think meet.

    Cordelia. Then be't so, my good lord. [To the Doctor] How, does the King?

19 IV / 7
  • O you kind gods,
    Cure this great breach in his abused nature!
    Th' untun'...
  • O you kind gods,
    Cure this great breach in his abused nature!
    Th' untun'd and jarring senses, O, wind up
    Of this child-changed father!
  • Doctor. Madam, sleeps still.

    Cordelia. O you kind gods,
    Cure this great breach in his abused nature!
    Th' untun'd and jarring senses, O, wind up
    Of this child-changed father!

20 IV / 7
  • Be govern'd by your knowledge, and proceed
    I' th' sway of your own will. Is...
  • Be govern'd by your knowledge, and proceed
    I' th' sway of your own will. Is he array'd?
  • Doctor. So please your Majesty
    That we may wake the King? He hath slept long.

    Cordelia. Be govern'd by your knowledge, and proceed
    I' th' sway of your own will. Is he array'd?

21 IV / 7
  • Very well.
  • Very well.
  • Doctor. Be by, good madam, when we do awake him.
    I doubt not of his temperance.

    Cordelia. Very well.

22 IV / 7
  • O my dear father, restoration hang
    Thy medicine on my lips, and let this kis...
  • O my dear father, restoration hang
    Thy medicine on my lips, and let this kiss
    Repair those violent harms that my two sisters
    Have in thy reverence made!
  • Doctor. Please you draw near. Louder the music there!

    Cordelia. O my dear father, restoration hang
    Thy medicine on my lips, and let this kiss
    Repair those violent harms that my two sisters
    Have in thy reverence made!

23 IV / 7
  • Had you not been their father, these white flakes
    Had challeng'd pity of the...
  • Had you not been their father, these white flakes
    Had challeng'd pity of them. Was this a face
    To be oppos'd against the warring winds?
    To stand against the deep dread-bolted thunder?
    In the most terrible and nimble stroke
    Of quick cross lightning? to watch- poor perdu!-
    With this thin helm? Mine enemy's dog,
    Though he had bit me, should have stood that night
    Against my fire; and wast thou fain, poor father,
    To hovel thee with swine and rogues forlorn,
    In short and musty straw? Alack, alack!
    'Tis wonder that thy life and wits at once
    Had not concluded all.- He wakes. Speak to him.
  • Earl of Kent. Kind and dear princess!

    Cordelia. Had you not been their father, these white flakes
    Had challeng'd pity of them. Was this a face
    To be oppos'd against the warring winds?
    To stand against the deep dread-bolted thunder?
    In the most terrible and nimble stroke
    Of quick cross lightning? to watch- poor perdu!-
    With this thin helm? Mine enemy's dog,
    Though he had bit me, should have stood that night
    Against my fire; and wast thou fain, poor father,
    To hovel thee with swine and rogues forlorn,
    In short and musty straw? Alack, alack!
    'Tis wonder that thy life and wits at once
    Had not concluded all.- He wakes. Speak to him.

24 IV / 7
  • How does my royal lord? How fares your Majesty?
  • How does my royal lord? How fares your Majesty?
  • Doctor. Madam, do you; 'tis fittest.

    Cordelia. How does my royal lord? How fares your Majesty?

25 IV / 7
  • Sir, do you know me?
  • Sir, do you know me?
  • Lear. You do me wrong to take me out o' th' grave.
    Thou art a soul in bliss; but I am bound
    Upon a wheel of fire, that mine own tears
    Do scald like molten lead.

    Cordelia. Sir, do you know me?

26 IV / 7
  • Still, still, far wide!
  • Still, still, far wide!
  • Lear. You are a spirit, I know. When did you die?

    Cordelia. Still, still, far wide!

27 IV / 7
  • O, look upon me, sir,
    And hold your hands in benediction o'er me.
    No, si...
  • O, look upon me, sir,
    And hold your hands in benediction o'er me.
    No, sir, you must not kneel.
  • Lear. Where have I been? Where am I? Fair daylight,
    I am mightily abus'd. I should e'en die with pity,
    To see another thus. I know not what to say.
    I will not swear these are my hands. Let's see.
    I feel this pin prick. Would I were assur'd
    Of my condition!

    Cordelia. O, look upon me, sir,
    And hold your hands in benediction o'er me.
    No, sir, you must not kneel.

28 IV / 7
  • And so I am! I am!
  • And so I am! I am!
  • Lear. Pray, do not mock me.
    I am a very foolish fond old man,
    Fourscore and upward, not an hour more nor less;
    And, to deal plainly,
    I fear I am not in my perfect mind.
    Methinks I should know you, and know this man;
    Yet I am doubtful; for I am mainly ignorant
    What place this is; and all the skill I have
    Remembers not these garments; nor I know not
    Where I did lodge last night. Do not laugh at me;
    For (as I am a man) I think this lady
    To be my child Cordelia.

    Cordelia. And so I am! I am!

29 IV / 7
  • No cause, no cause.
  • No cause, no cause.
  • Lear. Be your tears wet? Yes, faith. I pray weep not.
    If you have poison for me, I will drink it.
    I know you do not love me; for your sisters
    Have, as I do remember, done me wrong.
    You have some cause, they have not.

    Cordelia. No cause, no cause.

30 IV / 7
  • Will't please your Highness walk?
  • Will't please your Highness walk?
  • Doctor. Be comforted, good madam. The great rage
    You see is kill'd in him; and yet it is danger
    To make him even o'er the time he has lost.
    Desire him to go in. Trouble him no more
    Till further settling.

    Cordelia. Will't please your Highness walk?

31 V / 3
  • We are not the first
    Who with best meaning have incurr'd the worst.
    For...
  • We are not the first
    Who with best meaning have incurr'd the worst.
    For thee, oppressed king, am I cast down;
    Myself could else outfrown false Fortune's frown.
    Shall we not see these daughters and these sisters?
  • Edmund. Some officers take them away. Good guard
    Until their greater pleasures first be known
    That are to censure them.

    Cordelia. We are not the first
    Who with best meaning have incurr'd the worst.
    For thee, oppressed king, am I cast down;
    Myself could else outfrown false Fortune's frown.
    Shall we not see these daughters and these sisters?

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