An Old Man In William Shakespeares play King Lear, three of Lears extended speeches relate to the play as a whole and are significant in revealing his character. In Lears extended speech beginning with Peace Kent, (I, i, 123) Lear rages over Cordelias lack of servility towards him. Later, Lear denounces both of his evil daughters, Goneril and Regan, in an extended speech beginning with O reason not the need. (II, iv, 263) Finally, in act 4, scene 6, Lear defends adultery and condemns the evil that surrounds him in an extended speech. In act 1, scene 1, Lears extended speech relates to the play as a whole and is significant in revealing his character. After Lear asks Cordelia to show her devotion for him in exchange for an ample third of [his] fair kingdom, (I, i, 82) Lear rages over Cordelias lack of servility in her answers towards him.

He views Cordelia as a barbarous Scythian (I, i, 118) for failing to show him the proper respect. Lear completely rejects her as his daughter and refuses to help Cordelia find a husband, [letting] pride (I, i, 131) be her dowry. Lear disrupts the law of nature when he rejects Cordelias love according to [her] bond, (I, i, 95) and ultimately dies as the result of this inept test of love. Later in the play, Lear gets heart-struck injuries (III, i, 17) after his two evil daughters abandon him in his old age. He realizes that he made a huge mistake in declaring Regan and Goneril the beneficiaries of his kingdom. The entire play focuses on Lears folly; he foolishly rejects Cordelias honored love (V, i, 8) for the fraudulent affection of Goneril and Regan.

Lear is a foolish and senseless man whose folly causes the loss of countless lives. Furthermore, in act 2, scene 4, Lears extended speech relates to the play as a whole an is significant in revealing his character. Lear denounces his evil daughters after they strip him of his servants. Disgraced and outraged at what the evil daughters did, Lear believes that the only thing that separates man from the beast is more than nature needs. (II, iv, 265) Addressing the gods as a poor old man (II, iv, 271) praying for patience, Lear seeks noble anger (II, iv, 275) as a resource to fight against the villainous plot the two evil daughters bring before him. Lear denounces both daughters as unnatural hags (II, iv, 277) and declares revenge upon them that will be terrors of the earth.

(II, iv, 281) Later in the play, Lears anger comes to fruition when he goes outside into an impetuous storm with an endless rage (III, i, 8) while naked. Lear demonstrates his stamina and courage through the raging storm, demonstrating his unyielding desire to set things right and defeat his dark and vicious (V, iii, 173) daughters plan. This allows Lear to take action against his evil daughters and try to undo the damage of his folly. Finally, in Act 4, scene 6, Lears extended speech relates to the play as a whole and is significant in revealing his character.

In Lears extended speech beginning with Ay every inch a king, (IV, vi, 109) Lear defends adultery and condemns the evil that surrounds him. Tricked and manipulated, Lear learns that he is not ague-proof. (IV, iv, 106) Lear believes that Gloucester's bastard son / was kinder to his father (IV, iv, 116-117) than Lears daughters were to him. Lears defense of adultery demonstrates his belief that copulation [thrives] along with evil in society. (IV, vi, 116) Throughout the play, an insane Lear acknowledges his role in the folly. Lear refers to Goneril and Regan as his pelican daughters (III, iv, 77) and attempts to seek retribution for their offenses through a trial, claiming that Goneril kicked the poor king.

(III, vi, 48) While insane, Lear begins to grasp the consequences of his original folly and attempts to rectify the situation. Three of Lears extended speeches relate to the play as a whole and are significant in revealing his character in William Shakespeares play King Lear. In Lears extended speech in act 1, scene 1, Lear rages over Cordelias lack of servility towards him. Later, Lear denounces both of his evil daughters, Goneril and Regan, in an extended speech in Act 2, scene 4.

Finally, in Act 4, scene 6, Lear defends adultery and condemns the evil that surrounds him in an extended speech. These extended speeches add a greater depth of knowledge into the psyche of a foolish, old king.