Yesterday’s post may have left you with the impression that I didn’t enjoy King Lear in the least. Not true. There’s lots to like. Take, for example, this string of insults that Kent throws at Oswald. It’s got to be one of the greatest, all-time put-downs:
KENT: Fellow, I know thee.
OSWALD: What dost thou know me for?
KENT: A knave; a rascal; an eater of broken meats; a
base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited,
hundred-pound, filthy, worsted-stocking knave; a
lily-livered, action-taking knave, a whoreson,
glass-gazing, super-serviceable finical rogue;
one-trunk-inheriting slave; one that wouldst be a
bawd, in way of good service, and art nothing but
the composition of a knave, beggar, coward, pandar,
and the son and heir of a mongrel bitch: one whom I
will beat into clamorous whining, if thou deniest
the least syllable of thy addition.