?

King Lear

Free Version

Upgrade subject to access all content

Moderate

Lear’s Apostrophe to the Elements: Act 3, Scene 2

KINGLR-@7@4QP

In Act 3, Scene 2, Lear is on the heath, where he addresses the elements:

Rumble thy bellyful! Spit, fire! spout, rain!
Nor rain, wind, thunder, fire, are my daughters:
I tax not you, you elements, with unkindness;
I never gave you kingdom, call'd you children,
You owe me no subscription: then let fall
Your horrible pleasure: here I stand, your slave,
A poor, infirm, weak, and despised old man:
But yet I call you servile ministers,
That have with two pernicious daughters join'd
Your high engender'd battles 'gainst a head
So old and white as this. O! O! 'tis foul!

What is the sequence of matters expressed in Lear’s apostrophe?

A

That the elements are not kin to him; that they cannot be unkind because the natural world does not act out of motive; that the elements nonetheless ought assist in his death because he is so despised.

B

That the storm ought to rage more ruthlessly; that Lear is a slave to the elements in the same way he has become slave to his daughters; that his age appears most foul in contrast to the vigor of the storm.

C

That the elements are kind because they make and break no promises; that they are a kingdom unto themselves that rightfully scorns the kingdoms of man; that they are presently ministering to his needs by doing their worst to him.

D

That, because the elements are outside of man’s laws, they can do as they like without consequence; that Lear is the storm’s slave; that the storm ought to join him in rising up against his daughters.

E

That the natural world owes him nothing either in duty or through contract; that Lear is nature’s subject; and that – despite this – nature is acting most abject by uniting with his daughters against him.