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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?


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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