King Lear jokes

King Lear Jokes.

This comic portrayal of Shakespeare’s play King Lear is a humorous take on the play. It is obviously different from the actual play, but it still adds a sense of humor. King Lear ends in tragedy with almost everyone dying, getting killed or dying. This section of the comic will be reviewed and compared to Shakespeare’s.

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King Lear Act 5 opens with Regan expounding her love for Edmund and questioning his feelings toward her sister Goneril. He tells her to speak the truth, but she replies a few lines later with “no by mine honor madam” (Lines 7 and 14). The plot is the same, but the comic changes the conversation to be shorter and more modern, adding pictures. The comic refers to Edmund as “Eddie”, which is a nice tickle brain, rather than Shakespeare’s lengthy and eloquent speeches. This comical effect fits well into a comic but would be completely inappropriate for a tragedy play.

In Scene 3 of Act 5 King Lear Edmund and Edgar finally engage in the brotherly duel which was inevitable. This is the beginning of the domino effect. The comic mocks Edgar’s various disguises throughout the play, describing it as a Phantom of the Opera mask. This draws attention to the fact that no one can see through Edgar’s disguises despite knowing him for many years. This is what Edgar calls “cunning disguises” in the comic. The play also features loud trumpets to signal battle. This would have been extremely brave and noble, as a Herald must give the order for “let the trumpet sound”. (Line 107); however in the comic, the sound that the trumpets make (good tickle brain) is only a “toot” sound.

Lear, who is holding Cordelia’s corpse in his arms at the end of the play, has a moment to hope. The audience is moved by this moment of hope for a father that his youngest daughter is still alive. This moment is captured by Lear’s exclamation, “Look at her!” Look, her lips! You can see her lips! This comedy breaks up tension and is not found in Shakespeare’s play.

The comic maintained the basic plot elements of Shakespeare’s King Lear but simplified and made it funny. The comic kept the same themes of loyalty and family that were present throughout the play by including the main dialogue between characters.

There is more to the jokes than nonsense burbling (motley), but there is also a smart and well-read character who only pretends to be able make a point. King Leardiscovers this in the words of his jester.

The Lord that rebuked youTo give up thy land
Please place him here by
Stand for him.
The bitter and sweet fool
Will currently appear.
The one and only here
One was found.

Many comedies have the fool as the main character. King Lear’sfool, a boy who is well-liked by Lear, shows great affection towards the old King and earns Lear his sympathy (‘Dost you call me fool, boy ?’).). The familiar double act between the fool and the king carries the action through the first parts of the play, revealing the main themes of power and love.

The joke of the fool is: Who is the true fool? The real fools in life are the characters that are supposed to be the subject of everyone’s laughter. Touchstone is an expert commentator on court life:

I have walked a mile;
I have gratified a lady;
I was politic with my friend and smooth with my enemy;
I have undone 3 tailors There is privilege in the role of court jester to speak things that might be punished or executed. Because it is under the veil, laughter, the clown is the only one allowed to tell the truth.

Even a bloody, mad story like Lear’s can still contain some witty content right out of the gate.

The plot is that King Lear attempts to divide his kingdom into three for his three daughters, but fails. Two of his daughters are thankful and give him praise, even though they lie through their teeth; the third tells him the truth about her real, but not overwhelming love and is banished.

Lear tries to visit his “faithful” daughters but discovers that they now have their own power and no longer want to take care of their father. Lear is forced into the wilderness and goes insane, but eventually finds the daughter who loved him truely, even though she is leading an army against her brothers’ husbands. Lear is eventually driven mad and his faithful daughter is executed.

The story is about Edmund, but it’s also about Lear. My wife says he’s the greatest villain in any story.

His father introduces him in Act I Scene I.

“… This knave was brought into the/world by his mother/fair, but he was not sent for. However, he was a good sport and must be recognized.

This isn’t a one-off conversation. Edmund apparently is used to being introduced to as “whoreson”, or his existence explained to him by his father saying “I so often blushed in order to acknowledge him,” to anyone and everyone he forces him to meet.

It’s not surprising that Edmund is a criminal. You know what I mean. Would you not want to see the world go to pieces if your father, your friends, and your older brother didn’t respect you? Your older brother will inherit everything, while you are left in the cold. That’s what I think.

What’s fascinating is that, while Edmund may be defensive of his position in society, he also enjoys it and turns the political logic illegitimacy upside down.

“Why bastard? Wherefore base?/When I have such small dimensions/My mind is as big as my body/As honest madam?/Why are they us/With base With baseness? bastardy? Base, base?/Who in the lusty stealthy of nature, take/More structure and fierce quality/Go to the creating of a whole tribe/Got ‘tween awake and wake?

Edmund considers himself to be his elder brother’s superior. Edmund was created in “lusty theftth”, which is much more legit than his older brother being born in “a dull and stale, tired mattress”.

Edmund eventually meets Lear’s two unfaithful daughters, Goneril, and Regan. They fall in love with each other, but it is clear that Edmund is using them only for his own purposes.

Their names were inspired by an STD. You can think about it. Goneril Regan. GonerRegan. Gonorrhea!

(I don’t know if this is true, but I do know that a Greek doctor used “gonorrhoeae”, long before Shakespeare ever said it on stage. So I’m going with the assumption that this joke was 100% on purpose.

These two, I must say, are appropriately named. Edmund refers to Goneril as “a disease in my flesh…a bile/ A plague-sore or an embossed caruncle/In my corrupted spleen” and suggests that doctors “anatomise Regan, see what breeds around her heart.”

Edmund is not open about his feelings of hatred for these two men and instead leads them along with some very saucy talk.

“This kiss, should it dare to speak, / Would lift thy spirits into the air. “Conceive, and fare well,” Goneril tells Edmund in Act IV.

Evidently, “conceive” can have a double meaning. However, you wouldn’t be able to understand its meaning if you didn’t know that “spirit”, a euphemism of semen, was also used. This transformed the phrase from a bittersweet goodbye to a sweet “I’ll kisse you so good, you’ll erupt, and knock me up.”

Gross, dude.

Edmund responds, “Yours in death’s ranks.”

This could be understood to mean “I’ll stay yours until you die,” but it has a double meaning. The word “rank” is used in this context to refer to dirty, sexually-oriented behavior, and the word “death” which is an old synonym for orgasm. This transforms a simple, but honorable line into “I’ll Be Yours… as long as you continue rocking my world.”

If you have never seen King Lear before, or want to see it again after becoming more aware of its explicit sexual content, I recommend Ian McKellen’s version on Amazon Prime. It’s a masterwork.

The first bit of bawdy is quick, no pun intended. It happens in a matter of lines. Kent responds to Gloucester’s ambiguous statements about Edmund’s “breeding”, saying that he doesn’t understand them. This is where Gloucester attempts wittily: “Sir. This young fellow’s mom could, whereupon they grew round-wombed, and had indeed, sir., a son for their cradle, ere she had an husband for their bed.” Get it? Conceive. UnderstandGet pregnantPartridge is correct: “Less witty” indeed.

Even worse is the way Gloucester talks about sex with Edmund’s mother.

Although this knave did something sexily to the world before his sent for, his mother was fair. He made good sport and it must be recognized.


He admits that the baby-mama was “fair” but it’s all downhill from there. He comments on the fun he had with her and calls Edmund a “whoreson”, which is very similar to calling Edmund’s mother a “whore”. This play is not a good place to start the slapstick, especially since all of it was stated in Edmund’s presence.

Act One’s Fool is our first encounter. He compares Lear’s treatment to that of his daughters and makes a barely profane pun about his treatment.

I am amazed at the kinship thou and thy girls have. They will whip me for speaking truthfully, but thou’lt have them whip me for lying. Sometimes, I’m whipped just for keeping my peace.


The Fool laments his situation. Lear beats him for telling the truth and Lear beats him because he lies, while the Fool claims that he was beaten for being silent. Is he being beaten for masturbation? This joke is not great, but it’s still a lot more funny than Gloucester’s.

Later, the Fool tries to distract Lear (after leaving Goneril), and he tells him: “I can see why a snail’s house is there…to put his head in, to not give it to his daughters and to leave his horns unprotected.” The double meaning of “horns” is evident in this instance. Snails are characterized by tentacles resembling horns. Horns also represent cuckolds or unfaithful husbands. The Fool could be implying that Lear’s daughters are illegitimate. This is possible given Lear’s statement about Regan’s rejection of him and Lear’s own assertion that Regan’s “mother’s grave [was] // Sepulch’ring an adult’ress”. Remember that the word “case” also means vaginal. A snail needs a shell just as a man’s hair (cock) needs an envelope (pussy). This is not the epitome wit.

Later bawdy snippets of the Fool are not more complicated:

“The codpiece that will shelter” — A place to keep one’s cock.

“No heretics were burned, but wenches’ suitors.” (III.ii.85). A whore’s customer is likely to be afflicted with venereal disease.

“Her boat has a leak” ( (Quarto/The History of King Lear) — this is a reference to a disease that follows and plays off of Poor Tom’s song “Come O’er the Burn, Bessy to me” ( (Quarto/History)), making Poor Tom’s “burn” from a stream into the effects of venereal diseases.

The same Poor Tom disguised as Edgar also speaks out about sex. But it’s not as fun and enjoyable than we might hope.

Serving man, proud in heart, mind and hair. He curled my hair, wore gloves under my cap, served my mistress’ lust, and did the act in darkness with her. One that slept in the conjuring of lust, and woke up to do it. Wine was my love, dice was my best friend, and I loved the Turk dearly. False of heart and light of the ear, bloody in the hand; hog, fox, wolf, greediness, dog, madness, lion, The creaking of shoes and the rustling silks should not be a sign of weakness in your heart. You can keep your foot out of brothels, your hand out of plackets, and your pen out of the books of lenders.


This is a fictional [?]) description of his life. He talks about his (fictional[?]) earlier life and mentions lust and sex (“the acts of darkness”) and lots of it (“outparamoured The Turk”). This history has led him to a moral conclusion: Stay out of whorehouses, avoid vaginas (“plackets”) and keep your pen (“pen”) away from whores’ pussies (“the “book” [something which can be opened] by a “lender”)

Poor Tom’s brother Edmund, the vile bastard Edmund, is also a bit batty, but his is subtle. Goneril says to him, “This kiss, If it Durst Talk, // Would lift thy spirits into the air. // Conceive and wish thee well. The request is for him to “conceive” and there’s a kiss. But that’s not what the oldest daughter said. Shakespeare used the term “spirit” to refer to “semen”. She gives him a kiss, promising to make him squirm like a geyser. His reply (“Yours in death’s ranks”) is a winking, knowing one. While he used “rank” as a noun, it was the adjectival form which meant “sexually dirty; obscene” and “death.” We can’t forget that “die” means “to have a sexual orgasm”.

When Edmund speaks later with Regan, he talks not only about her sexual needs (“the goodness [she] intend[s] upon”) [V.i.8] Edmund], but also her concerns about her brother’s sexual aggression. His earlier response to Goneril was winking. This one about his older sister’s pusy (“the fofended place”) is no different. Partridge reminds us that he twice uses the word honor, which Partridge says is a “bawy pun” () of the word “on her”.

Edmund is a savage; the first bawdy references in the play refer to the act that made him. Our penultimate section of bawdy returns us to this sin. Lear (un?) Lear (un? )consciously informs Gloucester about the punishment for adultery.

See how the subject shakes when I stare.

I apologise for the loss of this man’s life. Was it thy fault?


Thou shalt not die; die for adultery? No,

The small gilded fly and the wren go to ‘t.

Is there any lechery in my sight?

For Gloucester’s bastard son, let copulation flourish

He was kind to my father more than my daughters

You’re right between the sheets. To’t, luxury, pell-mell,

For I lack soldiers. Look, I have no soldiers.

Whose face is between her forks? Snow!

This is a shaming of virtue, but it does shake the head

To hear the name of pleasure:

The fitchew and the soiled horse go to ‘t

You will have a greater appetite. Reduce your waistline

They are centaurs but they have women at the top.

The gods do not inherit the girdle.

All the fiends are under it — there is hell and there’s dark.

There is also the sulfurous pit, which can cause burning, scalding and stench.



Under Lear’s justice, there will be no punishment for adultery. As all of nature does, so will birds (“wren”) and insects (“fly”) as well as polecats (“fitchew”) or horses. He actually calls for lechery or luxury as soon as possible. He needs soldiers and those soldiers must be conceived. Because it is all women’s fault, the men won’t be punished. As his Everywoman, he conjures up a “simp’ring dame”. Shakespeare used the term “simper” to refer to either being hot or “simmering” (“simper”); however, she has a lust that heats her from within, despite her greying pubic hair and coy fauxvirtue. This crone does not have a “riotous appetite for sex.” These women are from the waist upwards, but below the waist they belong “the fiend”: The vagina is a “sulphurous pit”, burning, and scalding.

Women are agents for evil. Men on the other side are “smug bridegroom[s]”, ready to “die bravely”. To die. Or to ? (nudge-nudge).

We bid King Lear our farewell .

Good riddance.