Note to King Lear, 1.4.152


Return
to
King Lear,
Act 1, Scene 4, line 152
No, faith, lords and great men will not let me: The Fool begins his next comic turn by pretending to understand Kent's "This is not altogether fool" as meaning "this Fool does not have a monopoly on foolishness." The Fool asserts that "lords and great men" always demand a share of his foolishness. This assertion also satirizes the greediness of courtiers (always "lords and great men") who were granted lucrative monopolies (such as the exclusive right to import a certain kind of wine) by Queen Elizabeth or, later, King James.