Note to King Lear, 1.4.17


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King Lear,
Act 1, Scene 4, line 17
eat no fish: —Catholics ate fish on Fridays in fulfillment of a religious duty to fast, so this could be Kent's boast that he is a true, trustworthy Protestant, not a traitorous Catholic. The line might have gotten an approving chuckle from Shakespeare's audience, despite the fact that the jest is anachronistic; in the time of the historical King Leir, there were no Protestants at all.