King Lear divided his kingdom between his two daughters and decided to retire.
He retained only his faithful knights and the title of king.
His daughters Regan and Goneril conspired against him. Lear traveled between his two daughters’ castles to live a month at a time. The daughters decided not to accommodate the King’s full retinue of knights.
GONERIL Hear me, my lord;
What need you five and twenty, ten, or five,
To follow in a house where twice so many
Have a command to tend you?
REGAN What need one?
KING LEAR O, reason not the need: our basest beggars
Are in the poorest thing superfluous:
Allow not nature more than nature needs,
Man’s life’s as cheap as beast’s: thou art a lady;
If only to go warm were gorgeous,
Why, nature needs not what thou gorgeous wear’st,
Which scarcely keeps thee warm. But, for true need,–
You heavens, give me that patience, patience I need!
Here is James Earl Jones doing this scene. It is worth watching all ten minutes. Your spine will tingle at the end.