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King Lear

"May not an ass know when the cart draws the horse?" King Lear (1.4.229-230) .


Here Shakespeare draws on the proverb "To set the cart before the horse." The Fool comments on the role-reversal taking place as Lear's daughter scolds her father for misbehaving. Just as it is absurd to imagine a cart pulling a horse, the Fool implies that it is absurd for the parent to be chastised by the child.

John Taylor. Mad fashions, od fashions, all out fashions. London, 1642; reproduced 1871 (Detail).

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