This is some fellow
Who, having been praised for bluntness, doth affect
A saucy roughness and constrains the garb
Quite from his nature. He cannot flatter, he.
An honest mind and plain, he must speak truth!
An they will take it, so; if not, he’s plain.
These kind of knaves I know, which in this plainness
Harbour more craft and more corrupter ends
Than twenty silly-ducking observants
That stretch their duties nicely.
– William Shakespeare
King Lear, Act 2, Scene 2. Cornwall calls into question Kent’s true nature and his real motivation behind the honest and plain speaking that he prides himself for. Accusing Kent of duplicity, he suggests that his bluntness is just a "garb" and strategy to conceal his real intentions. Kent is not able to flatter, says Cornwall, but his "garb" of honest speech hides more craftiness and dishonest purpose than is seen in twenty bootlicking servants who bow and flatter. Cornwall is not completely off the mark in calling Kent a deceiver. For the Earl of Kent is disguised here as the commoner Caius – Cornwall is not aware of this, but the audience is, making this a good example of dramatic irony.