King Lear


William Shakespeare

King Lear is a tragedy that tells the story of an aging king who decides to divide his kingdom among his three daughters based on how much they love him. His two eldest daughters, Regan and Goneril, flatter him with false praise to gain their share of the kingdom, while his youngest daughter, Cordelia, refuses to participate in the game of flattery and is banished from the kingdom. The two elder daughters soon reveal their true colors and plot against their father, leading to a series of betrayals and tragedies.

As Lear descends into madness, he is accompanied by his loyal court jester, who provides some of the play's most memorable lines. Meanwhile, a subplot involves the Earl of Gloucester and his two sons, one of whom is illegitimate and the other of whom is plotting against him. The two plots converge in a violent and tragic climax, leaving the stage littered with dead bodies.

King Lear is a complex meditation on the nature of power, family relationships, and human cruelty. It is often considered one of Shakespeare's greatest works, with powerful language, memorable characters, and a devastating conclusion that leaves audiences pondering the meaning of life and death.

Act I

Act 1 of King Lear sets the stage for a story of family drama, power struggles, and betrayal. The play opens with King Lear, the aging monarch of Britain, announcing his plan to divide his kingdom among his three daughters: Goneril, Regan, and Cordelia. He asks them to express their love for him so that he can determine how much of the kingdom each will receive.

Goneril and Regan, who are both married, shower their father with flattery and false declarations of love. Cordelia, however, refuses to engage in this game and instead tells her father that she loves him as a daughter should, without using words to prove it. This angers Lear and he disowns Cordelia, giving her share of the kingdom to her sisters.

Meanwhile, the Earl of Gloucester and his illegitimate son, Edmund, discuss the division of Lear's kingdom. Edmund, who resents his father's preference for his legitimate son, plots to discredit his brother and gain his father's favor.

As the play unfolds, the power dynamics between Lear and his daughters shift. Goneril and Regan begin to assert their authority over their father, who becomes increasingly erratic and unstable. The Earl of Kent, a loyal servant of Lear, tries to intervene and reason with the king, but is banished for his efforts.

The first act of King Lear sets the stage for a tragic tale of family conflict and political intrigue. It highlights the themes of power, loyalty, and betrayal that will continue to play out throughout the rest of the play.

SCENE I. King Lear's palace.

In Scene 1 of Act 1, a king decides to divide his kingdom among his three daughters. He asks each of them to express their love for him, and the two older daughters, Goneril and Regan, give extravagant speeches. However, the youngest daughter, Cordelia, refuses to flatter him and instead tells him that she loves him as a daughter should love her father. The king is furious and disowns her, giving her share of the kingdom to her sisters.

A nobleman named Kent speaks up in defense of Cordelia, but the king banishes him. Another nobleman, Gloucester, introduces his illegitimate son Edmund and tells him that he is not entitled to any inheritance. Edmund is resentful and decides to plot against his legitimate half-brother Edgar, who is Gloucester's true heir.

Meanwhile, the king goes to live with Goneril, but she quickly becomes annoyed with his behavior and demands that he reduce the size of his entourage. The king is shocked and angry at her ingratitude and decides to leave and go to Regan's house instead.

Overall, Scene 1 sets up the main conflicts of the play: the struggle for power among the king's daughters, the tension between legitimate and illegitimate heirs, and the consequences of pride and stubbornness.


I thought the king had more affected the Duke of
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Albany than Cornwall.
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It did always seem so to us: but now, in the
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division of the kingdom, it appears not which of
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the dukes he values most; for equalities are so
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weighed, that curiosity in neither can make choice
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of either's moiety.
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Is not this your son, my lord?
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His breeding, sir, hath been at my charge: I have
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so often blushed to acknowledge him, that now I am
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brazed to it.
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I cannot conceive you.
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Sir, this young fellow's mother could: whereupon
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she grew round-wombed, and had, indeed, sir, a son
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for her cradle ere she had a husband for her bed.
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Do you smell a fault?
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I cannot wish the fault undone, the issue of it
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being so proper.
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But I have, sir, a son by order of law, some year
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elder than this, who yet is no dearer in my account:
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though this knave came something saucily into the
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world before he was sent for, yet was his mother
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fair; there was good sport at his making, and the
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whoreson must be acknowledged. Do you know this
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noble gentleman, Edmund?
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No, my lord.
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My lord of Kent: remember him hereafter as my
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honourable friend.
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My services to your lordship.
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I must love you, and sue to know you better.
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Sir, I shall study deserving.
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He hath been out nine years, and away he shall
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again. The king is coming.
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Attend the lords of France and Burgundy, Gloucester.
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I shall, my liege.
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Meantime we shall express our darker purpose.
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Give me the map there. Know that we have divided
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In three our kingdom: and 'tis our fast intent
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To shake all cares and business from our age;
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Conferring them on younger strengths, while we
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Unburthen'd crawl toward death. Our son of Cornwall,
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And you, our no less loving son of Albany,
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We have this hour a constant will to publish
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Our daughters' several dowers, that future strife
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May be prevented now. The princes, France and Burgundy,
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Great rivals in our youngest daughter's love,
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Long in our court have made their amorous sojourn,
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And here are to be answer'd. Tell me, my daughters,--
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Since now we will divest us both of rule,
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Interest of territory, cares of state,--
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Which of you shall we say doth love us most?
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That we our largest bounty may extend
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Where nature doth with merit challenge. Goneril,
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Our eldest-born, speak first.
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Sir, I love you more than words can wield the matter;
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Dearer than eye-sight, space, and liberty;
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Beyond what can be valued, rich or rare;
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No less than life, with grace, health, beauty, honour;
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As much as child e'er loved, or father found;
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A love that makes breath poor, and speech unable;
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Beyond all manner of so much I love you.
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(Aside) What shall Cordelia do?
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Love, and be silent.
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Of all these bounds, even from this line to this,
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With shadowy forests and with champains rich'd,
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With plenteous rivers and wide-skirted meads,
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We make thee lady: to thine and Albany's issue
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Be this perpetual. What says our second daughter,
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Our dearest Regan, wife to Cornwall? Speak.
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Sir, I am made
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Of the self-same metal that my sister is,
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And prize me at her worth. In my true heart
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I find she names my very deed of love;
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Only she comes too short: that I profess
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Myself an enemy to all other joys,
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Which the most precious square of sense possesses;
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And find I am alone felicitate
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In your dear highness' love.
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(Aside) Then poor Cordelia!
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And yet not so; since, I am sure, my love's
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More richer than my tongue.
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To thee and thine hereditary ever
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Remain this ample third of our fair kingdom;
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No less in space, validity, and pleasure,
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Than that conferr'd on Goneril. Now, our joy,
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Although the last, not least; to whose young love
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The vines of France and milk of Burgundy
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Strive to be interess'd; what can you say to draw
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A third more opulent than your sisters? Speak.
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Nothing, my lord.
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Nothing will come of nothing: speak again.
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Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave
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My heart into my mouth: I love your majesty
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According to my bond; nor more nor less.
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How, how, Cordelia! mend your speech a little,
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Lest it may mar your fortunes.
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Good my lord,
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You have begot me, bred me, loved me: I
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Return those duties back as are right fit,
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Obey you, love you, and most honour you.
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Why have my sisters husbands, if they say
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They love you all? Haply, when I shall wed,
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That lord whose hand must take my plight shall carry
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Half my love with him, half my care and duty:
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Sure, I shall never marry like my sisters,
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To love my father all.
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But goes thy heart with this?
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Ay, good my lord.
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So young, and so untender?
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So young, my lord, and true.
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Let it be so; thy truth, then, be thy dower:
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For, by the sacred radiance of the sun,
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The mysteries of Hecate, and the night;
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By all the operation of the orbs
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From whom we do exist, and cease to be;
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Here I disclaim all my paternal care,
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Propinquity and property of blood,
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And as a stranger to my heart and me
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Hold thee, from this, for ever. The barbarous Scythian,
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Or he that makes his generation messes
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To gorge his appetite, shall to my bosom
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Be as well neighbour'd, pitied, and relieved,
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As thou my sometime daughter.
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Good my liege,--
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Peace, Kent!
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Come not between the dragon and his wrath.
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I loved her most, and thought to set my rest
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On her kind nursery. Hence, and avoid my sight!
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So be my grave my peace, as here I give
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Her father's heart from her! Call France; who stirs?
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Call Burgundy. Cornwall and Albany,
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With my two daughters' dowers digest this third:
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Let pride, which she calls plainness, marry her.
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I do invest you jointly with my power,
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Pre-eminence, and all the large effects
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That troop with majesty. Ourself, by monthly course,
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With reservation of an hundred knights,
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By you to be sustain'd, shall our abode
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Make with you by due turns. Only we still retain
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The name, and all the additions to a king;
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The sway, revenue, execution of the rest,
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Beloved sons, be yours: which to confirm,
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This coronet part betwixt you.
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Giving the crown

Royal Lear,
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Whom I have ever honour'd as my king,
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Loved as my father, as my master follow'd,
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As my great patron thought on in my prayers,--
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The bow is bent and drawn, make from the shaft.
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Let it fall rather, though the fork invade
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The region of my heart: be Kent unmannerly,
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When Lear is mad. What wilt thou do, old man?
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Think'st thou that duty shall have dread to speak,
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When power to flattery bows? To plainness honour's bound,
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When majesty stoops to folly. Reverse thy doom;
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And, in thy best consideration, cheque
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This hideous rashness: answer my life my judgment,
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Thy youngest daughter does not love thee least;
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Nor are those empty-hearted whose low sound
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Reverbs no hollowness.
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Kent, on thy life, no more.
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My life I never held but as a pawn
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To wage against thy enemies; nor fear to lose it,
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Thy safety being the motive.
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Out of my sight!
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See better, Lear; and let me still remain
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The true blank of thine eye.
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Now, by Apollo,--
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Now, by Apollo, king,
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Thou swear'st thy gods in vain.
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O, vassal! miscreant!
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Laying his hand on his sword

Dear sir, forbear.
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Kill thy physician, and the fee bestow
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Upon thy foul disease. Revoke thy doom;
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Or, whilst I can vent clamour from my throat,
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I'll tell thee thou dost evil.
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Hear me, recreant!
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On thine allegiance, hear me!
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Since thou hast sought to make us break our vow,
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Which we durst never yet, and with strain'd pride
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To come between our sentence and our power,
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Which nor our nature nor our place can bear,
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Our potency made good, take thy reward.
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Five days we do allot thee, for provision
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To shield thee from diseases of the world;
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And on the sixth to turn thy hated back
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Upon our kingdom: if, on the tenth day following,
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Thy banish'd trunk be found in our dominions,
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The moment is thy death. Away! by Jupiter,
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This shall not be revoked.
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Fare thee well, king: sith thus thou wilt appear,
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Freedom lives hence, and banishment is here.
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The gods to their dear shelter take thee, maid,
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That justly think'st, and hast most rightly said!
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And your large speeches may your deeds approve,
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That good effects may spring from words of love.
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Thus Kent, O princes, bids you all adieu;
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He'll shape his old course in a country new.
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Flourish. Re-enter GLOUCESTER, with KING OF FRANCE, BURGUNDY, and Attendants

Here's France and Burgundy, my noble lord.
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My lord of Burgundy.
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We first address towards you, who with this king
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Hath rivall'd for our daughter: what, in the least,
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Will you require in present dower with her,
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Or cease your quest of love?
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Most royal majesty,
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I crave no more than what your highness offer'd,
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Nor will you tender less.
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Right noble Burgundy,
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When she was dear to us, we did hold her so;
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But now her price is fall'n. Sir, there she stands:
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If aught within that little seeming substance,
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Or all of it, with our displeasure pieced,
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And nothing more, may fitly like your grace,
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She's there, and she is yours.
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I know no answer.
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Will you, with those infirmities she owes,
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Unfriended, new-adopted to our hate,
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Dower'd with our curse, and stranger'd with our oath,
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Take her, or leave her?
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Pardon me, royal sir;
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Election makes not up on such conditions.
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Then leave her, sir; for, by the power that made me,
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I tell you all her wealth.
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For you, great king,
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I would not from your love make such a stray,
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To match you where I hate; therefore beseech you
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To avert your liking a more worthier way
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Than on a wretch whom nature is ashamed
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Almost to acknowledge hers.
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This is most strange,
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That she, that even but now was your best object,
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The argument of your praise, balm of your age,
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Most best, most dearest, should in this trice of time
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Commit a thing so monstrous, to dismantle
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So many folds of favour. Sure, her offence
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Must be of such unnatural degree,
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That monsters it, or your fore-vouch'd affection
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Fall'n into taint: which to believe of her,
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Must be a faith that reason without miracle
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Could never plant in me.
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I yet beseech your majesty,--
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If for I want that glib and oily art,
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To speak and purpose not; since what I well intend,
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I'll do't before I speak,--that you make known
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It is no vicious blot, murder, or foulness,
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No unchaste action, or dishonour'd step,
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That hath deprived me of your grace and favour;
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But even for want of that for which I am richer,
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A still-soliciting eye, and such a tongue
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As I am glad I have not, though not to have it
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Hath lost me in your liking.
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Better thou
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Hadst not been born than not to have pleased me better.
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Is it but this,--a tardiness in nature
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Which often leaves the history unspoke
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That it intends to do? My lord of Burgundy,
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What say you to the lady? Love's not love
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When it is mingled with regards that stand
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Aloof from the entire point. Will you have her?
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She is herself a dowry.
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Royal Lear,
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Give but that portion which yourself proposed,
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And here I take Cordelia by the hand,
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Duchess of Burgundy.
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Nothing: I have sworn; I am firm.
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I am sorry, then, you have so lost a father
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That you must lose a husband.
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Peace be with Burgundy!
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Since that respects of fortune are his love,
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I shall not be his wife.
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Fairest Cordelia, that art most rich, being poor;
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Most choice, forsaken; and most loved, despised!
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Thee and thy virtues here I seize upon:
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Be it lawful I take up what's cast away.
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Gods, gods! 'tis strange that from their cold'st neglect
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My love should kindle to inflamed respect.
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Thy dowerless daughter, king, thrown to my chance,
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Is queen of us, of ours, and our fair France:
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Not all the dukes of waterish Burgundy
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Can buy this unprized precious maid of me.
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Bid them farewell, Cordelia, though unkind:
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Thou losest here, a better where to find.
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Thou hast her, France: let her be thine; for we
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Have no such daughter, nor shall ever see
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That face of hers again. Therefore be gone
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Without our grace, our love, our benison.
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Come, noble Burgundy.
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Flourish. Exeunt all but KING OF FRANCE, GONERIL, REGAN, and CORDELIA

Bid farewell to your sisters.
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The jewels of our father, with wash'd eyes
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Cordelia leaves you: I know you what you are;
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And like a sister am most loath to call
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Your faults as they are named. Use well our father:
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To your professed bosoms I commit him
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But yet, alas, stood I within his grace,
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I would prefer him to a better place.
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So, farewell to you both.
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Prescribe not us our duties.
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Let your study
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Be to content your lord, who hath received you
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At fortune's alms. You have obedience scanted,
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And well are worth the want that you have wanted.
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Time shall unfold what plaited cunning hides:
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Who cover faults, at last shame them derides.
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Well may you prosper!
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Come, my fair Cordelia.
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Sister, it is not a little I have to say of what
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most nearly appertains to us both. I think our
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father will hence to-night.
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That's most certain, and with you; next month with us.
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You see how full of changes his age is; the
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observation we have made of it hath not been
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little: he always loved our sister most; and
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with what poor judgment he hath now cast her off
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appears too grossly.
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'Tis the infirmity of his age: yet he hath ever
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but slenderly known himself.
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The best and soundest of his time hath been but
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rash; then must we look to receive from his age,
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not alone the imperfections of long-engraffed
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condition, but therewithal the unruly waywardness
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that infirm and choleric years bring with them.
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Such unconstant starts are we like to have from
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him as this of Kent's banishment.
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There is further compliment of leavetaking
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between France and him. Pray you, let's hit
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together: if our father carry authority with
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such dispositions as he bears, this last
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surrender of his will but offend us.
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We shall further think on't.
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We must do something, and i' the heat.
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SCENE II. The Earl of Gloucester's castle.

Scene 2 of Act 1 of the play opens with the Earl of Gloucester introducing his illegitimate son, Edmund, to his legitimate son, Edgar. Edmund is bitter about being seen as an outcast due to his illegitimacy and wishes to take his rightful place in society. He decides to manipulate his father into thinking that Edgar is plotting against him.

Edmund forges a letter from Edgar that suggests he is planning to kill Gloucester, and then shows it to his father. Gloucester is convinced by the letter and immediately believes that Edgar is a traitor. Edmund uses this opportunity to turn his father against his own brother and gain favor for himself.

As the scene progresses, Edgar enters and is confused by his father's anger towards him. He is unaware of the letter and the accusations against him. Gloucester tells Edgar to flee and never return, believing him to be dangerous and disloyal. Edgar is forced to flee and disguise himself as a beggar to avoid being caught.

The scene ends with Edmund expressing his satisfaction at having successfully turned his father against his brother and gained power and status for himself. The audience is left wondering how Edgar will survive and if he will ever be able to clear his name.

Enter EDMUND, with a letter

Thou, nature, art my goddess; to thy law
Link: 1.2.1
My services are bound. Wherefore should I
Link: 1.2.2
Stand in the plague of custom, and permit
Link: 1.2.3
The curiosity of nations to deprive me,
Link: 1.2.4
For that I am some twelve or fourteen moon-shines
Link: 1.2.5
Lag of a brother? Why bastard? wherefore base?
Link: 1.2.6
When my dimensions are as well compact,
Link: 1.2.7
My mind as generous, and my shape as true,
Link: 1.2.8
As honest madam's issue? Why brand they us
Link: 1.2.9
With base? with baseness? bastardy? base, base?
Link: 1.2.10
Who, in the lusty stealth of nature, take
Link: 1.2.11
More composition and fierce quality
Link: 1.2.12
Than doth, within a dull, stale, tired bed,
Link: 1.2.13
Go to the creating a whole tribe of fops,
Link: 1.2.14
Got 'tween asleep and wake? Well, then,
Link: 1.2.15
Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land:
Link: 1.2.16
Our father's love is to the bastard Edmund
Link: 1.2.17
As to the legitimate: fine word,--legitimate!
Link: 1.2.18
Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed,
Link: 1.2.19
And my invention thrive, Edmund the base
Link: 1.2.20
Shall top the legitimate. I grow; I prosper:
Link: 1.2.21
Now, gods, stand up for bastards!
Link: 1.2.22


Kent banish'd thus! and France in choler parted!
Link: 1.2.23
And the king gone to-night! subscribed his power!
Link: 1.2.24
Confined to exhibition! All this done
Link: 1.2.25
Upon the gad! Edmund, how now! what news?
Link: 1.2.26

So please your lordship, none.
Link: 1.2.27

Putting up the letter

Why so earnestly seek you to put up that letter?
Link: 1.2.28

I know no news, my lord.
Link: 1.2.29

What paper were you reading?
Link: 1.2.30

Nothing, my lord.
Link: 1.2.31

No? What needed, then, that terrible dispatch of
Link: 1.2.32
it into your pocket? the quality of nothing hath
Link: 1.2.33
not such need to hide itself. Let's see: come,
Link: 1.2.34
if it be nothing, I shall not need spectacles.
Link: 1.2.35

I beseech you, sir, pardon me: it is a letter
Link: 1.2.36
from my brother, that I have not all o'er-read;
Link: 1.2.37
and for so much as I have perused, I find it not
Link: 1.2.38
fit for your o'er-looking.
Link: 1.2.39

Give me the letter, sir.
Link: 1.2.40

I shall offend, either to detain or give it. The
Link: 1.2.41
contents, as in part I understand them, are to blame.
Link: 1.2.42

Let's see, let's see.
Link: 1.2.43

I hope, for my brother's justification, he wrote
Link: 1.2.44
this but as an essay or taste of my virtue.
Link: 1.2.45

(Reads) 'This policy and reverence of age makes
Link: 1.2.46
the world bitter to the best of our times; keeps
Link: 1.2.47
our fortunes from us till our oldness cannot relish
Link: 1.2.48
them. I begin to find an idle and fond bondage
Link: 1.2.49
in the oppression of aged tyranny; who sways, not
Link: 1.2.50
as it hath power, but as it is suffered. Come to
Link: 1.2.51
me, that of this I may speak more. If our father
Link: 1.2.52
would sleep till I waked him, you should half his
Link: 1.2.53
revenue for ever, and live the beloved of your
Link: 1.2.54
brother, EDGAR.'
Link: 1.2.55
Hum--conspiracy!--'Sleep till I waked him,--you
Link: 1.2.56
should enjoy half his revenue,'--My son Edgar!
Link: 1.2.57
Had he a hand to write this? a heart and brain
Link: 1.2.58
to breed it in?--When came this to you? who
Link: 1.2.59
brought it?
Link: 1.2.60

It was not brought me, my lord; there's the
Link: 1.2.61
cunning of it; I found it thrown in at the
Link: 1.2.62
casement of my closet.
Link: 1.2.63

You know the character to be your brother's?
Link: 1.2.64

If the matter were good, my lord, I durst swear
Link: 1.2.65
it were his; but, in respect of that, I would
Link: 1.2.66
fain think it were not.
Link: 1.2.67

It is his.
Link: 1.2.68

It is his hand, my lord; but I hope his heart is
Link: 1.2.69
not in the contents.
Link: 1.2.70

Hath he never heretofore sounded you in this business?
Link: 1.2.71

Never, my lord: but I have heard him oft
Link: 1.2.72
maintain it to be fit, that, sons at perfect age,
Link: 1.2.73
and fathers declining, the father should be as
Link: 1.2.74
ward to the son, and the son manage his revenue.
Link: 1.2.75

O villain, villain! His very opinion in the
Link: 1.2.76
letter! Abhorred villain! Unnatural, detested,
Link: 1.2.77
brutish villain! worse than brutish! Go, sirrah,
Link: 1.2.78
seek him; I'll apprehend him: abominable villain!
Link: 1.2.79
Where is he?
Link: 1.2.80

I do not well know, my lord. If it shall please
Link: 1.2.81
you to suspend your indignation against my
Link: 1.2.82
brother till you can derive from him better
Link: 1.2.83
testimony of his intent, you shall run a certain
Link: 1.2.84
course; where, if you violently proceed against
Link: 1.2.85
him, mistaking his purpose, it would make a great
Link: 1.2.86
gap in your own honour, and shake in pieces the
Link: 1.2.87
heart of his obedience. I dare pawn down my life
Link: 1.2.88
for him, that he hath wrote this to feel my
Link: 1.2.89
affection to your honour, and to no further
Link: 1.2.90
pretence of danger.
Link: 1.2.91

Think you so?
Link: 1.2.92

If your honour judge it meet, I will place you
Link: 1.2.93
where you shall hear us confer of this, and by an
Link: 1.2.94
auricular assurance have your satisfaction; and
Link: 1.2.95
that without any further delay than this very evening.
Link: 1.2.96

He cannot be such a monster--
Link: 1.2.97

Nor is not, sure.
Link: 1.2.98

To his father, that so tenderly and entirely
Link: 1.2.99
loves him. Heaven and earth! Edmund, seek him
Link: 1.2.100
out: wind me into him, I pray you: frame the
Link: 1.2.101
business after your own wisdom. I would unstate
Link: 1.2.102
myself, to be in a due resolution.
Link: 1.2.103

I will seek him, sir, presently: convey the
Link: 1.2.104
business as I shall find means and acquaint you withal.
Link: 1.2.105

These late eclipses in the sun and moon portend
Link: 1.2.106
no good to us: though the wisdom of nature can
Link: 1.2.107
reason it thus and thus, yet nature finds itself
Link: 1.2.108
scourged by the sequent effects: love cools,
Link: 1.2.109
friendship falls off, brothers divide: in
Link: 1.2.110
cities, mutinies; in countries, discord; in
Link: 1.2.111
palaces, treason; and the bond cracked 'twixt son
Link: 1.2.112
and father. This villain of mine comes under the
Link: 1.2.113
prediction; there's son against father: the king
Link: 1.2.114
falls from bias of nature; there's father against
Link: 1.2.115
child. We have seen the best of our time:
Link: 1.2.116
machinations, hollowness, treachery, and all
Link: 1.2.117
ruinous disorders, follow us disquietly to our
Link: 1.2.118
graves. Find out this villain, Edmund; it shall
Link: 1.2.119
lose thee nothing; do it carefully. And the
Link: 1.2.120
noble and true-hearted Kent banished! his
Link: 1.2.121
offence, honesty! 'Tis strange.
Link: 1.2.122


This is the excellent foppery of the world, that,
Link: 1.2.123
when we are sick in fortune,--often the surfeit
Link: 1.2.124
of our own behavior,--we make guilty of our
Link: 1.2.125
disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars: as
Link: 1.2.126
if we were villains by necessity; fools by
Link: 1.2.127
heavenly compulsion; knaves, thieves, and
Link: 1.2.128
treachers, by spherical predominance; drunkards,
Link: 1.2.129
liars, and adulterers, by an enforced obedience of
Link: 1.2.130
planetary influence; and all that we are evil in,
Link: 1.2.131
by a divine thrusting on: an admirable evasion
Link: 1.2.132
of whoremaster man, to lay his goatish
Link: 1.2.133
disposition to the charge of a star! My
Link: 1.2.134
father compounded with my mother under the
Link: 1.2.135
dragon's tail; and my nativity was under Ursa
Link: 1.2.136
major; so that it follows, I am rough and
Link: 1.2.137
lecherous. Tut, I should have been that I am,
Link: 1.2.138
had the maidenliest star in the firmament
Link: 1.2.139
twinkled on my bastardizing. Edgar--
Link: 1.2.140
And pat he comes like the catastrophe of the old
Link: 1.2.141
comedy: my cue is villanous melancholy, with a
Link: 1.2.142
sigh like Tom o' Bedlam. O, these eclipses do
Link: 1.2.143
portend these divisions! fa, sol, la, mi.
Link: 1.2.144

How now, brother Edmund! what serious
Link: 1.2.145
contemplation are you in?
Link: 1.2.146

I am thinking, brother, of a prediction I read
Link: 1.2.147
this other day, what should follow these eclipses.
Link: 1.2.148

Do you busy yourself about that?
Link: 1.2.149

I promise you, the effects he writes of succeed
Link: 1.2.150
unhappily; as of unnaturalness between the child
Link: 1.2.151
and the parent; death, dearth, dissolutions of
Link: 1.2.152
ancient amities; divisions in state, menaces and
Link: 1.2.153
maledictions against king and nobles; needless
Link: 1.2.154
diffidences, banishment of friends, dissipation
Link: 1.2.155
of cohorts, nuptial breaches, and I know not what.
Link: 1.2.156

How long have you been a sectary astronomical?
Link: 1.2.157

Come, come; when saw you my father last?
Link: 1.2.158

Why, the night gone by.
Link: 1.2.159

Spake you with him?
Link: 1.2.160

Ay, two hours together.
Link: 1.2.161

Parted you in good terms? Found you no
Link: 1.2.162
displeasure in him by word or countenance?
Link: 1.2.163

None at all.
Link: 1.2.164

Bethink yourself wherein you may have offended
Link: 1.2.165
him: and at my entreaty forbear his presence
Link: 1.2.166
till some little time hath qualified the heat of
Link: 1.2.167
his displeasure; which at this instant so rageth
Link: 1.2.168
in him, that with the mischief of your person it
Link: 1.2.169
would scarcely allay.
Link: 1.2.170

Some villain hath done me wrong.
Link: 1.2.171

That's my fear. I pray you, have a continent
Link: 1.2.172
forbearance till the spied of his rage goes
Link: 1.2.173
slower; and, as I say, retire with me to my
Link: 1.2.174
lodging, from whence I will fitly bring you to
Link: 1.2.175
hear my lord speak: pray ye, go; there's my key:
Link: 1.2.176
if you do stir abroad, go armed.
Link: 1.2.177

Armed, brother!
Link: 1.2.178

Brother, I advise you to the best; go armed: I
Link: 1.2.179
am no honest man if there be any good meaning
Link: 1.2.180
towards you: I have told you what I have seen
Link: 1.2.181
and heard; but faintly, nothing like the image
Link: 1.2.182
and horror of it: pray you, away.
Link: 1.2.183

Shall I hear from you anon?
Link: 1.2.184

I do serve you in this business.
Link: 1.2.185
A credulous father! and a brother noble,
Link: 1.2.186
Whose nature is so far from doing harms,
Link: 1.2.187
That he suspects none: on whose foolish honesty
Link: 1.2.188
My practises ride easy! I see the business.
Link: 1.2.189
Let me, if not by birth, have lands by wit:
Link: 1.2.190
All with me's meet that I can fashion fit.
Link: 1.2.191


SCENE III. The Duke of Albany's palace.

Scene 3 of Act 1 begins with the Earl of Kent and the Earl of Gloucester discussing the current state of affairs in the kingdom. They both agree that Lear's decision to divide his kingdom among his daughters was foolish and will lead to trouble.

Just then, Lear and his entourage enter. Lear is furious with Kent for speaking out against his decision and banishes him from the kingdom. Kent protests, but Lear will not listen. He then turns his attention to his daughters and asks them to profess their love for him in order to receive their share of the kingdom.

Goneril, Lear's eldest daughter, delivers a long-winded speech professing her love for her father. Lear is pleased and gives her the largest share of the kingdom. Regan, Lear's middle daughter, follows suit with a similar speech and is also rewarded with a share of the kingdom. However, when it is Cordelia's turn, she refuses to flatter her father and profess her love in such a way. Lear becomes enraged and disowns her, splitting her share of the kingdom between Goneril and Regan.

The scene ends with Kent, who has disguised himself as a servant, pledging to follow Lear and serve him faithfully despite his banishment.

Enter GONERIL, and OSWALD, her steward

Did my father strike my gentleman for chiding of his fool?
Link: 1.3.1

Yes, madam.
Link: 1.3.2

By day and night he wrongs me; every hour
Link: 1.3.3
He flashes into one gross crime or other,
Link: 1.3.4
That sets us all at odds: I'll not endure it:
Link: 1.3.5
His knights grow riotous, and himself upbraids us
Link: 1.3.6
On every trifle. When he returns from hunting,
Link: 1.3.7
I will not speak with him; say I am sick:
Link: 1.3.8
If you come slack of former services,
Link: 1.3.9
You shall do well; the fault of it I'll answer.
Link: 1.3.10

He's coming, madam; I hear him.
Link: 1.3.11

Horns within

Put on what weary negligence you please,
Link: 1.3.12
You and your fellows; I'll have it come to question:
Link: 1.3.13
If he dislike it, let him to our sister,
Link: 1.3.14
Whose mind and mine, I know, in that are one,
Link: 1.3.15
Not to be over-ruled. Idle old man,
Link: 1.3.16
That still would manage those authorities
Link: 1.3.17
That he hath given away! Now, by my life,
Link: 1.3.18
Old fools are babes again; and must be used
Link: 1.3.19
With cheques as flatteries,--when they are seen abused.
Link: 1.3.20
Remember what I tell you.
Link: 1.3.21

Well, madam.
Link: 1.3.22

And let his knights have colder looks among you;
Link: 1.3.23
What grows of it, no matter; advise your fellows so:
Link: 1.3.24
I would breed from hence occasions, and I shall,
Link: 1.3.25
That I may speak: I'll write straight to my sister,
Link: 1.3.26
To hold my very course. Prepare for dinner.
Link: 1.3.27


SCENE IV. A hall in the same.

Scene 4 of Act 1 begins with Lear's eldest daughter, Goneril, expressing her frustration with her father's behavior. She believes that he is being unreasonable and that his knights are causing chaos in her household. Goneril's husband, the Duke of Albany, suggests that they speak to Lear and ask him to reduce the number of knights he has brought with him.

Lear arrives with his retinue of knights and immediately begins to argue with Goneril. He accuses her of being ungrateful and disrespectful, and tells her that he will go to his other daughter, Regan, instead. Goneril responds by telling Lear that he is being irrational and that he needs to listen to her advice.

Regan arrives with her own retinue of knights, and Lear is pleased to see her. However, Regan immediately sides with Goneril and tells Lear that he needs to be more reasonable. Lear becomes angry and tells Regan that she is ungrateful just like her sister.

The argument between Lear and his daughters continues to escalate, with both sides becoming increasingly hostile. Eventually, Lear decides to leave and go back out into the storm. Goneril and Regan are left behind, feeling frustrated and resentful towards their father.

Enter KENT, disguised

If but as well I other accents borrow,
Link: 1.4.1
That can my speech defuse, my good intent
Link: 1.4.2
May carry through itself to that full issue
Link: 1.4.3
For which I razed my likeness. Now, banish'd Kent,
Link: 1.4.4
If thou canst serve where thou dost stand condemn'd,
Link: 1.4.5
So may it come, thy master, whom thou lovest,
Link: 1.4.6
Shall find thee full of labours.
Link: 1.4.7

Horns within. Enter KING LEAR, Knights, and Attendants

Let me not stay a jot for dinner; go get it ready.
Link: 1.4.8
How now! what art thou?
Link: 1.4.9

A man, sir.
Link: 1.4.10

What dost thou profess? what wouldst thou with us?
Link: 1.4.11

I do profess to be no less than I seem; to serve
Link: 1.4.12
him truly that will put me in trust: to love him
Link: 1.4.13
that is honest; to converse with him that is wise,
Link: 1.4.14
and says little; to fear judgment; to fight when I
Link: 1.4.15
cannot choose; and to eat no fish.
Link: 1.4.16

What art thou?
Link: 1.4.17

A very honest-hearted fellow, and as poor as the king.
Link: 1.4.18

If thou be as poor for a subject as he is for a
Link: 1.4.19
king, thou art poor enough. What wouldst thou?
Link: 1.4.20

Link: 1.4.21

Who wouldst thou serve?
Link: 1.4.22


Dost thou know me, fellow?
Link: 1.4.24

No, sir; but you have that in your countenance
Link: 1.4.25
which I would fain call master.
Link: 1.4.26

What's that?
Link: 1.4.27

Link: 1.4.28

What services canst thou do?
Link: 1.4.29

I can keep honest counsel, ride, run, mar a curious
Link: 1.4.30
tale in telling it, and deliver a plain message
Link: 1.4.31
bluntly: that which ordinary men are fit for, I am
Link: 1.4.32
qualified in; and the best of me is diligence.
Link: 1.4.33

How old art thou?
Link: 1.4.34

Not so young, sir, to love a woman for singing, nor
Link: 1.4.35
so old to dote on her for any thing: I have years
Link: 1.4.36
on my back forty eight.
Link: 1.4.37

Follow me; thou shalt serve me: if I like thee no
Link: 1.4.38
worse after dinner, I will not part from thee yet.
Link: 1.4.39
Dinner, ho, dinner! Where's my knave? my fool?
Link: 1.4.40
Go you, and call my fool hither.
Link: 1.4.41
You, you, sirrah, where's my daughter?
Link: 1.4.42

So please you,--
Link: 1.4.43


What says the fellow there? Call the clotpoll back.
Link: 1.4.44
Where's my fool, ho? I think the world's asleep.
Link: 1.4.45
How now! where's that mongrel?
Link: 1.4.46

He says, my lord, your daughter is not well.
Link: 1.4.47

Why came not the slave back to me when I called him.
Link: 1.4.48

Sir, he answered me in the roundest manner, he would
Link: 1.4.49

He would not!
Link: 1.4.51

My lord, I know not what the matter is; but, to my
Link: 1.4.52
judgment, your highness is not entertained with that
Link: 1.4.53
ceremonious affection as you were wont; there's a
Link: 1.4.54
great abatement of kindness appears as well in the
Link: 1.4.55
general dependants as in the duke himself also and
Link: 1.4.56
your daughter.
Link: 1.4.57

Ha! sayest thou so?
Link: 1.4.58

I beseech you, pardon me, my lord, if I be mistaken;
Link: 1.4.59
for my duty cannot be silent when I think your
Link: 1.4.60
highness wronged.
Link: 1.4.61

Thou but rememberest me of mine own conception: I
Link: 1.4.62
have perceived a most faint neglect of late; which I
Link: 1.4.63
have rather blamed as mine own jealous curiosity
Link: 1.4.64
than as a very pretence and purpose of unkindness:
Link: 1.4.65
I will look further into't. But where's my fool? I
Link: 1.4.66
have not seen him this two days.
Link: 1.4.67

Since my young lady's going into France, sir, the
Link: 1.4.68
fool hath much pined away.
Link: 1.4.69

No more of that; I have noted it well. Go you, and
Link: 1.4.70
tell my daughter I would speak with her.
Link: 1.4.71
Go you, call hither my fool.
Link: 1.4.72
O, you sir, you, come you hither, sir: who am I,
Link: 1.4.73

My lady's father.
Link: 1.4.75

'My lady's father'! my lord's knave: your
Link: 1.4.76
whoreson dog! you slave! you cur!
Link: 1.4.77

I am none of these, my lord; I beseech your pardon.
Link: 1.4.78

Do you bandy looks with me, you rascal?
Link: 1.4.79

Striking him

I'll not be struck, my lord.
Link: 1.4.80

Nor tripped neither, you base football player.
Link: 1.4.81

Tripping up his heels

I thank thee, fellow; thou servest me, and I'll
Link: 1.4.82
love thee.
Link: 1.4.83

Come, sir, arise, away! I'll teach you differences:
Link: 1.4.84
away, away! if you will measure your lubber's
Link: 1.4.85
length again, tarry: but away! go to; have you
Link: 1.4.86
wisdom? so.
Link: 1.4.87

Pushes OSWALD out

Now, my friendly knave, I thank thee: there's
Link: 1.4.88
earnest of thy service.
Link: 1.4.89

Giving KENT money

Enter Fool

Let me hire him too: here's my coxcomb.
Link: 1.4.90

Offering KENT his cap

How now, my pretty knave! how dost thou?
Link: 1.4.91

Sirrah, you were best take my coxcomb.
Link: 1.4.92

Why, fool?
Link: 1.4.93

Why, for taking one's part that's out of favour:
Link: 1.4.94
nay, an thou canst not smile as the wind sits,
Link: 1.4.95
thou'lt catch cold shortly: there, take my coxcomb:
Link: 1.4.96
why, this fellow has banished two on's daughters,
Link: 1.4.97
and did the third a blessing against his will; if
Link: 1.4.98
thou follow him, thou must needs wear my coxcomb.
Link: 1.4.99
How now, nuncle! Would I had two coxcombs and two daughters!
Link: 1.4.100

Why, my boy?
Link: 1.4.101

If I gave them all my living, I'ld keep my coxcombs
Link: 1.4.102
myself. There's mine; beg another of thy daughters.
Link: 1.4.103

Take heed, sirrah; the whip.
Link: 1.4.104

Truth's a dog must to kennel; he must be whipped
Link: 1.4.105
out, when Lady the brach may stand by the fire and stink.
Link: 1.4.106

A pestilent gall to me!
Link: 1.4.107

Sirrah, I'll teach thee a speech.
Link: 1.4.108


Mark it, nuncle:
Link: 1.4.110
Have more than thou showest,
Link: 1.4.111
Speak less than thou knowest,
Link: 1.4.112
Lend less than thou owest,
Link: 1.4.113
Ride more than thou goest,
Link: 1.4.114
Learn more than thou trowest,
Link: 1.4.115
Set less than thou throwest;
Link: 1.4.116
Leave thy drink and thy whore,
Link: 1.4.117
And keep in-a-door,
Link: 1.4.118
And thou shalt have more
Link: 1.4.119
Than two tens to a score.
Link: 1.4.120

This is nothing, fool.
Link: 1.4.121

Then 'tis like the breath of an unfee'd lawyer; you
Link: 1.4.122
gave me nothing for't. Can you make no use of
Link: 1.4.123
nothing, nuncle?
Link: 1.4.124

Why, no, boy; nothing can be made out of nothing.
Link: 1.4.125

(To KENT) Prithee, tell him, so much the rent of
Link: 1.4.126
his land comes to: he will not believe a fool.
Link: 1.4.127

A bitter fool!
Link: 1.4.128

Dost thou know the difference, my boy, between a
Link: 1.4.129
bitter fool and a sweet fool?
Link: 1.4.130

No, lad; teach me.
Link: 1.4.131

That lord that counsell'd thee
Link: 1.4.132
To give away thy land,
Link: 1.4.133
Come place him here by me,
Link: 1.4.134
Do thou for him stand:
Link: 1.4.135
The sweet and bitter fool
Link: 1.4.136
Will presently appear;
Link: 1.4.137
The one in motley here,
Link: 1.4.138
The other found out there.
Link: 1.4.139

Dost thou call me fool, boy?
Link: 1.4.140

All thy other titles thou hast given away; that
Link: 1.4.141
thou wast born with.
Link: 1.4.142

This is not altogether fool, my lord.
Link: 1.4.143

No, faith, lords and great men will not let me; if
Link: 1.4.144
I had a monopoly out, they would have part on't:
Link: 1.4.145
and ladies too, they will not let me have all fool
Link: 1.4.146
to myself; they'll be snatching. Give me an egg,
Link: 1.4.147
nuncle, and I'll give thee two crowns.
Link: 1.4.148

What two crowns shall they be?
Link: 1.4.149

Why, after I have cut the egg i' the middle, and eat
Link: 1.4.150
up the meat, the two crowns of the egg. When thou
Link: 1.4.151
clovest thy crown i' the middle, and gavest away
Link: 1.4.152
both parts, thou borest thy ass on thy back o'er
Link: 1.4.153
the dirt: thou hadst little wit in thy bald crown,
Link: 1.4.154
when thou gavest thy golden one away. If I speak
Link: 1.4.155
like myself in this, let him be whipped that first
Link: 1.4.156
finds it so.
Link: 1.4.157
Fools had ne'er less wit in a year;
Link: 1.4.158
For wise men are grown foppish,
Link: 1.4.159
They know not how their wits to wear,
Link: 1.4.160
Their manners are so apish.
Link: 1.4.161

When were you wont to be so full of songs, sirrah?
Link: 1.4.162

I have used it, nuncle, ever since thou madest thy
Link: 1.4.163
daughters thy mothers: for when thou gavest them
Link: 1.4.164
the rod, and put'st down thine own breeches,
Link: 1.4.165
Then they for sudden joy did weep,
Link: 1.4.166
And I for sorrow sung,
Link: 1.4.167
That such a king should play bo-peep,
Link: 1.4.168
And go the fools among.
Link: 1.4.169
Prithee, nuncle, keep a schoolmaster that can teach
Link: 1.4.170
thy fool to lie: I would fain learn to lie.
Link: 1.4.171

An you lie, sirrah, we'll have you whipped.
Link: 1.4.172

I marvel what kin thou and thy daughters are:
Link: 1.4.173
they'll have me whipped for speaking true, thou'lt
Link: 1.4.174
have me whipped for lying; and sometimes I am
Link: 1.4.175
whipped for holding my peace. I had rather be any
Link: 1.4.176
kind o' thing than a fool: and yet I would not be
Link: 1.4.177
thee, nuncle; thou hast pared thy wit o' both sides,
Link: 1.4.178
and left nothing i' the middle: here comes one o'
Link: 1.4.179
the parings.
Link: 1.4.180


How now, daughter! what makes that frontlet on?
Link: 1.4.181
Methinks you are too much of late i' the frown.
Link: 1.4.182

Thou wast a pretty fellow when thou hadst no need to
Link: 1.4.183
care for her frowning; now thou art an O without a
Link: 1.4.184
figure: I am better than thou art now; I am a fool,
Link: 1.4.185
thou art nothing.
Link: 1.4.186
Yes, forsooth, I will hold my tongue; so your face
Link: 1.4.187
bids me, though you say nothing. Mum, mum,
Link: 1.4.188
He that keeps nor crust nor crum,
Link: 1.4.189
Weary of all, shall want some.
Link: 1.4.190
That's a shealed peascod.
Link: 1.4.191

Not only, sir, this your all-licensed fool,
Link: 1.4.192
But other of your insolent retinue
Link: 1.4.193
Do hourly carp and quarrel; breaking forth
Link: 1.4.194
In rank and not-to-be endured riots. Sir,
Link: 1.4.195
I had thought, by making this well known unto you,
Link: 1.4.196
To have found a safe redress; but now grow fearful,
Link: 1.4.197
By what yourself too late have spoke and done.
Link: 1.4.198
That you protect this course, and put it on
Link: 1.4.199
By your allowance; which if you should, the fault
Link: 1.4.200
Would not 'scape censure, nor the redresses sleep,
Link: 1.4.201
Which, in the tender of a wholesome weal,
Link: 1.4.202
Might in their working do you that offence,
Link: 1.4.203
Which else were shame, that then necessity
Link: 1.4.204
Will call discreet proceeding.
Link: 1.4.205

For, you trow, nuncle,
Link: 1.4.206
The hedge-sparrow fed the cuckoo so long,
Link: 1.4.207
That it's had it head bit off by it young.
Link: 1.4.208
So, out went the candle, and we were left darkling.
Link: 1.4.209

Are you our daughter?
Link: 1.4.210

Come, sir,
Link: 1.4.211
I would you would make use of that good wisdom,
Link: 1.4.212
Whereof I know you are fraught; and put away
Link: 1.4.213
These dispositions, that of late transform you
Link: 1.4.214
From what you rightly are.
Link: 1.4.215

May not an ass know when the cart
Link: 1.4.216
draws the horse? Whoop, Jug! I love thee.
Link: 1.4.217

Doth any here know me? This is not Lear:
Link: 1.4.218
Doth Lear walk thus? speak thus? Where are his eyes?
Link: 1.4.219
Either his notion weakens, his discernings
Link: 1.4.220
Are lethargied--Ha! waking? 'tis not so.
Link: 1.4.221
Who is it that can tell me who I am?
Link: 1.4.222

Lear's shadow.
Link: 1.4.223

I would learn that; for, by the
Link: 1.4.224
marks of sovereignty, knowledge, and reason,
Link: 1.4.225
I should be false persuaded I had daughters.
Link: 1.4.226

Which they will make an obedient father.
Link: 1.4.227

Your name, fair gentlewoman?
Link: 1.4.228

This admiration, sir, is much o' the savour
Link: 1.4.229
Of other your new pranks. I do beseech you
Link: 1.4.230
To understand my purposes aright:
Link: 1.4.231
As you are old and reverend, you should be wise.
Link: 1.4.232
Here do you keep a hundred knights and squires;
Link: 1.4.233
Men so disorder'd, so debosh'd and bold,
Link: 1.4.234
That this our court, infected with their manners,
Link: 1.4.235
Shows like a riotous inn: epicurism and lust
Link: 1.4.236
Make it more like a tavern or a brothel
Link: 1.4.237
Than a graced palace. The shame itself doth speak
Link: 1.4.238
For instant remedy: be then desired
Link: 1.4.239
By her, that else will take the thing she begs,
Link: 1.4.240
A little to disquantity your train;
Link: 1.4.241
And the remainder, that shall still depend,
Link: 1.4.242
To be such men as may besort your age,
Link: 1.4.243
And know themselves and you.
Link: 1.4.244

Darkness and devils!
Link: 1.4.245
Saddle my horses; call my train together:
Link: 1.4.246
Degenerate bastard! I'll not trouble thee.
Link: 1.4.247
Yet have I left a daughter.
Link: 1.4.248

You strike my people; and your disorder'd rabble
Link: 1.4.249
Make servants of their betters.
Link: 1.4.250


Woe, that too late repents,--
Link: 1.4.251
O, sir, are you come?
Link: 1.4.252
Is it your will? Speak, sir. Prepare my horses.
Link: 1.4.253
Ingratitude, thou marble-hearted fiend,
Link: 1.4.254
More hideous when thou show'st thee in a child
Link: 1.4.255
Than the sea-monster!
Link: 1.4.256

Pray, sir, be patient.
Link: 1.4.257

(To GONERIL) Detested kite! thou liest.
Link: 1.4.258
My train are men of choice and rarest parts,
Link: 1.4.259
That all particulars of duty know,
Link: 1.4.260
And in the most exact regard support
Link: 1.4.261
The worships of their name. O most small fault,
Link: 1.4.262
How ugly didst thou in Cordelia show!
Link: 1.4.263
That, like an engine, wrench'd my frame of nature
Link: 1.4.264
From the fix'd place; drew from heart all love,
Link: 1.4.265
And added to the gall. O Lear, Lear, Lear!
Link: 1.4.266
Beat at this gate, that let thy folly in,
Link: 1.4.267
And thy dear judgment out! Go, go, my people.
Link: 1.4.268

My lord, I am guiltless, as I am ignorant
Link: 1.4.269
Of what hath moved you.
Link: 1.4.270

It may be so, my lord.
Link: 1.4.271
Hear, nature, hear; dear goddess, hear!
Link: 1.4.272
Suspend thy purpose, if thou didst intend
Link: 1.4.273
To make this creature fruitful!
Link: 1.4.274
Into her womb convey sterility!
Link: 1.4.275
Dry up in her the organs of increase;
Link: 1.4.276
And from her derogate body never spring
Link: 1.4.277
A babe to honour her! If she must teem,
Link: 1.4.278
Create her child of spleen; that it may live,
Link: 1.4.279
And be a thwart disnatured torment to her!
Link: 1.4.280
Let it stamp wrinkles in her brow of youth;
Link: 1.4.281
With cadent tears fret channels in her cheeks;
Link: 1.4.282
Turn all her mother's pains and benefits
Link: 1.4.283
To laughter and contempt; that she may feel
Link: 1.4.284
How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is
Link: 1.4.285
To have a thankless child! Away, away!
Link: 1.4.286


Now, gods that we adore, whereof comes this?
Link: 1.4.287

Never afflict yourself to know the cause;
Link: 1.4.288
But let his disposition have that scope
Link: 1.4.289
That dotage gives it.
Link: 1.4.290

Re-enter KING LEAR

What, fifty of my followers at a clap!
Link: 1.4.291
Within a fortnight!
Link: 1.4.292

What's the matter, sir?
Link: 1.4.293

I'll tell thee:
Link: 1.4.294
Life and death! I am ashamed
Link: 1.4.295
That thou hast power to shake my manhood thus;
Link: 1.4.296
That these hot tears, which break from me perforce,
Link: 1.4.297
Should make thee worth them. Blasts and fogs upon thee!
Link: 1.4.298
The untented woundings of a father's curse
Link: 1.4.299
Pierce every sense about thee! Old fond eyes,
Link: 1.4.300
Beweep this cause again, I'll pluck ye out,
Link: 1.4.301
And cast you, with the waters that you lose,
Link: 1.4.302
To temper clay. Yea, it is come to this?
Link: 1.4.303
Let is be so: yet have I left a daughter,
Link: 1.4.304
Who, I am sure, is kind and comfortable:
Link: 1.4.305
When she shall hear this of thee, with her nails
Link: 1.4.306
She'll flay thy wolvish visage. Thou shalt find
Link: 1.4.307
That I'll resume the shape which thou dost think
Link: 1.4.308
I have cast off for ever: thou shalt,
Link: 1.4.309
I warrant thee.
Link: 1.4.310

Exeunt KING LEAR, KENT, and Attendants

Do you mark that, my lord?
Link: 1.4.311

I cannot be so partial, Goneril,
Link: 1.4.312
To the great love I bear you,--
Link: 1.4.313

Pray you, content. What, Oswald, ho!
Link: 1.4.314
You, sir, more knave than fool, after your master.
Link: 1.4.315

Nuncle Lear, nuncle Lear, tarry and take the fool
Link: 1.4.316
with thee.
Link: 1.4.317
A fox, when one has caught her,
Link: 1.4.318
And such a daughter,
Link: 1.4.319
Should sure to the slaughter,
Link: 1.4.320
If my cap would buy a halter:
Link: 1.4.321
So the fool follows after.
Link: 1.4.322


This man hath had good counsel:--a hundred knights!
Link: 1.4.323
'Tis politic and safe to let him keep
Link: 1.4.324
At point a hundred knights: yes, that, on every dream,
Link: 1.4.325
Each buzz, each fancy, each complaint, dislike,
Link: 1.4.326
He may enguard his dotage with their powers,
Link: 1.4.327
And hold our lives in mercy. Oswald, I say!
Link: 1.4.328

Well, you may fear too far.
Link: 1.4.329

Safer than trust too far:
Link: 1.4.330
Let me still take away the harms I fear,
Link: 1.4.331
Not fear still to be taken: I know his heart.
Link: 1.4.332
What he hath utter'd I have writ my sister
Link: 1.4.333
If she sustain him and his hundred knights
Link: 1.4.334
When I have show'd the unfitness,--
Link: 1.4.335
How now, Oswald!
Link: 1.4.336
What, have you writ that letter to my sister?
Link: 1.4.337

Yes, madam.
Link: 1.4.338

Take you some company, and away to horse:
Link: 1.4.339
Inform her full of my particular fear;
Link: 1.4.340
And thereto add such reasons of your own
Link: 1.4.341
As may compact it more. Get you gone;
Link: 1.4.342
And hasten your return.
Link: 1.4.343
No, no, my lord,
Link: 1.4.344
This milky gentleness and course of yours
Link: 1.4.345
Though I condemn not, yet, under pardon,
Link: 1.4.346
You are much more attask'd for want of wisdom
Link: 1.4.347
Than praised for harmful mildness.
Link: 1.4.348

How far your eyes may pierce I can not tell:
Link: 1.4.349
Striving to better, oft we mar what's well.
Link: 1.4.350

Nay, then--
Link: 1.4.351

Well, well; the event.
Link: 1.4.352


SCENE V. Court before the same.

Scene 5 of Act 1 of a famous play begins with the arrival of King Lear at his daughter's castle. The king is eager to see his daughters and is warmly welcomed by his first daughter and her husband. However, his second daughter and her husband are less welcoming, and the king becomes angry and offended. The second daughter tells the king that she loves him, but she cannot express her love in words, and the king becomes even more angry. The king then turns to his third daughter and asks her to speak, and she tells him that she loves him more than words can express. The king is pleased with her response and gives her a generous portion of his kingdom.

As the scene progresses, the king's advisors express their concern about the division of the kingdom and the possibility of conflict between the sisters. However, the king dismisses their concerns and sets out to enjoy the hospitality of his daughters. The scene ends with the king reflecting on his decision to divide his kingdom and expressing his hope that his daughters will continue to love and care for him.

Overall, Scene 5 of Act 1 is a tense and dramatic scene that sets the stage for the conflict and tragedy that will unfold in the rest of the play. It highlights the themes of love, power, and family relationships, and introduces the complex and flawed characters who will drive the action of the play.

Enter KING LEAR, KENT, and Fool

Go you before to Gloucester with these letters.
Link: 1.5.1
Acquaint my daughter no further with any thing you
Link: 1.5.2
know than comes from her demand out of the letter.
Link: 1.5.3
If your diligence be not speedy, I shall be there afore you.
Link: 1.5.4

I will not sleep, my lord, till I have delivered
Link: 1.5.5
your letter.
Link: 1.5.6


If a man's brains were in's heels, were't not in
Link: 1.5.7
danger of kibes?
Link: 1.5.8

Ay, boy.
Link: 1.5.9

Then, I prithee, be merry; thy wit shall ne'er go
Link: 1.5.10
Link: 1.5.11

Ha, ha, ha!
Link: 1.5.12

Shalt see thy other daughter will use thee kindly;
Link: 1.5.13
for though she's as like this as a crab's like an
Link: 1.5.14
apple, yet I can tell what I can tell.
Link: 1.5.15

Why, what canst thou tell, my boy?
Link: 1.5.16

She will taste as like this as a crab does to a
Link: 1.5.17
crab. Thou canst tell why one's nose stands i'
Link: 1.5.18
the middle on's face?
Link: 1.5.19


Why, to keep one's eyes of either side's nose; that
Link: 1.5.21
what a man cannot smell out, he may spy into.
Link: 1.5.22

I did her wrong--
Link: 1.5.23

Canst tell how an oyster makes his shell?
Link: 1.5.24


Nor I neither; but I can tell why a snail has a house.
Link: 1.5.26


Why, to put his head in; not to give it away to his
Link: 1.5.28
daughters, and leave his horns without a case.
Link: 1.5.29

I will forget my nature. So kind a father! Be my
Link: 1.5.30
horses ready?
Link: 1.5.31

Thy asses are gone about 'em. The reason why the
Link: 1.5.32
seven stars are no more than seven is a pretty reason.
Link: 1.5.33

Because they are not eight?
Link: 1.5.34

Yes, indeed: thou wouldst make a good fool.
Link: 1.5.35

To take 't again perforce! Monster ingratitude!
Link: 1.5.36

If thou wert my fool, nuncle, I'ld have thee beaten
Link: 1.5.37
for being old before thy time.
Link: 1.5.38

How's that?
Link: 1.5.39

Thou shouldst not have been old till thou hadst
Link: 1.5.40
been wise.
Link: 1.5.41

O, let me not be mad, not mad, sweet heaven
Link: 1.5.42
Keep me in temper: I would not be mad!
Link: 1.5.43
How now! are the horses ready?
Link: 1.5.44

Ready, my lord.
Link: 1.5.45

Come, boy.
Link: 1.5.46

She that's a maid now, and laughs at my departure,
Link: 1.5.47
Shall not be a maid long, unless things be cut shorter.
Link: 1.5.48


Act II

In Act 2 of King Lear, Edmund, the illegitimate son of Gloucester, is plotting against his legitimate brother Edgar. He forges a letter from Edgar to their father that makes it seem like Edgar is planning to kill Gloucester. Edmund then shows the letter to Gloucester, who believes it and orders for Edgar to be captured.

Meanwhile, Lear is staying with Goneril but is unhappy with the way she treats him. He decides to go stay with his other daughter Regan instead. However, Regan is not happy about this and refuses to let Lear stay with her unless he reduces the number of knights in his entourage. Lear becomes angry and storms off into a stormy night, accompanied by his Fool and Kent.

The storm becomes worse and Lear starts to lose his sanity. He rants and raves about his daughters, the injustice of the world, and his own foolishness. Kent tries to calm him down and suggests that they seek shelter, but Lear refuses and continues to wander in the storm.

Meanwhile, Gloucester has captured Edgar and brought him to Cornwall and Regan's house. Cornwall orders for Edgar to be tortured, but Edmund secretly helps him escape. Gloucester is then informed that Lear is wandering in the storm and decides to go look for him, despite the danger. He is eventually led to a hovel where he finds Lear and his companions. They are all cold, wet, and miserable, and Lear's sanity continues to deteriorate.


In Scene 1 of Act 2, a nobleman named Edmund is alone on stage and delivers a soliloquy. He expresses his discontent with his status as a bastard child and his desire to gain power and legitimacy. He resents his legitimate brother Edgar and plans to deceive their father, the Earl of Gloucester, into disinheriting Edgar and giving him the inheritance instead.

Edmund then forges a letter from Edgar, in which Edgar appears to plot against their father's life. Edmund shows the letter to Gloucester, who is horrified and decides to have Edgar arrested. Edmund, pleased with his success, plans to use the situation to further his own ambitions.

The scene establishes Edmund as a cunning and ambitious character, willing to deceive and manipulate to achieve his goals. It also sets up the conflict between Gloucester's two sons and foreshadows the chaos that will ensue as the play progresses.

Enter EDMUND, and CURAN meets him

Save thee, Curan.
Link: 2.1.1

And you, sir. I have been with your father, and
Link: 2.1.2
given him notice that the Duke of Cornwall and Regan
Link: 2.1.3
his duchess will be here with him this night.
Link: 2.1.4

How comes that?
Link: 2.1.5

Nay, I know not. You have heard of the news abroad;
Link: 2.1.6
I mean the whispered ones, for they are yet but
Link: 2.1.7
ear-kissing arguments?
Link: 2.1.8

Not I pray you, what are they?
Link: 2.1.9

Have you heard of no likely wars toward, 'twixt the
Link: 2.1.10
Dukes of Cornwall and Albany?
Link: 2.1.11

Not a word.
Link: 2.1.12

You may do, then, in time. Fare you well, sir.
Link: 2.1.13


The duke be here to-night? The better! best!
Link: 2.1.14
This weaves itself perforce into my business.
Link: 2.1.15
My father hath set guard to take my brother;
Link: 2.1.16
And I have one thing, of a queasy question,
Link: 2.1.17
Which I must act: briefness and fortune, work!
Link: 2.1.18
Brother, a word; descend: brother, I say!
Link: 2.1.19
My father watches: O sir, fly this place;
Link: 2.1.20
Intelligence is given where you are hid;
Link: 2.1.21
You have now the good advantage of the night:
Link: 2.1.22
Have you not spoken 'gainst the Duke of Cornwall?
Link: 2.1.23
He's coming hither: now, i' the night, i' the haste,
Link: 2.1.24
And Regan with him: have you nothing said
Link: 2.1.25
Upon his party 'gainst the Duke of Albany?
Link: 2.1.26
Advise yourself.
Link: 2.1.27

I am sure on't, not a word.
Link: 2.1.28

I hear my father coming: pardon me:
Link: 2.1.29
In cunning I must draw my sword upon you
Link: 2.1.30
Draw; seem to defend yourself; now quit you well.
Link: 2.1.31
Yield: come before my father. Light, ho, here!
Link: 2.1.32
Fly, brother. Torches, torches! So, farewell.
Link: 2.1.33
Some blood drawn on me would beget opinion.
Link: 2.1.34
Of my more fierce endeavour: I have seen drunkards
Link: 2.1.35
Do more than this in sport. Father, father!
Link: 2.1.36
Stop, stop! No help?
Link: 2.1.37

Enter GLOUCESTER, and Servants with torches

Now, Edmund, where's the villain?
Link: 2.1.38

Here stood he in the dark, his sharp sword out,
Link: 2.1.39
Mumbling of wicked charms, conjuring the moon
Link: 2.1.40
To stand auspicious mistress,--
Link: 2.1.41

But where is he?
Link: 2.1.42

Look, sir, I bleed.
Link: 2.1.43

Where is the villain, Edmund?
Link: 2.1.44

Fled this way, sir. When by no means he could--
Link: 2.1.45

Pursue him, ho! Go after.
Link: 2.1.46
By no means what?
Link: 2.1.47

Persuade me to the murder of your lordship;
Link: 2.1.48
But that I told him, the revenging gods
Link: 2.1.49
'Gainst parricides did all their thunders bend;
Link: 2.1.50
Spoke, with how manifold and strong a bond
Link: 2.1.51
The child was bound to the father; sir, in fine,
Link: 2.1.52
Seeing how loathly opposite I stood
Link: 2.1.53
To his unnatural purpose, in fell motion,
Link: 2.1.54
With his prepared sword, he charges home
Link: 2.1.55
My unprovided body, lanced mine arm:
Link: 2.1.56
But when he saw my best alarum'd spirits,
Link: 2.1.57
Bold in the quarrel's right, roused to the encounter,
Link: 2.1.58
Or whether gasted by the noise I made,
Link: 2.1.59
Full suddenly he fled.
Link: 2.1.60

Let him fly far:
Link: 2.1.61
Not in this land shall he remain uncaught;
Link: 2.1.62
And found--dispatch. The noble duke my master,
Link: 2.1.63
My worthy arch and patron, comes to-night:
Link: 2.1.64
By his authority I will proclaim it,
Link: 2.1.65
That he which finds him shall deserve our thanks,
Link: 2.1.66
Bringing the murderous coward to the stake;
Link: 2.1.67
He that conceals him, death.
Link: 2.1.68

When I dissuaded him from his intent,
Link: 2.1.69
And found him pight to do it, with curst speech
Link: 2.1.70
I threaten'd to discover him: he replied,
Link: 2.1.71
'Thou unpossessing bastard! dost thou think,
Link: 2.1.72
If I would stand against thee, would the reposal
Link: 2.1.73
Of any trust, virtue, or worth in thee
Link: 2.1.74
Make thy words faith'd? No: what I should deny,--
Link: 2.1.75
As this I would: ay, though thou didst produce
Link: 2.1.76
My very character,--I'ld turn it all
Link: 2.1.77
To thy suggestion, plot, and damned practise:
Link: 2.1.78
And thou must make a dullard of the world,
Link: 2.1.79
If they not thought the profits of my death
Link: 2.1.80
Were very pregnant and potential spurs
Link: 2.1.81
To make thee seek it.'
Link: 2.1.82

Strong and fasten'd villain
Link: 2.1.83
Would he deny his letter? I never got him.
Link: 2.1.84
Hark, the duke's trumpets! I know not why he comes.
Link: 2.1.85
All ports I'll bar; the villain shall not 'scape;
Link: 2.1.86
The duke must grant me that: besides, his picture
Link: 2.1.87
I will send far and near, that all the kingdom
Link: 2.1.88
May have the due note of him; and of my land,
Link: 2.1.89
Loyal and natural boy, I'll work the means
Link: 2.1.90
To make thee capable.
Link: 2.1.91

Enter CORNWALL, REGAN, and Attendants

How now, my noble friend! since I came hither,
Link: 2.1.92
Which I can call but now, I have heard strange news.
Link: 2.1.93

If it be true, all vengeance comes too short
Link: 2.1.94
Which can pursue the offender. How dost, my lord?
Link: 2.1.95

O, madam, my old heart is crack'd, it's crack'd!
Link: 2.1.96

What, did my father's godson seek your life?
Link: 2.1.97
He whom my father named? your Edgar?
Link: 2.1.98

O, lady, lady, shame would have it hid!
Link: 2.1.99

Was he not companion with the riotous knights
Link: 2.1.100
That tend upon my father?
Link: 2.1.101

I know not, madam: 'tis too bad, too bad.
Link: 2.1.102

Yes, madam, he was of that consort.
Link: 2.1.103

No marvel, then, though he were ill affected:
Link: 2.1.104
'Tis they have put him on the old man's death,
Link: 2.1.105
To have the expense and waste of his revenues.
Link: 2.1.106
I have this present evening from my sister
Link: 2.1.107
Been well inform'd of them; and with such cautions,
Link: 2.1.108
That if they come to sojourn at my house,
Link: 2.1.109
I'll not be there.
Link: 2.1.110

Nor I, assure thee, Regan.
Link: 2.1.111
Edmund, I hear that you have shown your father
Link: 2.1.112
A child-like office.
Link: 2.1.113

'Twas my duty, sir.
Link: 2.1.114

He did bewray his practise; and received
Link: 2.1.115
This hurt you see, striving to apprehend him.
Link: 2.1.116

Is he pursued?
Link: 2.1.117

Ay, my good lord.
Link: 2.1.118

If he be taken, he shall never more
Link: 2.1.119
Be fear'd of doing harm: make your own purpose,
Link: 2.1.120
How in my strength you please. For you, Edmund,
Link: 2.1.121
Whose virtue and obedience doth this instant
Link: 2.1.122
So much commend itself, you shall be ours:
Link: 2.1.123
Natures of such deep trust we shall much need;
Link: 2.1.124
You we first seize on.
Link: 2.1.125

I shall serve you, sir,
Link: 2.1.126
Truly, however else.
Link: 2.1.127

For him I thank your grace.
Link: 2.1.128

You know not why we came to visit you,--
Link: 2.1.129

Thus out of season, threading dark-eyed night:
Link: 2.1.130
Occasions, noble Gloucester, of some poise,
Link: 2.1.131
Wherein we must have use of your advice:
Link: 2.1.132
Our father he hath writ, so hath our sister,
Link: 2.1.133
Of differences, which I least thought it fit
Link: 2.1.134
To answer from our home; the several messengers
Link: 2.1.135
From hence attend dispatch. Our good old friend,
Link: 2.1.136
Lay comforts to your bosom; and bestow
Link: 2.1.137
Your needful counsel to our business,
Link: 2.1.138
Which craves the instant use.
Link: 2.1.139

I serve you, madam:
Link: 2.1.140
Your graces are right welcome.
Link: 2.1.141


SCENE II. Before Gloucester's castle.

Scene 2 of Act 2 of this play follows the Earl of Gloucester and his illegitimate son Edmund as they discuss the recent events with King Lear and his daughters. Gloucester shares his concerns about Lear's madness and the potential consequences of his actions. Edmund, who is resentful of his status as a bastard and desires power, manipulates his father into believing that his legitimate son Edgar is plotting against them. Gloucester falls for the lie and orders Edmund to find and apprehend Edgar.

Edmund then delivers a soliloquy in which he reveals his true intentions: to use his father's trust to gain power and to discredit his half-brother. He plans to forge a letter from Edgar, which will make it seem as though he is conspiring against their father. Edmund is an ambitious and ruthless character who will stop at nothing to achieve his desires.

The scene ends with Edmund leaving to carry out his plan, leaving Gloucester grappling with his conflicting emotions and worries about the future. The themes of power, deception, and family relationships are heavily present in this scene, setting the stage for the tragic events to come.

Enter KENT and OSWALD, severally

Good dawning to thee, friend: art of this house?
Link: 2.2.1


Where may we set our horses?
Link: 2.2.3

I' the mire.
Link: 2.2.4

Prithee, if thou lovest me, tell me.
Link: 2.2.5

I love thee not.
Link: 2.2.6

Why, then, I care not for thee.
Link: 2.2.7

If I had thee in Lipsbury pinfold, I would make thee
Link: 2.2.8
care for me.
Link: 2.2.9

Why dost thou use me thus? I know thee not.
Link: 2.2.10

Fellow, I know thee.
Link: 2.2.11

What dost thou know me for?
Link: 2.2.12

A knave; a rascal; an eater of broken meats; a
Link: 2.2.13
base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited,
Link: 2.2.14
hundred-pound, filthy, worsted-stocking knave; a
Link: 2.2.15
lily-livered, action-taking knave, a whoreson,
Link: 2.2.16
glass-gazing, super-serviceable finical rogue;
Link: 2.2.17
one-trunk-inheriting slave; one that wouldst be a
Link: 2.2.18
bawd, in way of good service, and art nothing but
Link: 2.2.19
the composition of a knave, beggar, coward, pandar,
Link: 2.2.20
and the son and heir of a mongrel bitch: one whom I
Link: 2.2.21
will beat into clamorous whining, if thou deniest
Link: 2.2.22
the least syllable of thy addition.
Link: 2.2.23

Why, what a monstrous fellow art thou, thus to rail
Link: 2.2.24
on one that is neither known of thee nor knows thee!
Link: 2.2.25

What a brazen-faced varlet art thou, to deny thou
Link: 2.2.26
knowest me! Is it two days ago since I tripped up
Link: 2.2.27
thy heels, and beat thee before the king? Draw, you
Link: 2.2.28
rogue: for, though it be night, yet the moon
Link: 2.2.29
shines; I'll make a sop o' the moonshine of you:
Link: 2.2.30
draw, you whoreson cullionly barber-monger, draw.
Link: 2.2.31

Drawing his sword

Away! I have nothing to do with thee.
Link: 2.2.32

Draw, you rascal: you come with letters against the
Link: 2.2.33
king; and take vanity the puppet's part against the
Link: 2.2.34
royalty of her father: draw, you rogue, or I'll so
Link: 2.2.35
carbonado your shanks: draw, you rascal; come your ways.
Link: 2.2.36

Help, ho! murder! help!
Link: 2.2.37

Strike, you slave; stand, rogue, stand; you neat
Link: 2.2.38
slave, strike.
Link: 2.2.39

Beating him

Help, ho! murder! murder!
Link: 2.2.40

Enter EDMUND, with his rapier drawn, CORNWALL, REGAN, GLOUCESTER, and Servants

How now! What's the matter?
Link: 2.2.41

With you, goodman boy, an you please: come, I'll
Link: 2.2.42
flesh ye; come on, young master.
Link: 2.2.43

Weapons! arms! What 's the matter here?
Link: 2.2.44

Keep peace, upon your lives:
Link: 2.2.45
He dies that strikes again. What is the matter?
Link: 2.2.46

The messengers from our sister and the king.
Link: 2.2.47

What is your difference? speak.
Link: 2.2.48

I am scarce in breath, my lord.
Link: 2.2.49

No marvel, you have so bestirred your valour. You
Link: 2.2.50
cowardly rascal, nature disclaims in thee: a
Link: 2.2.51
tailor made thee.
Link: 2.2.52

Thou art a strange fellow: a tailor make a man?
Link: 2.2.53

Ay, a tailor, sir: a stone-cutter or painter could
Link: 2.2.54
not have made him so ill, though he had been but two
Link: 2.2.55
hours at the trade.
Link: 2.2.56

Speak yet, how grew your quarrel?
Link: 2.2.57

This ancient ruffian, sir, whose life I have spared
Link: 2.2.58
at suit of his gray beard,--
Link: 2.2.59

Thou whoreson zed! thou unnecessary letter! My
Link: 2.2.60
lord, if you will give me leave, I will tread this
Link: 2.2.61
unbolted villain into mortar, and daub the wall of
Link: 2.2.62
a jakes with him. Spare my gray beard, you wagtail?
Link: 2.2.63

Peace, sirrah!
Link: 2.2.64
You beastly knave, know you no reverence?
Link: 2.2.65

Yes, sir; but anger hath a privilege.
Link: 2.2.66

Why art thou angry?
Link: 2.2.67

That such a slave as this should wear a sword,
Link: 2.2.68
Who wears no honesty. Such smiling rogues as these,
Link: 2.2.69
Like rats, oft bite the holy cords a-twain
Link: 2.2.70
Which are too intrinse t' unloose; smooth every passion
Link: 2.2.71
That in the natures of their lords rebel;
Link: 2.2.72
Bring oil to fire, snow to their colder moods;
Link: 2.2.73
Renege, affirm, and turn their halcyon beaks
Link: 2.2.74
With every gale and vary of their masters,
Link: 2.2.75
Knowing nought, like dogs, but following.
Link: 2.2.76
A plague upon your epileptic visage!
Link: 2.2.77
Smile you my speeches, as I were a fool?
Link: 2.2.78
Goose, if I had you upon Sarum plain,
Link: 2.2.79
I'ld drive ye cackling home to Camelot.
Link: 2.2.80

Why, art thou mad, old fellow?
Link: 2.2.81

How fell you out? say that.
Link: 2.2.82

No contraries hold more antipathy
Link: 2.2.83
Than I and such a knave.
Link: 2.2.84

Why dost thou call him a knave? What's his offence?
Link: 2.2.85

His countenance likes me not.
Link: 2.2.86

No more, perchance, does mine, nor his, nor hers.
Link: 2.2.87

Sir, 'tis my occupation to be plain:
Link: 2.2.88
I have seen better faces in my time
Link: 2.2.89
Than stands on any shoulder that I see
Link: 2.2.90
Before me at this instant.
Link: 2.2.91

This is some fellow,
Link: 2.2.92
Who, having been praised for bluntness, doth affect
Link: 2.2.93
A saucy roughness, and constrains the garb
Link: 2.2.94
Quite from his nature: he cannot flatter, he,
Link: 2.2.95
An honest mind and plain, he must speak truth!
Link: 2.2.96
An they will take it, so; if not, he's plain.
Link: 2.2.97
These kind of knaves I know, which in this plainness
Link: 2.2.98
Harbour more craft and more corrupter ends
Link: 2.2.99
Than twenty silly ducking observants
Link: 2.2.100
That stretch their duties nicely.
Link: 2.2.101

Sir, in good sooth, in sincere verity,
Link: 2.2.102
Under the allowance of your great aspect,
Link: 2.2.103
Whose influence, like the wreath of radiant fire
Link: 2.2.104
On flickering Phoebus' front,--
Link: 2.2.105

What mean'st by this?
Link: 2.2.106

To go out of my dialect, which you
Link: 2.2.107
discommend so much. I know, sir, I am no
Link: 2.2.108
flatterer: he that beguiled you in a plain
Link: 2.2.109
accent was a plain knave; which for my part
Link: 2.2.110
I will not be, though I should win your displeasure
Link: 2.2.111
to entreat me to 't.
Link: 2.2.112

What was the offence you gave him?
Link: 2.2.113

I never gave him any:
Link: 2.2.114
It pleased the king his master very late
Link: 2.2.115
To strike at me, upon his misconstruction;
Link: 2.2.116
When he, conjunct and flattering his displeasure,
Link: 2.2.117
Tripp'd me behind; being down, insulted, rail'd,
Link: 2.2.118
And put upon him such a deal of man,
Link: 2.2.119
That worthied him, got praises of the king
Link: 2.2.120
For him attempting who was self-subdued;
Link: 2.2.121
And, in the fleshment of this dread exploit,
Link: 2.2.122
Drew on me here again.
Link: 2.2.123

None of these rogues and cowards
Link: 2.2.124
But Ajax is their fool.
Link: 2.2.125

Fetch forth the stocks!
Link: 2.2.126
You stubborn ancient knave, you reverend braggart,
Link: 2.2.127
We'll teach you--
Link: 2.2.128

Sir, I am too old to learn:
Link: 2.2.129
Call not your stocks for me: I serve the king;
Link: 2.2.130
On whose employment I was sent to you:
Link: 2.2.131
You shall do small respect, show too bold malice
Link: 2.2.132
Against the grace and person of my master,
Link: 2.2.133
Stocking his messenger.
Link: 2.2.134

Fetch forth the stocks! As I have life and honour,
Link: 2.2.135
There shall he sit till noon.
Link: 2.2.136

Till noon! till night, my lord; and all night too.
Link: 2.2.137

Why, madam, if I were your father's dog,
Link: 2.2.138
You should not use me so.
Link: 2.2.139

Sir, being his knave, I will.
Link: 2.2.140

This is a fellow of the self-same colour
Link: 2.2.141
Our sister speaks of. Come, bring away the stocks!
Link: 2.2.142

Stocks brought out

Let me beseech your grace not to do so:
Link: 2.2.143
His fault is much, and the good king his master
Link: 2.2.144
Will cheque him for 't: your purposed low correction
Link: 2.2.145
Is such as basest and contemned'st wretches
Link: 2.2.146
For pilferings and most common trespasses
Link: 2.2.147
Are punish'd with: the king must take it ill,
Link: 2.2.148
That he's so slightly valued in his messenger,
Link: 2.2.149
Should have him thus restrain'd.
Link: 2.2.150

I'll answer that.
Link: 2.2.151

My sister may receive it much more worse,
Link: 2.2.152
To have her gentleman abused, assaulted,
Link: 2.2.153
For following her affairs. Put in his legs.
Link: 2.2.154
Come, my good lord, away.
Link: 2.2.155

Exeunt all but GLOUCESTER and KENT

I am sorry for thee, friend; 'tis the duke's pleasure,
Link: 2.2.156
Whose disposition, all the world well knows,
Link: 2.2.157
Will not be rubb'd nor stopp'd: I'll entreat for thee.
Link: 2.2.158

Pray, do not, sir: I have watched and travell'd hard;
Link: 2.2.159
Some time I shall sleep out, the rest I'll whistle.
Link: 2.2.160
A good man's fortune may grow out at heels:
Link: 2.2.161
Give you good morrow!
Link: 2.2.162

The duke's to blame in this; 'twill be ill taken.
Link: 2.2.163


Good king, that must approve the common saw,
Link: 2.2.164
Thou out of heaven's benediction comest
Link: 2.2.165
To the warm sun!
Link: 2.2.166
Approach, thou beacon to this under globe,
Link: 2.2.167
That by thy comfortable beams I may
Link: 2.2.168
Peruse this letter! Nothing almost sees miracles
Link: 2.2.169
But misery: I know 'tis from Cordelia,
Link: 2.2.170
Who hath most fortunately been inform'd
Link: 2.2.171
Of my obscured course; and shall find time
Link: 2.2.172
From this enormous state, seeking to give
Link: 2.2.173
Losses their remedies. All weary and o'erwatch'd,
Link: 2.2.174
Take vantage, heavy eyes, not to behold
Link: 2.2.175
This shameful lodging.
Link: 2.2.176
Fortune, good night: smile once more: turn thy wheel!
Link: 2.2.177


SCENE III. A wood.

Scene 3 of Act 2 of this play involves a conversation between Gloucester and Edmund. Gloucester is convinced that his legitimate son Edgar is plotting against him, and Edmund sees an opportunity to take advantage of the situation. He forges a letter from Edgar, which he shows to Gloucester, indicating that Edgar plans to kill him and take over his lands. Gloucester is devastated and wants to punish Edgar. Edmund, however, suggests that they wait and see if Edgar actually follows through with his plans before taking any action.

During their conversation, Gloucester also tells Edmund about King Lear's plan to divide his kingdom among his daughters. Edmund sees this as an opportunity to gain power and suggests that if he were in Lear's position, he would not divide his kingdom so easily. Gloucester agrees, but also notes that Lear is an old man and may not be thinking clearly.

Overall, this scene sets the stage for the betrayal and deception that will occur later in the play. It also highlights the theme of filial ingratitude, as Gloucester is willing to believe the worst about his own son and Edmund is willing to betray his own brother for personal gain.


I heard myself proclaim'd;
Link: 2.3.1
And by the happy hollow of a tree
Link: 2.3.2
Escaped the hunt. No port is free; no place,
Link: 2.3.3
That guard, and most unusual vigilance,
Link: 2.3.4
Does not attend my taking. Whiles I may 'scape,
Link: 2.3.5
I will preserve myself: and am bethought
Link: 2.3.6
To take the basest and most poorest shape
Link: 2.3.7
That ever penury, in contempt of man,
Link: 2.3.8
Brought near to beast: my face I'll grime with filth;
Link: 2.3.9
Blanket my loins: elf all my hair in knots;
Link: 2.3.10
And with presented nakedness out-face
Link: 2.3.11
The winds and persecutions of the sky.
Link: 2.3.12
The country gives me proof and precedent
Link: 2.3.13
Of Bedlam beggars, who, with roaring voices,
Link: 2.3.14
Strike in their numb'd and mortified bare arms
Link: 2.3.15
Pins, wooden pricks, nails, sprigs of rosemary;
Link: 2.3.16
And with this horrible object, from low farms,
Link: 2.3.17
Poor pelting villages, sheep-cotes, and mills,
Link: 2.3.18
Sometime with lunatic bans, sometime with prayers,
Link: 2.3.19
Enforce their charity. Poor Turlygod! poor Tom!
Link: 2.3.20
That's something yet: Edgar I nothing am.
Link: 2.3.21


SCENE IV. Before GLOUCESTER's castle. KENT in the stocks.

Scene 4 of Act 2 involves a conversation between Edgar, disguised as Poor Tom, and Lear who has been wandering in the wilderness. Lear is delusional and has been stripped of his clothing. Edgar, disguised as Poor Tom, pretends to be a madman and engages Lear in conversation. Lear is initially cruel to Poor Tom, but eventually becomes sympathetic to his plight. Poor Tom tells Lear that he has been stripped of his clothes and that he sleeps with the animals in the fields. Lear begins to understand the suffering of the poor and sympathizes with Poor Tom. The scene ends with Lear and Poor Tom wandering off into the wilderness together.

Enter KING LEAR, Fool, and Gentleman

'Tis strange that they should so depart from home,
Link: 2.4.1
And not send back my messenger.
Link: 2.4.2

As I learn'd,
Link: 2.4.3
The night before there was no purpose in them
Link: 2.4.4
Of this remove.
Link: 2.4.5

Hail to thee, noble master!
Link: 2.4.6

Makest thou this shame thy pastime?
Link: 2.4.8

No, my lord.
Link: 2.4.9

Ha, ha! he wears cruel garters. Horses are tied
Link: 2.4.10
by the heads, dogs and bears by the neck, monkeys by
Link: 2.4.11
the loins, and men by the legs: when a man's
Link: 2.4.12
over-lusty at legs, then he wears wooden
Link: 2.4.13
Link: 2.4.14

What's he that hath so much thy place mistook
Link: 2.4.15
To set thee here?
Link: 2.4.16

It is both he and she;
Link: 2.4.17
Your son and daughter.
Link: 2.4.18



No, I say.
Link: 2.4.21

I say, yea.
Link: 2.4.22

No, no, they would not.
Link: 2.4.23

Yes, they have.
Link: 2.4.24

By Jupiter, I swear, no.
Link: 2.4.25

By Juno, I swear, ay.
Link: 2.4.26

They durst not do 't;
Link: 2.4.27
They could not, would not do 't; 'tis worse than murder,
Link: 2.4.28
To do upon respect such violent outrage:
Link: 2.4.29
Resolve me, with all modest haste, which way
Link: 2.4.30
Thou mightst deserve, or they impose, this usage,
Link: 2.4.31
Coming from us.
Link: 2.4.32

My lord, when at their home
Link: 2.4.33
I did commend your highness' letters to them,
Link: 2.4.34
Ere I was risen from the place that show'd
Link: 2.4.35
My duty kneeling, came there a reeking post,
Link: 2.4.36
Stew'd in his haste, half breathless, panting forth
Link: 2.4.37
From Goneril his mistress salutations;
Link: 2.4.38
Deliver'd letters, spite of intermission,
Link: 2.4.39
Which presently they read: on whose contents,
Link: 2.4.40
They summon'd up their meiny, straight took horse;
Link: 2.4.41
Commanded me to follow, and attend
Link: 2.4.42
The leisure of their answer; gave me cold looks:
Link: 2.4.43
And meeting here the other messenger,
Link: 2.4.44
Whose welcome, I perceived, had poison'd mine,--
Link: 2.4.45
Being the very fellow that of late
Link: 2.4.46
Display'd so saucily against your highness,--
Link: 2.4.47
Having more man than wit about me, drew:
Link: 2.4.48
He raised the house with loud and coward cries.
Link: 2.4.49
Your son and daughter found this trespass worth
Link: 2.4.50
The shame which here it suffers.
Link: 2.4.51

Winter's not gone yet, if the wild-geese fly that way.
Link: 2.4.52
Fathers that wear rags
Link: 2.4.53
Do make their children blind;
Link: 2.4.54
But fathers that bear bags
Link: 2.4.55
Shall see their children kind.
Link: 2.4.56
Fortune, that arrant whore,
Link: 2.4.57
Ne'er turns the key to the poor.
Link: 2.4.58
But, for all this, thou shalt have as many dolours
Link: 2.4.59
for thy daughters as thou canst tell in a year.
Link: 2.4.60

O, how this mother swells up toward my heart!
Link: 2.4.61
Hysterica passio, down, thou climbing sorrow,
Link: 2.4.62
Thy element's below! Where is this daughter?
Link: 2.4.63

With the earl, sir, here within.
Link: 2.4.64

Follow me not;
Link: 2.4.65
Stay here.
Link: 2.4.66


Made you no more offence but what you speak of?
Link: 2.4.67

How chance the king comes with so small a train?
Link: 2.4.69

And thou hadst been set i' the stocks for that
Link: 2.4.70
question, thou hadst well deserved it.
Link: 2.4.71

Why, fool?
Link: 2.4.72

We'll set thee to school to an ant, to teach thee
Link: 2.4.73
there's no labouring i' the winter. All that follow
Link: 2.4.74
their noses are led by their eyes but blind men; and
Link: 2.4.75
there's not a nose among twenty but can smell him
Link: 2.4.76
that's stinking. Let go thy hold when a great wheel
Link: 2.4.77
runs down a hill, lest it break thy neck with
Link: 2.4.78
following it: but the great one that goes up the
Link: 2.4.79
hill, let him draw thee after. When a wise man
Link: 2.4.80
gives thee better counsel, give me mine again: I
Link: 2.4.81
would have none but knaves follow it, since a fool gives it.
Link: 2.4.82
That sir which serves and seeks for gain,
Link: 2.4.83
And follows but for form,
Link: 2.4.84
Will pack when it begins to rain,
Link: 2.4.85
And leave thee in the storm,
Link: 2.4.86
But I will tarry; the fool will stay,
Link: 2.4.87
And let the wise man fly:
Link: 2.4.88
The knave turns fool that runs away;
Link: 2.4.89
The fool no knave, perdy.
Link: 2.4.90

Where learned you this, fool?
Link: 2.4.91

Not i' the stocks, fool.
Link: 2.4.92


Deny to speak with me? They are sick? they are weary?
Link: 2.4.93
They have travell'd all the night? Mere fetches;
Link: 2.4.94
The images of revolt and flying off.
Link: 2.4.95
Fetch me a better answer.
Link: 2.4.96

My dear lord,
Link: 2.4.97
You know the fiery quality of the duke;
Link: 2.4.98
How unremoveable and fix'd he is
Link: 2.4.99
In his own course.
Link: 2.4.100

Vengeance! plague! death! confusion!
Link: 2.4.101
Fiery? what quality? Why, Gloucester, Gloucester,
Link: 2.4.102
I'ld speak with the Duke of Cornwall and his wife.
Link: 2.4.103

Well, my good lord, I have inform'd them so.
Link: 2.4.104

Inform'd them! Dost thou understand me, man?
Link: 2.4.105

Ay, my good lord.
Link: 2.4.106

The king would speak with Cornwall; the dear father
Link: 2.4.107
Would with his daughter speak, commands her service:
Link: 2.4.108
Are they inform'd of this? My breath and blood!
Link: 2.4.109
Fiery? the fiery duke? Tell the hot duke that--
Link: 2.4.110
No, but not yet: may be he is not well:
Link: 2.4.111
Infirmity doth still neglect all office
Link: 2.4.112
Whereto our health is bound; we are not ourselves
Link: 2.4.113
When nature, being oppress'd, commands the mind
Link: 2.4.114
To suffer with the body: I'll forbear;
Link: 2.4.115
And am fall'n out with my more headier will,
Link: 2.4.116
To take the indisposed and sickly fit
Link: 2.4.117
For the sound man. Death on my state! wherefore
Link: 2.4.118
Should he sit here? This act persuades me
Link: 2.4.119
That this remotion of the duke and her
Link: 2.4.120
Is practise only. Give me my servant forth.
Link: 2.4.121
Go tell the duke and 's wife I'ld speak with them,
Link: 2.4.122
Now, presently: bid them come forth and hear me,
Link: 2.4.123
Or at their chamber-door I'll beat the drum
Link: 2.4.124
Till it cry sleep to death.
Link: 2.4.125

I would have all well betwixt you.
Link: 2.4.126


O me, my heart, my rising heart! but, down!
Link: 2.4.127

Cry to it, nuncle, as the cockney did to the eels
Link: 2.4.128
when she put 'em i' the paste alive; she knapped 'em
Link: 2.4.129
o' the coxcombs with a stick, and cried 'Down,
Link: 2.4.130
wantons, down!' 'Twas her brother that, in pure
Link: 2.4.131
kindness to his horse, buttered his hay.
Link: 2.4.132


Good morrow to you both.
Link: 2.4.133

Hail to your grace!
Link: 2.4.134

KENT is set at liberty

I am glad to see your highness.
Link: 2.4.135

Regan, I think you are; I know what reason
Link: 2.4.136
I have to think so: if thou shouldst not be glad,
Link: 2.4.137
I would divorce me from thy mother's tomb,
Link: 2.4.138
Sepulchring an adultress.
Link: 2.4.139
O, are you free?
Link: 2.4.140
Some other time for that. Beloved Regan,
Link: 2.4.141
Thy sister's naught: O Regan, she hath tied
Link: 2.4.142
Sharp-tooth'd unkindness, like a vulture, here:
Link: 2.4.143
I can scarce speak to thee; thou'lt not believe
Link: 2.4.144
With how depraved a quality--O Regan!
Link: 2.4.145

I pray you, sir, take patience: I have hope.
Link: 2.4.146
You less know how to value her desert
Link: 2.4.147
Than she to scant her duty.
Link: 2.4.148

Say, how is that?
Link: 2.4.149

I cannot think my sister in the least
Link: 2.4.150
Would fail her obligation: if, sir, perchance
Link: 2.4.151
She have restrain'd the riots of your followers,
Link: 2.4.152
'Tis on such ground, and to such wholesome end,
Link: 2.4.153
As clears her from all blame.
Link: 2.4.154

My curses on her!
Link: 2.4.155

O, sir, you are old.
Link: 2.4.156
Nature in you stands on the very verge
Link: 2.4.157
Of her confine: you should be ruled and led
Link: 2.4.158
By some discretion, that discerns your state
Link: 2.4.159
Better than you yourself. Therefore, I pray you,
Link: 2.4.160
That to our sister you do make return;
Link: 2.4.161
Say you have wrong'd her, sir.
Link: 2.4.162

Ask her forgiveness?
Link: 2.4.163
Do you but mark how this becomes the house:
Link: 2.4.164
'Dear daughter, I confess that I am old;
Link: 2.4.165
Age is unnecessary: on my knees I beg
Link: 2.4.166
That you'll vouchsafe me raiment, bed, and food.'
Link: 2.4.167

Good sir, no more; these are unsightly tricks:
Link: 2.4.168
Return you to my sister.
Link: 2.4.169

(Rising) Never, Regan:
Link: 2.4.170
She hath abated me of half my train;
Link: 2.4.171
Look'd black upon me; struck me with her tongue,
Link: 2.4.172
Most serpent-like, upon the very heart:
Link: 2.4.173
All the stored vengeances of heaven fall
Link: 2.4.174
On her ingrateful top! Strike her young bones,
Link: 2.4.175
You taking airs, with lameness!
Link: 2.4.176

Fie, sir, fie!
Link: 2.4.177

You nimble lightnings, dart your blinding flames
Link: 2.4.178
Into her scornful eyes! Infect her beauty,
Link: 2.4.179
You fen-suck'd fogs, drawn by the powerful sun,
Link: 2.4.180
To fall and blast her pride!
Link: 2.4.181

O the blest gods! so will you wish on me,
Link: 2.4.182
When the rash mood is on.
Link: 2.4.183

No, Regan, thou shalt never have my curse:
Link: 2.4.184
Thy tender-hefted nature shall not give
Link: 2.4.185
Thee o'er to harshness: her eyes are fierce; but thine
Link: 2.4.186
Do comfort and not burn. 'Tis not in thee
Link: 2.4.187
To grudge my pleasures, to cut off my train,
Link: 2.4.188
To bandy hasty words, to scant my sizes,
Link: 2.4.189
And in conclusion to oppose the bolt
Link: 2.4.190
Against my coming in: thou better know'st
Link: 2.4.191
The offices of nature, bond of childhood,
Link: 2.4.192
Effects of courtesy, dues of gratitude;
Link: 2.4.193
Thy half o' the kingdom hast thou not forgot,
Link: 2.4.194
Wherein I thee endow'd.
Link: 2.4.195

Good sir, to the purpose.
Link: 2.4.196

Who put my man i' the stocks?
Link: 2.4.197

Tucket within

What trumpet's that?
Link: 2.4.198

I know't, my sister's: this approves her letter,
Link: 2.4.199
That she would soon be here.
Link: 2.4.200
Is your lady come?
Link: 2.4.201

This is a slave, whose easy-borrow'd pride
Link: 2.4.202
Dwells in the fickle grace of her he follows.
Link: 2.4.203
Out, varlet, from my sight!
Link: 2.4.204

What means your grace?
Link: 2.4.205

Who stock'd my servant? Regan, I have good hope
Link: 2.4.206
Thou didst not know on't. Who comes here? O heavens,
Link: 2.4.207
If you do love old men, if your sweet sway
Link: 2.4.208
Allow obedience, if yourselves are old,
Link: 2.4.209
Make it your cause; send down, and take my part!
Link: 2.4.210
Art not ashamed to look upon this beard?
Link: 2.4.211
O Regan, wilt thou take her by the hand?
Link: 2.4.212

Why not by the hand, sir? How have I offended?
Link: 2.4.213
All's not offence that indiscretion finds
Link: 2.4.214
And dotage terms so.
Link: 2.4.215

O sides, you are too tough;
Link: 2.4.216
Will you yet hold? How came my man i' the stocks?
Link: 2.4.217

I set him there, sir: but his own disorders
Link: 2.4.218
Deserved much less advancement.
Link: 2.4.219

You! did you?
Link: 2.4.220

I pray you, father, being weak, seem so.
Link: 2.4.221
If, till the expiration of your month,
Link: 2.4.222
You will return and sojourn with my sister,
Link: 2.4.223
Dismissing half your train, come then to me:
Link: 2.4.224
I am now from home, and out of that provision
Link: 2.4.225
Which shall be needful for your entertainment.
Link: 2.4.226

Return to her, and fifty men dismiss'd?
Link: 2.4.227
No, rather I abjure all roofs, and choose
Link: 2.4.228
To wage against the enmity o' the air;
Link: 2.4.229
To be a comrade with the wolf and owl,--
Link: 2.4.230
Necessity's sharp pinch! Return with her?
Link: 2.4.231
Why, the hot-blooded France, that dowerless took
Link: 2.4.232
Our youngest born, I could as well be brought
Link: 2.4.233
To knee his throne, and, squire-like; pension beg
Link: 2.4.234
To keep base life afoot. Return with her?
Link: 2.4.235
Persuade me rather to be slave and sumpter
Link: 2.4.236
To this detested groom.
Link: 2.4.237

Pointing at OSWALD

At your choice, sir.
Link: 2.4.238

I prithee, daughter, do not make me mad:
Link: 2.4.239
I will not trouble thee, my child; farewell:
Link: 2.4.240
We'll no more meet, no more see one another:
Link: 2.4.241
But yet thou art my flesh, my blood, my daughter;
Link: 2.4.242
Or rather a disease that's in my flesh,
Link: 2.4.243
Which I must needs call mine: thou art a boil,
Link: 2.4.244
A plague-sore, an embossed carbuncle,
Link: 2.4.245
In my corrupted blood. But I'll not chide thee;
Link: 2.4.246
Let shame come when it will, I do not call it:
Link: 2.4.247
I do not bid the thunder-bearer shoot,
Link: 2.4.248
Nor tell tales of thee to high-judging Jove:
Link: 2.4.249
Mend when thou canst; be better at thy leisure:
Link: 2.4.250
I can be patient; I can stay with Regan,
Link: 2.4.251
I and my hundred knights.
Link: 2.4.252

Not altogether so:
Link: 2.4.253
I look'd not for you yet, nor am provided
Link: 2.4.254
For your fit welcome. Give ear, sir, to my sister;
Link: 2.4.255
For those that mingle reason with your passion
Link: 2.4.256
Must be content to think you old, and so--
Link: 2.4.257
But she knows what she does.
Link: 2.4.258

Is this well spoken?
Link: 2.4.259

I dare avouch it, sir: what, fifty followers?
Link: 2.4.260
Is it not well? What should you need of more?
Link: 2.4.261
Yea, or so many, sith that both charge and danger
Link: 2.4.262
Speak 'gainst so great a number? How, in one house,
Link: 2.4.263
Should many people, under two commands,
Link: 2.4.264
Hold amity? 'Tis hard; almost impossible.
Link: 2.4.265

Why might not you, my lord, receive attendance
Link: 2.4.266
From those that she calls servants or from mine?
Link: 2.4.267

Why not, my lord? If then they chanced to slack you,
Link: 2.4.268
We could control them. If you will come to me,--
Link: 2.4.269
For now I spy a danger,--I entreat you
Link: 2.4.270
To bring but five and twenty: to no more
Link: 2.4.271
Will I give place or notice.
Link: 2.4.272

I gave you all--
Link: 2.4.273

And in good time you gave it.
Link: 2.4.274

Made you my guardians, my depositaries;
Link: 2.4.275
But kept a reservation to be follow'd
Link: 2.4.276
With such a number. What, must I come to you
Link: 2.4.277
With five and twenty, Regan? said you so?
Link: 2.4.278

And speak't again, my lord; no more with me.
Link: 2.4.279

Those wicked creatures yet do look well-favour'd,
Link: 2.4.280
When others are more wicked: not being the worst
Link: 2.4.281
Stands in some rank of praise.
Link: 2.4.282
I'll go with thee:
Link: 2.4.283
Thy fifty yet doth double five and twenty,
Link: 2.4.284
And thou art twice her love.
Link: 2.4.285

Hear me, my lord;
Link: 2.4.286
What need you five and twenty, ten, or five,
Link: 2.4.287
To follow in a house where twice so many
Link: 2.4.288
Have a command to tend you?
Link: 2.4.289

What need one?
Link: 2.4.290

O, reason not the need: our basest beggars
Link: 2.4.291
Are in the poorest thing superfluous:
Link: 2.4.292
Allow not nature more than nature needs,
Link: 2.4.293
Man's life's as cheap as beast's: thou art a lady;
Link: 2.4.294
If only to go warm were gorgeous,
Link: 2.4.295
Why, nature needs not what thou gorgeous wear'st,
Link: 2.4.296
Which scarcely keeps thee warm. But, for true need,--
Link: 2.4.297
You heavens, give me that patience, patience I need!
Link: 2.4.298
You see me here, you gods, a poor old man,
Link: 2.4.299
As full of grief as age; wretched in both!
Link: 2.4.300
If it be you that stir these daughters' hearts
Link: 2.4.301
Against their father, fool me not so much
Link: 2.4.302
To bear it tamely; touch me with noble anger,
Link: 2.4.303
And let not women's weapons, water-drops,
Link: 2.4.304
Stain my man's cheeks! No, you unnatural hags,
Link: 2.4.305
I will have such revenges on you both,
Link: 2.4.306
That all the world shall--I will do such things,--
Link: 2.4.307
What they are, yet I know not: but they shall be
Link: 2.4.308
The terrors of the earth. You think I'll weep
Link: 2.4.309
No, I'll not weep:
Link: 2.4.310
I have full cause of weeping; but this heart
Link: 2.4.311
Shall break into a hundred thousand flaws,
Link: 2.4.312
Or ere I'll weep. O fool, I shall go mad!
Link: 2.4.313


Storm and tempest

Let us withdraw; 'twill be a storm.
Link: 2.4.314

This house is little: the old man and his people
Link: 2.4.315
Cannot be well bestow'd.
Link: 2.4.316

'Tis his own blame; hath put himself from rest,
Link: 2.4.317
And must needs taste his folly.
Link: 2.4.318

For his particular, I'll receive him gladly,
Link: 2.4.319
But not one follower.
Link: 2.4.320

So am I purposed.
Link: 2.4.321
Where is my lord of Gloucester?
Link: 2.4.322

Follow'd the old man forth: he is return'd.
Link: 2.4.323


The king is in high rage.
Link: 2.4.324

Whither is he going?
Link: 2.4.325

He calls to horse; but will I know not whither.
Link: 2.4.326

'Tis best to give him way; he leads himself.
Link: 2.4.327

My lord, entreat him by no means to stay.
Link: 2.4.328

Alack, the night comes on, and the bleak winds
Link: 2.4.329
Do sorely ruffle; for many miles about
Link: 2.4.330
There's scarce a bush.
Link: 2.4.331

O, sir, to wilful men,
Link: 2.4.332
The injuries that they themselves procure
Link: 2.4.333
Must be their schoolmasters. Shut up your doors:
Link: 2.4.334
He is attended with a desperate train;
Link: 2.4.335
And what they may incense him to, being apt
Link: 2.4.336
To have his ear abused, wisdom bids fear.
Link: 2.4.337

Shut up your doors, my lord; 'tis a wild night:
Link: 2.4.338
My Regan counsels well; come out o' the storm.
Link: 2.4.339



Act 3 of King Lear sees the conflict between Lear and his daughters escalate as they continue to scheme against him. Goneril and Regan refuse to allow Lear to keep his large retinue of knights, prompting Lear to become increasingly enraged. He storms out into a fierce storm and encounters the disguised Kent, who tries to persuade Lear to seek refuge from the storm. They eventually stumble upon a hovel and are joined by the Fool, who offers his usual brand of witty commentary.

Meanwhile, Gloucester's illegitimate son Edmund is scheming against his legitimate brother Edgar, convincing their father that Edgar is plotting against him. Edgar flees, disguising himself as a madman in order to avoid being caught. Gloucester is eventually led to believe that his son is insane and is about to be attacked by him when Edgar reveals his true identity and saves his father from a fatal blow.

Back in the hovel, Lear becomes increasingly delusional and starts to have a conversation with imaginary figures. Gloucester arrives to tell him that he has arranged for him to be taken to safety, but it is too late as the sisters have already sent men to find and capture him. The act ends with Lear and his loyal followers being taken into custody by Goneril's soldiers and Edmund plotting against his brother and father.

SCENE I. A heath.

Scene 1 of Act 3 opens with Kent in the stocks. He was put there by Cornwall and Regan for disobeying their orders. Lear enters with his Fool and sees Kent in the stocks. He is upset and asks who did it. The Fool makes a joke and Lear laughs, but then becomes serious and says he will not tolerate this kind of treatment of his servant.

Regan and Cornwall enter and Lear confronts them about Kent in the stocks. He becomes angry and tells them they are not fit to be his daughters. Regan and Cornwall do not back down and tell Lear he is being unreasonable. They then inform him that Goneril has raised an army against him.

Lear is shocked and upset by this news. He curses Goneril and asks for his knights to be brought to him. Regan and Cornwall refuse, saying that he does not need so many knights and they will only cause trouble. They tell Lear that he can keep 25 knights and the rest must disperse.

Lear becomes enraged and storms out of the room with his Fool and Kent. Regan and Cornwall discuss what to do with him, and decide to send Gloucester to tell Goneril that they have Lear under control. They also order Kent to be taken to the stocks in a different village.

This scene sets up the conflict between Lear and his daughters, as well as the power struggle between Lear and his sons-in-law. It also shows the loyalty of Kent and the Fool to Lear, and their willingness to suffer punishment for him. The scene ends with Lear in a state of despair and anger, as his world crumbles around him.

Storm still. Enter KENT and a Gentleman, meeting

Who's there, besides foul weather?
Link: 3.1.1

One minded like the weather, most unquietly.
Link: 3.1.2

I know you. Where's the king?
Link: 3.1.3

Contending with the fretful element:
Link: 3.1.4
Bids the winds blow the earth into the sea,
Link: 3.1.5
Or swell the curled water 'bove the main,
Link: 3.1.6
That things might change or cease; tears his white hair,
Link: 3.1.7
Which the impetuous blasts, with eyeless rage,
Link: 3.1.8
Catch in their fury, and make nothing of;
Link: 3.1.9
Strives in his little world of man to out-scorn
Link: 3.1.10
The to-and-fro-conflicting wind and rain.
Link: 3.1.11
This night, wherein the cub-drawn bear would couch,
Link: 3.1.12
The lion and the belly-pinched wolf
Link: 3.1.13
Keep their fur dry, unbonneted he runs,
Link: 3.1.14
And bids what will take all.
Link: 3.1.15

But who is with him?
Link: 3.1.16

None but the fool; who labours to out-jest
Link: 3.1.17
His heart-struck injuries.
Link: 3.1.18

Sir, I do know you;
Link: 3.1.19
And dare, upon the warrant of my note,
Link: 3.1.20
Commend a dear thing to you. There is division,
Link: 3.1.21
Although as yet the face of it be cover'd
Link: 3.1.22
With mutual cunning, 'twixt Albany and Cornwall;
Link: 3.1.23
Who have--as who have not, that their great stars
Link: 3.1.24
Throned and set high?--servants, who seem no less,
Link: 3.1.25
Which are to France the spies and speculations
Link: 3.1.26
Intelligent of our state; what hath been seen,
Link: 3.1.27
Either in snuffs and packings of the dukes,
Link: 3.1.28
Or the hard rein which both of them have borne
Link: 3.1.29
Against the old kind king; or something deeper,
Link: 3.1.30
Whereof perchance these are but furnishings;
Link: 3.1.31
But, true it is, from France there comes a power
Link: 3.1.32
Into this scatter'd kingdom; who already,
Link: 3.1.33
Wise in our negligence, have secret feet
Link: 3.1.34
In some of our best ports, and are at point
Link: 3.1.35
To show their open banner. Now to you:
Link: 3.1.36
If on my credit you dare build so far
Link: 3.1.37
To make your speed to Dover, you shall find
Link: 3.1.38
Some that will thank you, making just report
Link: 3.1.39
Of how unnatural and bemadding sorrow
Link: 3.1.40
The king hath cause to plain.
Link: 3.1.41
I am a gentleman of blood and breeding;
Link: 3.1.42
And, from some knowledge and assurance, offer
Link: 3.1.43
This office to you.
Link: 3.1.44

I will talk further with you.
Link: 3.1.45

No, do not.
Link: 3.1.46
For confirmation that I am much more
Link: 3.1.47
Than my out-wall, open this purse, and take
Link: 3.1.48
What it contains. If you shall see Cordelia,--
Link: 3.1.49
As fear not but you shall,--show her this ring;
Link: 3.1.50
And she will tell you who your fellow is
Link: 3.1.51
That yet you do not know. Fie on this storm!
Link: 3.1.52
I will go seek the king.
Link: 3.1.53

Give me your hand: have you no more to say?
Link: 3.1.54

Few words, but, to effect, more than all yet;
Link: 3.1.55
That, when we have found the king,--in which your pain
Link: 3.1.56
That way, I'll this,--he that first lights on him
Link: 3.1.57
Holla the other.
Link: 3.1.58

Exeunt severally

SCENE II. Another part of the heath. Storm still.

In Scene 2 of Act 3, the Earl of Gloucester is tricked by his illegitimate son Edmund into believing that his legitimate son, Edgar, is plotting to kill him. Gloucester is outraged and orders for Edgar to be found and captured.

Meanwhile, Lear is wandering on the heath in a storm, accompanied by his Fool. He is delirious and starts to strip off his clothes, saying that he wants to feel the storm on his bare skin. The Fool tries to reason with him and convince him to take shelter, but Lear is too far gone and continues to rant and rave.

As the storm worsens, Lear spots Gloucester and his men approaching. He mistakes them for his own daughters' soldiers and attacks them. Gloucester tries to calm him down and urges him to take shelter, but Lear is too far gone and continues to lash out.

Eventually, Kent arrives on the scene and intervenes, managing to convince Lear to take shelter in a nearby hovel. Gloucester and his men head off in search of Edgar.

The scene is full of turmoil and confusion, with the characters' emotions running high and the storm adding to the sense of chaos and danger. It sets the stage for the dramatic events that are to come in the rest of the play.

Enter KING LEAR and Fool

Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!
Link: 3.2.1
You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout
Link: 3.2.2
Till you have drench'd our steeples, drown'd the cocks!
Link: 3.2.3
You sulphurous and thought-executing fires,
Link: 3.2.4
Vaunt-couriers to oak-cleaving thunderbolts,
Link: 3.2.5
Singe my white head! And thou, all-shaking thunder,
Link: 3.2.6
Smite flat the thick rotundity o' the world!
Link: 3.2.7
Crack nature's moulds, an germens spill at once,
Link: 3.2.8
That make ingrateful man!
Link: 3.2.9

O nuncle, court holy-water in a dry
Link: 3.2.10
house is better than this rain-water out o' door.
Link: 3.2.11
Good nuncle, in, and ask thy daughters' blessing:
Link: 3.2.12
here's a night pities neither wise man nor fool.
Link: 3.2.13

Rumble thy bellyful! Spit, fire! spout, rain!
Link: 3.2.14
Nor rain, wind, thunder, fire, are my daughters:
Link: 3.2.15
I tax not you, you elements, with unkindness;
Link: 3.2.16
I never gave you kingdom, call'd you children,
Link: 3.2.17
You owe me no subscription: then let fall
Link: 3.2.18
Your horrible pleasure: here I stand, your slave,
Link: 3.2.19
A poor, infirm, weak, and despised old man:
Link: 3.2.20
But yet I call you servile ministers,
Link: 3.2.21
That have with two pernicious daughters join'd
Link: 3.2.22
Your high engender'd battles 'gainst a head
Link: 3.2.23
So old and white as this. O! O! 'tis foul!
Link: 3.2.24

He that has a house to put's head in has a good
Link: 3.2.25
Link: 3.2.26
The cod-piece that will house
Link: 3.2.27
Before the head has any,
Link: 3.2.28
The head and he shall louse;
Link: 3.2.29
So beggars marry many.
Link: 3.2.30
The man that makes his toe
Link: 3.2.31
What he his heart should make
Link: 3.2.32
Shall of a corn cry woe,
Link: 3.2.33
And turn his sleep to wake.
Link: 3.2.34
For there was never yet fair woman but she made
Link: 3.2.35
mouths in a glass.
Link: 3.2.36

No, I will be the pattern of all patience;
Link: 3.2.37
I will say nothing.
Link: 3.2.38

Enter KENT

Who's there?
Link: 3.2.39

Marry, here's grace and a cod-piece; that's a wise
Link: 3.2.40
man and a fool.
Link: 3.2.41

Alas, sir, are you here? things that love night
Link: 3.2.42
Love not such nights as these; the wrathful skies
Link: 3.2.43
Gallow the very wanderers of the dark,
Link: 3.2.44
And make them keep their caves: since I was man,
Link: 3.2.45
Such sheets of fire, such bursts of horrid thunder,
Link: 3.2.46
Such groans of roaring wind and rain, I never
Link: 3.2.47
Remember to have heard: man's nature cannot carry
Link: 3.2.48
The affliction nor the fear.
Link: 3.2.49

Let the great gods,
Link: 3.2.50
That keep this dreadful pother o'er our heads,
Link: 3.2.51
Find out their enemies now. Tremble, thou wretch,
Link: 3.2.52
That hast within thee undivulged crimes,
Link: 3.2.53
Unwhipp'd of justice: hide thee, thou bloody hand;
Link: 3.2.54
Thou perjured, and thou simular man of virtue
Link: 3.2.55
That art incestuous: caitiff, to pieces shake,
Link: 3.2.56
That under covert and convenient seeming
Link: 3.2.57
Hast practised on man's life: close pent-up guilts,
Link: 3.2.58
Rive your concealing continents, and cry
Link: 3.2.59
These dreadful summoners grace. I am a man
Link: 3.2.60
More sinn'd against than sinning.
Link: 3.2.61

Alack, bare-headed!
Link: 3.2.62
Gracious my lord, hard by here is a hovel;
Link: 3.2.63
Some friendship will it lend you 'gainst the tempest:
Link: 3.2.64
Repose you there; while I to this hard house--
Link: 3.2.65
More harder than the stones whereof 'tis raised;
Link: 3.2.66
Which even but now, demanding after you,
Link: 3.2.67
Denied me to come in--return, and force
Link: 3.2.68
Their scanted courtesy.
Link: 3.2.69

My wits begin to turn.
Link: 3.2.70
Come on, my boy: how dost, my boy? art cold?
Link: 3.2.71
I am cold myself. Where is this straw, my fellow?
Link: 3.2.72
The art of our necessities is strange,
Link: 3.2.73
That can make vile things precious. Come,
Link: 3.2.74
your hovel.
Link: 3.2.75
Poor fool and knave, I have one part in my heart
Link: 3.2.76
That's sorry yet for thee.
Link: 3.2.77

Link: 3.2.78
He that has and a little tiny wit--
Link: 3.2.79
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,--
Link: 3.2.80
Must make content with his fortunes fit,
Link: 3.2.81
For the rain it raineth every day.
Link: 3.2.82

True, my good boy. Come, bring us to this hovel.
Link: 3.2.83


This is a brave night to cool a courtezan.
Link: 3.2.84
I'll speak a prophecy ere I go:
Link: 3.2.85
When priests are more in word than matter;
Link: 3.2.86
When brewers mar their malt with water;
Link: 3.2.87
When nobles are their tailors' tutors;
Link: 3.2.88
No heretics burn'd, but wenches' suitors;
Link: 3.2.89
When every case in law is right;
Link: 3.2.90
No squire in debt, nor no poor knight;
Link: 3.2.91
When slanders do not live in tongues;
Link: 3.2.92
Nor cutpurses come not to throngs;
Link: 3.2.93
When usurers tell their gold i' the field;
Link: 3.2.94
And bawds and whores do churches build;
Link: 3.2.95
Then shall the realm of Albion
Link: 3.2.96
Come to great confusion:
Link: 3.2.97
Then comes the time, who lives to see't,
Link: 3.2.98
That going shall be used with feet.
Link: 3.2.99
This prophecy Merlin shall make; for I live before his time.
Link: 3.2.100


SCENE III. Gloucester's castle.

In Scene 3 of Act 3, the king's daughters, Goneril and Regan, are discussing how to deal with their father's erratic behavior. They agree that he is becoming more and more difficult to handle and decide to send their messenger, Oswald, to tell him that they are not pleased with his behavior and to ask him to return to Goneril's castle.

Meanwhile, the Earl of Gloucester arrives with news that the Duke of Cornwall, Regan's husband, has arrived in town. The sisters decide to go and meet him, leaving Oswald to deal with their father. When Oswald arrives, Lear is furious with him for delivering a message from Goneril and physically assaults him.

The Earl of Kent, who was previously banished by Lear for defending Cordelia, arrives in disguise and tries to reason with the king. However, Lear insists on being left alone and eventually wanders off into a stormy night, accompanied only by his Fool.

The scene sets up the ongoing conflict between Lear and his daughters, as well as the betrayal of those closest to him. It also highlights Lear's increasingly unstable mental state, as well as his vulnerability in the face of his daughters' power plays.


Alack, alack, Edmund, I like not this unnatural
Link: 3.3.1
dealing. When I desire their leave that I might
Link: 3.3.2
pity him, they took from me the use of mine own
Link: 3.3.3
house; charged me, on pain of their perpetual
Link: 3.3.4
displeasure, neither to speak of him, entreat for
Link: 3.3.5
him, nor any way sustain him.
Link: 3.3.6

Most savage and unnatural!
Link: 3.3.7

Go to; say you nothing. There's a division betwixt
Link: 3.3.8
the dukes; and a worse matter than that: I have
Link: 3.3.9
received a letter this night; 'tis dangerous to be
Link: 3.3.10
spoken; I have locked the letter in my closet:
Link: 3.3.11
these injuries the king now bears will be revenged
Link: 3.3.12
home; there's part of a power already footed: we
Link: 3.3.13
must incline to the king. I will seek him, and
Link: 3.3.14
privily relieve him: go you and maintain talk with
Link: 3.3.15
the duke, that my charity be not of him perceived:
Link: 3.3.16
if he ask for me. I am ill, and gone to bed.
Link: 3.3.17
Though I die for it, as no less is threatened me,
Link: 3.3.18
the king my old master must be relieved. There is
Link: 3.3.19
some strange thing toward, Edmund; pray you, be careful.
Link: 3.3.20


This courtesy, forbid thee, shall the duke
Link: 3.3.21
Instantly know; and of that letter too:
Link: 3.3.22
This seems a fair deserving, and must draw me
Link: 3.3.23
That which my father loses; no less than all:
Link: 3.3.24
The younger rises when the old doth fall.
Link: 3.3.25


SCENE IV. The heath. Before a hovel.

Scene 4 of Act 3 takes place in a hovel on the heath during a fierce storm. King Lear, accompanied by the Fool, has taken refuge there. Gloucester's son Edgar, disguised as a madman named Tom O'Bedlam, enters the hovel and engages in conversation with Lear. Edgar pretends to be a poor man who has been wronged by his family and has been forced to live as a beggar. He speaks in riddles and nonsense, but Lear is able to understand him and empathizes with his plight.

The storm outside intensifies, and Lear becomes increasingly agitated. He rants and raves about his daughters and the injustice of his situation. He also begins to realize the folly of his actions, admitting that he has been a foolish and vain king. The Fool tries to comfort him, but Lear is too far gone in his madness to be consoled.

As the scene comes to a close, Gloucester enters the hovel and tells Lear that he has found a way to help him. He leads Lear and the Fool away, still caught in the midst of the storm.

Enter KING LEAR, KENT, and Fool

Here is the place, my lord; good my lord, enter:
Link: 3.4.1
The tyranny of the open night's too rough
Link: 3.4.2
For nature to endure.
Link: 3.4.3

Storm still

Let me alone.
Link: 3.4.4

Good my lord, enter here.
Link: 3.4.5

Wilt break my heart?
Link: 3.4.6

I had rather break mine own. Good my lord, enter.
Link: 3.4.7

Thou think'st 'tis much that this contentious storm
Link: 3.4.8
Invades us to the skin: so 'tis to thee;
Link: 3.4.9
But where the greater malady is fix'd,
Link: 3.4.10
The lesser is scarce felt. Thou'ldst shun a bear;
Link: 3.4.11
But if thy flight lay toward the raging sea,
Link: 3.4.12
Thou'ldst meet the bear i' the mouth. When the
Link: 3.4.13
mind's free,
Link: 3.4.14
The body's delicate: the tempest in my mind
Link: 3.4.15
Doth from my senses take all feeling else
Link: 3.4.16
Save what beats there. Filial ingratitude!
Link: 3.4.17
Is it not as this mouth should tear this hand
Link: 3.4.18
For lifting food to't? But I will punish home:
Link: 3.4.19
No, I will weep no more. In such a night
Link: 3.4.20
To shut me out! Pour on; I will endure.
Link: 3.4.21
In such a night as this! O Regan, Goneril!
Link: 3.4.22
Your old kind father, whose frank heart gave all,--
Link: 3.4.23
O, that way madness lies; let me shun that;
Link: 3.4.24
No more of that.
Link: 3.4.25

Good my lord, enter here.
Link: 3.4.26

Prithee, go in thyself: seek thine own ease:
Link: 3.4.27
This tempest will not give me leave to ponder
Link: 3.4.28
On things would hurt me more. But I'll go in.
Link: 3.4.29
In, boy; go first. You houseless poverty,--
Link: 3.4.30
Nay, get thee in. I'll pray, and then I'll sleep.
Link: 3.4.31
Poor naked wretches, whereso'er you are,
Link: 3.4.32
That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm,
Link: 3.4.33
How shall your houseless heads and unfed sides,
Link: 3.4.34
Your loop'd and window'd raggedness, defend you
Link: 3.4.35
From seasons such as these? O, I have ta'en
Link: 3.4.36
Too little care of this! Take physic, pomp;
Link: 3.4.37
Expose thyself to feel what wretches feel,
Link: 3.4.38
That thou mayst shake the superflux to them,
Link: 3.4.39
And show the heavens more just.
Link: 3.4.40

(Within) Fathom and half, fathom and half! Poor Tom!
Link: 3.4.41

The Fool runs out from the hovel

Come not in here, nuncle, here's a spirit
Link: 3.4.42
Help me, help me!
Link: 3.4.43

Give me thy hand. Who's there?
Link: 3.4.44

A spirit, a spirit: he says his name's poor Tom.
Link: 3.4.45

What art thou that dost grumble there i' the straw?
Link: 3.4.46
Come forth.
Link: 3.4.47

Enter EDGAR disguised as a mad man

Away! the foul fiend follows me!
Link: 3.4.48
Through the sharp hawthorn blows the cold wind.
Link: 3.4.49
Hum! go to thy cold bed, and warm thee.
Link: 3.4.50

Hast thou given all to thy two daughters?
Link: 3.4.51
And art thou come to this?
Link: 3.4.52

Who gives any thing to poor Tom? whom the foul
Link: 3.4.53
fiend hath led through fire and through flame, and
Link: 3.4.54
through ford and whirlipool e'er bog and quagmire;
Link: 3.4.55
that hath laid knives under his pillow, and halters
Link: 3.4.56
in his pew; set ratsbane by his porridge; made film
Link: 3.4.57
proud of heart, to ride on a bay trotting-horse over
Link: 3.4.58
four-inched bridges, to course his own shadow for a
Link: 3.4.59
traitor. Bless thy five wits! Tom's a-cold,--O, do
Link: 3.4.60
de, do de, do de. Bless thee from whirlwinds,
Link: 3.4.61
star-blasting, and taking! Do poor Tom some
Link: 3.4.62
charity, whom the foul fiend vexes: there could I
Link: 3.4.63
have him now,--and there,--and there again, and there.
Link: 3.4.64

Storm still

What, have his daughters brought him to this pass?
Link: 3.4.65
Couldst thou save nothing? Didst thou give them all?
Link: 3.4.66

Nay, he reserved a blanket, else we had been all shamed.
Link: 3.4.67

Now, all the plagues that in the pendulous air
Link: 3.4.68
Hang fated o'er men's faults light on thy daughters!
Link: 3.4.69

He hath no daughters, sir.
Link: 3.4.70

Death, traitor! nothing could have subdued nature
Link: 3.4.71
To such a lowness but his unkind daughters.
Link: 3.4.72
Is it the fashion, that discarded fathers
Link: 3.4.73
Should have thus little mercy on their flesh?
Link: 3.4.74
Judicious punishment! 'twas this flesh begot
Link: 3.4.75
Those pelican daughters.
Link: 3.4.76

Pillicock sat on Pillicock-hill:
Link: 3.4.77
Halloo, halloo, loo, loo!
Link: 3.4.78

This cold night will turn us all to fools and madmen.
Link: 3.4.79

Take heed o' the foul fiend: obey thy parents;
Link: 3.4.80
keep thy word justly; swear not; commit not with
Link: 3.4.81
man's sworn spouse; set not thy sweet heart on proud
Link: 3.4.82
array. Tom's a-cold.
Link: 3.4.83

What hast thou been?
Link: 3.4.84

A serving-man, proud in heart and mind; that curled
Link: 3.4.85
my hair; wore gloves in my cap; served the lust of
Link: 3.4.86
my mistress' heart, and did the act of darkness with
Link: 3.4.87
her; swore as many oaths as I spake words, and
Link: 3.4.88
broke them in the sweet face of heaven: one that
Link: 3.4.89
slept in the contriving of lust, and waked to do it:
Link: 3.4.90
wine loved I deeply, dice dearly: and in woman
Link: 3.4.91
out-paramoured the Turk: false of heart, light of
Link: 3.4.92
ear, bloody of hand; hog in sloth, fox in stealth,
Link: 3.4.93
wolf in greediness, dog in madness, lion in prey.
Link: 3.4.94
Let not the creaking of shoes nor the rustling of
Link: 3.4.95
silks betray thy poor heart to woman: keep thy foot
Link: 3.4.96
out of brothels, thy hand out of plackets, thy pen
Link: 3.4.97
from lenders' books, and defy the foul fiend.
Link: 3.4.98
Still through the hawthorn blows the cold wind:
Link: 3.4.99
Says suum, mun, ha, no, nonny.
Link: 3.4.100
Dolphin my boy, my boy, sessa! let him trot by.
Link: 3.4.101

Storm still

Why, thou wert better in thy grave than to answer
Link: 3.4.102
with thy uncovered body this extremity of the skies.
Link: 3.4.103
Is man no more than this? Consider him well. Thou
Link: 3.4.104
owest the worm no silk, the beast no hide, the sheep
Link: 3.4.105
no wool, the cat no perfume. Ha! here's three on
Link: 3.4.106
's are sophisticated! Thou art the thing itself:
Link: 3.4.107
unaccommodated man is no more but such a poor bare,
Link: 3.4.108
forked animal as thou art. Off, off, you lendings!
Link: 3.4.109
come unbutton here.
Link: 3.4.110

Tearing off his clothes

Prithee, nuncle, be contented; 'tis a naughty night
Link: 3.4.111
to swim in. Now a little fire in a wild field were
Link: 3.4.112
like an old lecher's heart; a small spark, all the
Link: 3.4.113
rest on's body cold. Look, here comes a walking fire.
Link: 3.4.114

Enter GLOUCESTER, with a torch

This is the foul fiend Flibbertigibbet: he begins
Link: 3.4.115
at curfew, and walks till the first cock; he gives
Link: 3.4.116
the web and the pin, squints the eye, and makes the
Link: 3.4.117
hare-lip; mildews the white wheat, and hurts the
Link: 3.4.118
poor creature of earth.
Link: 3.4.119
S. Withold footed thrice the old;
Link: 3.4.120
He met the night-mare, and her nine-fold;
Link: 3.4.121
Bid her alight,
Link: 3.4.122
And her troth plight,
Link: 3.4.123
And, aroint thee, witch, aroint thee!
Link: 3.4.124

How fares your grace?
Link: 3.4.125

What's he?
Link: 3.4.126

Who's there? What is't you seek?
Link: 3.4.127

What are you there? Your names?
Link: 3.4.128

Poor Tom; that eats the swimming frog, the toad,
Link: 3.4.129
the tadpole, the wall-newt and the water; that in
Link: 3.4.130
the fury of his heart, when the foul fiend rages,
Link: 3.4.131
eats cow-dung for sallets; swallows the old rat and
Link: 3.4.132
the ditch-dog; drinks the green mantle of the
Link: 3.4.133
standing pool; who is whipped from tithing to
Link: 3.4.134
tithing, and stock- punished, and imprisoned; who
Link: 3.4.135
hath had three suits to his back, six shirts to his
Link: 3.4.136
body, horse to ride, and weapon to wear;
Link: 3.4.137
But mice and rats, and such small deer,
Link: 3.4.138
Have been Tom's food for seven long year.
Link: 3.4.139
Beware my follower. Peace, Smulkin; peace, thou fiend!
Link: 3.4.140

What, hath your grace no better company?
Link: 3.4.141

The prince of darkness is a gentleman:
Link: 3.4.142
Modo he's call'd, and Mahu.
Link: 3.4.143

Our flesh and blood is grown so vile, my lord,
Link: 3.4.144
That it doth hate what gets it.
Link: 3.4.145

Poor Tom's a-cold.
Link: 3.4.146

Go in with me: my duty cannot suffer
Link: 3.4.147
To obey in all your daughters' hard commands:
Link: 3.4.148
Though their injunction be to bar my doors,
Link: 3.4.149
And let this tyrannous night take hold upon you,
Link: 3.4.150
Yet have I ventured to come seek you out,
Link: 3.4.151
And bring you where both fire and food is ready.
Link: 3.4.152

First let me talk with this philosopher.
Link: 3.4.153
What is the cause of thunder?
Link: 3.4.154

Good my lord, take his offer; go into the house.
Link: 3.4.155

I'll talk a word with this same learned Theban.
Link: 3.4.156
What is your study?
Link: 3.4.157

How to prevent the fiend, and to kill vermin.
Link: 3.4.158

Let me ask you one word in private.
Link: 3.4.159

Importune him once more to go, my lord;
Link: 3.4.160
His wits begin to unsettle.
Link: 3.4.161

Canst thou blame him?
Link: 3.4.162
His daughters seek his death: ah, that good Kent!
Link: 3.4.163
He said it would be thus, poor banish'd man!
Link: 3.4.164
Thou say'st the king grows mad; I'll tell thee, friend,
Link: 3.4.165
I am almost mad myself: I had a son,
Link: 3.4.166
Now outlaw'd from my blood; he sought my life,
Link: 3.4.167
But lately, very late: I loved him, friend;
Link: 3.4.168
No father his son dearer: truth to tell thee,
Link: 3.4.169
The grief hath crazed my wits. What a night's this!
Link: 3.4.170
I do beseech your grace,--
Link: 3.4.171

O, cry your mercy, sir.
Link: 3.4.172
Noble philosopher, your company.
Link: 3.4.173

Tom's a-cold.
Link: 3.4.174

In, fellow, there, into the hovel: keep thee warm.
Link: 3.4.175

Come let's in all.
Link: 3.4.176

This way, my lord.
Link: 3.4.177

With him;
Link: 3.4.178
I will keep still with my philosopher.
Link: 3.4.179

Good my lord, soothe him; let him take the fellow.
Link: 3.4.180

Take him you on.
Link: 3.4.181

Sirrah, come on; go along with us.
Link: 3.4.182

Come, good Athenian.
Link: 3.4.183

No words, no words: hush.
Link: 3.4.184

Child Rowland to the dark tower came,
Link: 3.4.185
His word was still,--Fie, foh, and fum,
Link: 3.4.186
I smell the blood of a British man.
Link: 3.4.187


SCENE V. Gloucester's castle.

In Scene 5 of Act 3, a storm is raging on the heath and King Lear is outside in the midst of it. He is accompanied by his Fool and Kent, who is disguised as a servant. Lear is struggling to maintain his sanity and curses the storm, proclaiming that he is more powerful than it. He also laments the betrayal of his daughters and his own folly in dividing his kingdom among them.

Edgar, who is also disguised as a madman, appears on the heath and Lear takes him in, believing him to be a fellow sufferer. Edgar tells Lear to take shelter in a nearby hovel, and Lear agrees. Inside the hovel, they meet the owner, a mad beggar named Poor Tom who is actually Edgar in disguise.

Meanwhile, Gloucester has been captured by Edmund's men and is brought before Cornwall and Regan. They accuse him of treason and order him to be tortured. One of Cornwall's servants objects to the cruelty of the punishment and is blinded by Cornwall in a fit of rage. Gloucester, horrified by the brutality, attempts to intervene and is also blinded.

The scene ends with Lear, Poor Tom, and the Fool still inside the hovel, while outside the storm continues to rage.


I will have my revenge ere I depart his house.
Link: 3.5.1

How, my lord, I may be censured, that nature thus
Link: 3.5.2
gives way to loyalty, something fears me to think
Link: 3.5.3

I now perceive, it was not altogether your
Link: 3.5.5
brother's evil disposition made him seek his death;
Link: 3.5.6
but a provoking merit, set a-work by a reprovable
Link: 3.5.7
badness in himself.
Link: 3.5.8

How malicious is my fortune, that I must repent to
Link: 3.5.9
be just! This is the letter he spoke of, which
Link: 3.5.10
approves him an intelligent party to the advantages
Link: 3.5.11
of France: O heavens! that this treason were not,
Link: 3.5.12
or not I the detector!
Link: 3.5.13

o with me to the duchess.
Link: 3.5.14

If the matter of this paper be certain, you have
Link: 3.5.15
mighty business in hand.
Link: 3.5.16

True or false, it hath made thee earl of
Link: 3.5.17
Gloucester. Seek out where thy father is, that he
Link: 3.5.18
may be ready for our apprehension.
Link: 3.5.19

(Aside) If I find him comforting the king, it will
Link: 3.5.20
stuff his suspicion more fully.--I will persevere in
Link: 3.5.21
my course of loyalty, though the conflict be sore
Link: 3.5.22
between that and my blood.
Link: 3.5.23

I will lay trust upon thee; and thou shalt find a
Link: 3.5.24
dearer father in my love.
Link: 3.5.25


SCENE VI. A chamber in a farmhouse adjoining the castle.

Scene 6 of Act 3 begins with a discussion between Kent and a Gentleman. The Gentleman informs Kent about the current state of affairs in the kingdom. He tells Kent that the situation is grim as the king's daughters, Goneril and Regan, are ruling with an iron fist and treating their father, King Lear, very poorly. They have reduced his retinue and have ordered their servants to treat him with disrespect.

Kent is saddened by this news and expresses his concern for the king's well-being. He decides to go and see King Lear for himself and offer his assistance. The Gentleman warns Kent that this may be dangerous as Goneril and Regan have ordered that anyone who supports the king should be punished. Kent, however, is determined to help the king and sets off to find him.

The scene then shifts to a conversation between Goneril and Edmund. Goneril expresses her frustration with King Lear's behavior and wishes that he would leave her castle. She is also upset with her husband, Albany, for not supporting her in her efforts to control the kingdom. Edmund, who is in love with Goneril, offers to help her in any way he can.

The scene ends with Goneril giving orders to her servants to continue mistreating King Lear and his men. She also orders her soldiers to keep a close eye on her sister Regan, as she fears that she may be conspiring against her. The audience is left to wonder what will happen next and how King Lear will react to the mistreatment he is receiving.


Here is better than the open air; take it
Link: 3.6.1
thankfully. I will piece out the comfort with what
Link: 3.6.2
addition I can: I will not be long from you.
Link: 3.6.3

All the power of his wits have given way to his
Link: 3.6.4
impatience: the gods reward your kindness!
Link: 3.6.5


Frateretto calls me; and tells me
Link: 3.6.6
Nero is an angler in the lake of darkness.
Link: 3.6.7
Pray, innocent, and beware the foul fiend.
Link: 3.6.8

Prithee, nuncle, tell me whether a madman be a
Link: 3.6.9
gentleman or a yeoman?
Link: 3.6.10

A king, a king!
Link: 3.6.11

No, he's a yeoman that has a gentleman to his son;
Link: 3.6.12
for he's a mad yeoman that sees his son a gentleman
Link: 3.6.13
before him.
Link: 3.6.14

To have a thousand with red burning spits
Link: 3.6.15
Come hissing in upon 'em,--
Link: 3.6.16

The foul fiend bites my back.
Link: 3.6.17

He's mad that trusts in the tameness of a wolf, a
Link: 3.6.18
horse's health, a boy's love, or a whore's oath.
Link: 3.6.19

It shall be done; I will arraign them straight.
Link: 3.6.20
Come, sit thou here, most learned justicer;
Link: 3.6.21
Thou, sapient sir, sit here. Now, you she foxes!
Link: 3.6.22

Look, where he stands and glares!
Link: 3.6.23
Wantest thou eyes at trial, madam?
Link: 3.6.24
Come o'er the bourn, Bessy, to me,--
Link: 3.6.25

Her boat hath a leak,
Link: 3.6.26
And she must not speak
Link: 3.6.27
Why she dares not come over to thee.
Link: 3.6.28

The foul fiend haunts poor Tom in the voice of a
Link: 3.6.29
nightingale. Hopdance cries in Tom's belly for two
Link: 3.6.30
white herring. Croak not, black angel; I have no
Link: 3.6.31
food for thee.
Link: 3.6.32

How do you, sir? Stand you not so amazed:
Link: 3.6.33
Will you lie down and rest upon the cushions?
Link: 3.6.34

I'll see their trial first. Bring in the evidence.
Link: 3.6.35
Thou robed man of justice, take thy place;
Link: 3.6.36
And thou, his yoke-fellow of equity,
Link: 3.6.37
Bench by his side:
Link: 3.6.38
you are o' the commission,
Link: 3.6.39
Sit you too.
Link: 3.6.40

Let us deal justly.
Link: 3.6.41
Sleepest or wakest thou, jolly shepherd?
Link: 3.6.42
Thy sheep be in the corn;
Link: 3.6.43
And for one blast of thy minikin mouth,
Link: 3.6.44
Thy sheep shall take no harm.
Link: 3.6.45
Pur! the cat is gray.
Link: 3.6.46

Arraign her first; 'tis Goneril. I here take my
Link: 3.6.47
oath before this honourable assembly, she kicked the
Link: 3.6.48
poor king her father.
Link: 3.6.49

Come hither, mistress. Is your name Goneril?
Link: 3.6.50

She cannot deny it.
Link: 3.6.51

Cry you mercy, I took you for a joint-stool.
Link: 3.6.52

And here's another, whose warp'd looks proclaim
Link: 3.6.53
What store her heart is made on. Stop her there!
Link: 3.6.54
Arms, arms, sword, fire! Corruption in the place!
Link: 3.6.55
False justicer, why hast thou let her 'scape?
Link: 3.6.56

Bless thy five wits!
Link: 3.6.57

O pity! Sir, where is the patience now,
Link: 3.6.58
That thou so oft have boasted to retain?
Link: 3.6.59

(Aside) My tears begin to take his part so much,
Link: 3.6.60
They'll mar my counterfeiting.
Link: 3.6.61

The little dogs and all, Tray, Blanch, and
Link: 3.6.62
Sweet-heart, see, they bark at me.
Link: 3.6.63

Tom will throw his head at them. Avaunt, you curs!
Link: 3.6.64
Be thy mouth or black or white,
Link: 3.6.65
Tooth that poisons if it bite;
Link: 3.6.66
Mastiff, grey-hound, mongrel grim,
Link: 3.6.67
Hound or spaniel, brach or lym,
Link: 3.6.68
Or bobtail tike or trundle-tail,
Link: 3.6.69
Tom will make them weep and wail:
Link: 3.6.70
For, with throwing thus my head,
Link: 3.6.71
Dogs leap the hatch, and all are fled.
Link: 3.6.72
Do de, de, de. Sessa! Come, march to wakes and
Link: 3.6.73
fairs and market-towns. Poor Tom, thy horn is dry.
Link: 3.6.74

Then let them anatomize Regan; see what breeds
Link: 3.6.75
about her heart. Is there any cause in nature that
Link: 3.6.76
makes these hard hearts?
Link: 3.6.77
You, sir, I entertain for one of my hundred; only I
Link: 3.6.78
do not like the fashion of your garments: you will
Link: 3.6.79
say they are Persian attire: but let them be changed.
Link: 3.6.80

Now, good my lord, lie here and rest awhile.
Link: 3.6.81

Make no noise, make no noise; draw the curtains:
Link: 3.6.82
so, so, so. We'll go to supper i' he morning. So, so, so.
Link: 3.6.83

And I'll go to bed at noon.
Link: 3.6.84


Come hither, friend: where is the king my master?
Link: 3.6.85

Here, sir; but trouble him not, his wits are gone.
Link: 3.6.86

Good friend, I prithee, take him in thy arms;
Link: 3.6.87
I have o'erheard a plot of death upon him:
Link: 3.6.88
There is a litter ready; lay him in 't,
Link: 3.6.89
And drive towards Dover, friend, where thou shalt meet
Link: 3.6.90
Both welcome and protection. Take up thy master:
Link: 3.6.91
If thou shouldst dally half an hour, his life,
Link: 3.6.92
With thine, and all that offer to defend him,
Link: 3.6.93
Stand in assured loss: take up, take up;
Link: 3.6.94
And follow me, that will to some provision
Link: 3.6.95
Give thee quick conduct.
Link: 3.6.96

Oppressed nature sleeps:
Link: 3.6.97
This rest might yet have balm'd thy broken senses,
Link: 3.6.98
Which, if convenience will not allow,
Link: 3.6.99
Stand in hard cure.
Link: 3.6.100
Come, help to bear thy master;
Link: 3.6.101
Thou must not stay behind.
Link: 3.6.102

Come, come, away.
Link: 3.6.103

Exeunt all but EDGAR

When we our betters see bearing our woes,
Link: 3.6.104
We scarcely think our miseries our foes.
Link: 3.6.105
Who alone suffers suffers most i' the mind,
Link: 3.6.106
Leaving free things and happy shows behind:
Link: 3.6.107
But then the mind much sufferance doth o'er skip,
Link: 3.6.108
When grief hath mates, and bearing fellowship.
Link: 3.6.109
How light and portable my pain seems now,
Link: 3.6.110
When that which makes me bend makes the king bow,
Link: 3.6.111
He childed as I father'd! Tom, away!
Link: 3.6.112
Mark the high noises; and thyself bewray,
Link: 3.6.113
When false opinion, whose wrong thought defiles thee,
Link: 3.6.114
In thy just proof, repeals and reconciles thee.
Link: 3.6.115
What will hap more to-night, safe 'scape the king!
Link: 3.6.116
Lurk, lurk.
Link: 3.6.117


SCENE VII. Gloucester's castle.

In Scene 7 of Act 3, the king is left alone on the heath during a raging storm. He rages against the cruelty of the world, the ingratitude of his daughters, and the impotence of his own power. He has become a madman, stripped of his authority and his sanity, and he is left to wander the wilderness like a beggar.

As he rants and raves, he is joined by the Fool, who tries to comfort him with his own brand of wisdom. The Fool reminds Lear that he was once a king, and that he should not give up hope. He also tells Lear that his daughters are ungrateful and wicked, and that he should curse them for their treachery.

As the storm continues to rage, Lear is joined by the disguised Kent, who offers to serve him as a loyal follower. Lear is touched by Kent's loyalty, and he begins to regain some of his composure. He realizes that he has been wrong about many things, and he vows to seek redemption and make amends for his past mistakes.

Despite his newfound resolve, however, Lear is still plagued by madness and despair. He continues to rail against the world and his fate, and he is haunted by the memory of his beloved daughter Cordelia, whom he has banished. As the storm reaches its climax, Lear is left alone on the heath, a broken and tormented figure, struggling to come to terms with his own mortality and the futility of his own power.


Post speedily to my lord your husband; show him
Link: 3.7.1
this letter: the army of France is landed. Seek
Link: 3.7.2
out the villain Gloucester.
Link: 3.7.3

Exeunt some of the Servants

Hang him instantly.
Link: 3.7.4

Pluck out his eyes.
Link: 3.7.5

Leave him to my displeasure. Edmund, keep you our
Link: 3.7.6
sister company: the revenges we are bound to take
Link: 3.7.7
upon your traitorous father are not fit for your
Link: 3.7.8
beholding. Advise the duke, where you are going, to
Link: 3.7.9
a most festinate preparation: we are bound to the
Link: 3.7.10
like. Our posts shall be swift and intelligent
Link: 3.7.11
betwixt us. Farewell, dear sister: farewell, my
Link: 3.7.12
lord of Gloucester.
Link: 3.7.13
How now! where's the king?
Link: 3.7.14

My lord of Gloucester hath convey'd him hence:
Link: 3.7.15
Some five or six and thirty of his knights,
Link: 3.7.16
Hot questrists after him, met him at gate;
Link: 3.7.17
Who, with some other of the lords dependants,
Link: 3.7.18
Are gone with him towards Dover; where they boast
Link: 3.7.19
To have well-armed friends.
Link: 3.7.20

Get horses for your mistress.
Link: 3.7.21

Farewell, sweet lord, and sister.
Link: 3.7.22

Edmund, farewell.
Link: 3.7.23
Go seek the traitor Gloucester,
Link: 3.7.24
Pinion him like a thief, bring him before us.
Link: 3.7.25
Though well we may not pass upon his life
Link: 3.7.26
Without the form of justice, yet our power
Link: 3.7.27
Shall do a courtesy to our wrath, which men
Link: 3.7.28
May blame, but not control. Who's there? the traitor?
Link: 3.7.29

Enter GLOUCESTER, brought in by two or three

Ingrateful fox! 'tis he.
Link: 3.7.30

Bind fast his corky arms.
Link: 3.7.31

What mean your graces? Good my friends, consider
Link: 3.7.32
You are my guests: do me no foul play, friends.
Link: 3.7.33

Bind him, I say.
Link: 3.7.34

Servants bind him

Hard, hard. O filthy traitor!
Link: 3.7.35

Unmerciful lady as you are, I'm none.
Link: 3.7.36

To this chair bind him. Villain, thou shalt find--
Link: 3.7.37

REGAN plucks his beard

By the kind gods, 'tis most ignobly done
Link: 3.7.38
To pluck me by the beard.
Link: 3.7.39

So white, and such a traitor!
Link: 3.7.40

Naughty lady,
Link: 3.7.41
These hairs, which thou dost ravish from my chin,
Link: 3.7.42
Will quicken, and accuse thee: I am your host:
Link: 3.7.43
With robbers' hands my hospitable favours
Link: 3.7.44
You should not ruffle thus. What will you do?
Link: 3.7.45

Come, sir, what letters had you late from France?
Link: 3.7.46

Be simple answerer, for we know the truth.
Link: 3.7.47

And what confederacy have you with the traitors
Link: 3.7.48
Late footed in the kingdom?
Link: 3.7.49

To whose hands have you sent the lunatic king? Speak.
Link: 3.7.50

I have a letter guessingly set down,
Link: 3.7.51
Which came from one that's of a neutral heart,
Link: 3.7.52
And not from one opposed.
Link: 3.7.53

Link: 3.7.54

And false.
Link: 3.7.55

Where hast thou sent the king?
Link: 3.7.56

To Dover.
Link: 3.7.57

Wherefore to Dover? Wast thou not charged at peril--
Link: 3.7.58

Wherefore to Dover? Let him first answer that.
Link: 3.7.59

I am tied to the stake, and I must stand the course.
Link: 3.7.60

Wherefore to Dover, sir?
Link: 3.7.61

Because I would not see thy cruel nails
Link: 3.7.62
Pluck out his poor old eyes; nor thy fierce sister
Link: 3.7.63
In his anointed flesh stick boarish fangs.
Link: 3.7.64
The sea, with such a storm as his bare head
Link: 3.7.65
In hell-black night endured, would have buoy'd up,
Link: 3.7.66
And quench'd the stelled fires:
Link: 3.7.67
Yet, poor old heart, he holp the heavens to rain.
Link: 3.7.68
If wolves had at thy gate howl'd that stern time,
Link: 3.7.69
Thou shouldst have said 'Good porter, turn the key,'
Link: 3.7.70
All cruels else subscribed: but I shall see
Link: 3.7.71
The winged vengeance overtake such children.
Link: 3.7.72

See't shalt thou never. Fellows, hold the chair.
Link: 3.7.73
Upon these eyes of thine I'll set my foot.
Link: 3.7.74

He that will think to live till he be old,
Link: 3.7.75
Give me some help! O cruel! O you gods!
Link: 3.7.76

One side will mock another; the other too.
Link: 3.7.77

If you see vengeance,--
Link: 3.7.78

First Servant
Hold your hand, my lord:
Link: 3.7.79
I have served you ever since I was a child;
Link: 3.7.80
But better service have I never done you
Link: 3.7.81
Than now to bid you hold.
Link: 3.7.82

How now, you dog!
Link: 3.7.83

First Servant
If you did wear a beard upon your chin,
Link: 3.7.84
I'd shake it on this quarrel. What do you mean?
Link: 3.7.85

My villain!
Link: 3.7.86

They draw and fight

First Servant
Nay, then, come on, and take the chance of anger.
Link: 3.7.87

Give me thy sword. A peasant stand up thus!
Link: 3.7.88

Takes a sword, and runs at him behind

First Servant
O, I am slain! My lord, you have one eye left
Link: 3.7.89
To see some mischief on him. O!
Link: 3.7.90


Lest it see more, prevent it. Out, vile jelly!
Link: 3.7.91
Where is thy lustre now?
Link: 3.7.92

All dark and comfortless. Where's my son Edmund?
Link: 3.7.93
Edmund, enkindle all the sparks of nature,
Link: 3.7.94
To quit this horrid act.
Link: 3.7.95

Out, treacherous villain!
Link: 3.7.96
Thou call'st on him that hates thee: it was he
Link: 3.7.97
That made the overture of thy treasons to us;
Link: 3.7.98
Who is too good to pity thee.
Link: 3.7.99

O my follies! then Edgar was abused.
Link: 3.7.100
Kind gods, forgive me that, and prosper him!
Link: 3.7.101

Go thrust him out at gates, and let him smell
Link: 3.7.102
His way to Dover.
Link: 3.7.103
How is't, my lord? how look you?
Link: 3.7.104

I have received a hurt: follow me, lady.
Link: 3.7.105
Turn out that eyeless villain; throw this slave
Link: 3.7.106
Upon the dunghill. Regan, I bleed apace:
Link: 3.7.107
Untimely comes this hurt: give me your arm.
Link: 3.7.108


Second Servant
I'll never care what wickedness I do,
Link: 3.7.109
If this man come to good.
Link: 3.7.110

Third Servant
If she live long,
Link: 3.7.111
And in the end meet the old course of death,
Link: 3.7.112
Women will all turn monsters.
Link: 3.7.113

Second Servant
Let's follow the old earl, and get the Bedlam
Link: 3.7.114
To lead him where he would: his roguish madness
Link: 3.7.115
Allows itself to any thing.
Link: 3.7.116

Third Servant
Go thou: I'll fetch some flax and whites of eggs
Link: 3.7.117
To apply to his bleeding face. Now, heaven help him!
Link: 3.7.118

Exeunt severally

Act IV

Act 4 of King Lear sees a major shift in the story. The Earl of Gloucester is brought to the cliff by his traitorous son Edmund, who plans to have him killed. However, Edgar, who had been disguised as a madman, appears and saves his father. Meanwhile, King Lear has been taken prisoner by his own daughter, Regan, and her husband, the Duke of Cornwall. Regan and her sister, Goneril, are at odds with each other and begin to plot against each other.

The Earl of Gloucester is blindfolded by his captors, who then proceed to pluck out his eyes. The gruesome scene is witnessed by the audience, and the Earl's cries of pain are heart-wrenching. However, the blinding also serves as a metaphor for the blindness of the characters in the play. The characters are blind to their own faults and to the true nature of those around them.

King Lear is eventually rescued by Cordelia and her army. Lear's mental state has deteriorated significantly, and he is barely coherent. Cordelia tries to comfort him, but it is clear that he is beyond help. The scene ends with Cordelia taking her father away, and the audience is left to wonder what will become of him.

Overall, Act 4 is a pivotal moment in the play. It marks a turning point for many of the characters, and sets the stage for the tragic conclusion of the story.

SCENE I. The heath.

In Scene 1 of Act 4, a physician and a gentlewoman observe a distraught King who has been driven to madness. He is in the midst of a raging storm and is wandering the countryside with his Fool. The King rambles and speaks incoherently about his daughters and their betrayal, and how he has been reduced to nothing. The physician notes that the King's mental state has worsened and that they must find a way to cure him.

At that moment, the Duke of Albany and his wife, Goneril, arrive on the scene. They are seeking the King's whereabouts and are determined to capture him. The gentlewoman tries to intervene and protect the King, but Goneril dismisses her and orders her soldiers to search for the King.

The King, who is still incoherent, is eventually found and taken away by Goneril and her soldiers. The Fool, who has been a loyal companion to the King, laments the situation and expresses his sadness at seeing the King's troubles.

The scene ends with the physician and the gentlewoman discussing the King's condition. They note that his madness has been caused by the stress and cruelty of his daughters, and that there may still be hope for him if he is given proper care and treatment.


Yet better thus, and known to be contemn'd,
Link: 4.1.1
Than still contemn'd and flatter'd. To be worst,
Link: 4.1.2
The lowest and most dejected thing of fortune,
Link: 4.1.3
Stands still in esperance, lives not in fear:
Link: 4.1.4
The lamentable change is from the best;
Link: 4.1.5
The worst returns to laughter. Welcome, then,
Link: 4.1.6
Thou unsubstantial air that I embrace!
Link: 4.1.7
The wretch that thou hast blown unto the worst
Link: 4.1.8
Owes nothing to thy blasts. But who comes here?
Link: 4.1.9
My father, poorly led? World, world, O world!
Link: 4.1.10
But that thy strange mutations make us hate thee,
Link: 4.1.11
Lie would not yield to age.
Link: 4.1.12

Old Man
O, my good lord, I have been your tenant, and
Link: 4.1.13
your father's tenant, these fourscore years.
Link: 4.1.14

Away, get thee away; good friend, be gone:
Link: 4.1.15
Thy comforts can do me no good at all;
Link: 4.1.16
Thee they may hurt.
Link: 4.1.17

Old Man
Alack, sir, you cannot see your way.
Link: 4.1.18

I have no way, and therefore want no eyes;
Link: 4.1.19
I stumbled when I saw: full oft 'tis seen,
Link: 4.1.20
Our means secure us, and our mere defects
Link: 4.1.21
Prove our commodities. O dear son Edgar,
Link: 4.1.22
The food of thy abused father's wrath!
Link: 4.1.23
Might I but live to see thee in my touch,
Link: 4.1.24
I'ld say I had eyes again!
Link: 4.1.25

Old Man
How now! Who's there?
Link: 4.1.26

(Aside) O gods! Who is't can say 'I am at
Link: 4.1.27
the worst'?
Link: 4.1.28
I am worse than e'er I was.
Link: 4.1.29

Old Man
'Tis poor mad Tom.
Link: 4.1.30

(Aside) And worse I may be yet: the worst is not
Link: 4.1.31
So long as we can say 'This is the worst.'
Link: 4.1.32

Old Man
Fellow, where goest?
Link: 4.1.33

Is it a beggar-man?
Link: 4.1.34

Old Man
Madman and beggar too.
Link: 4.1.35

He has some reason, else he could not beg.
Link: 4.1.36
I' the last night's storm I such a fellow saw;
Link: 4.1.37
Which made me think a man a worm: my son
Link: 4.1.38
Came then into my mind; and yet my mind
Link: 4.1.39
Was then scarce friends with him: I have heard
Link: 4.1.40
more since.
Link: 4.1.41
As flies to wanton boys, are we to the gods.
Link: 4.1.42
They kill us for their sport.
Link: 4.1.43

(Aside) How should this be?
Link: 4.1.44
Bad is the trade that must play fool to sorrow,
Link: 4.1.45
Angering itself and others.--Bless thee, master!
Link: 4.1.46

Is that the naked fellow?
Link: 4.1.47

Old Man
Ay, my lord.
Link: 4.1.48

Then, prithee, get thee gone: if, for my sake,
Link: 4.1.49
Thou wilt o'ertake us, hence a mile or twain,
Link: 4.1.50
I' the way toward Dover, do it for ancient love;
Link: 4.1.51
And bring some covering for this naked soul,
Link: 4.1.52
Who I'll entreat to lead me.
Link: 4.1.53

Old Man
Alack, sir, he is mad.
Link: 4.1.54

'Tis the times' plague, when madmen lead the blind.
Link: 4.1.55
Do as I bid thee, or rather do thy pleasure;
Link: 4.1.56
Above the rest, be gone.
Link: 4.1.57

Old Man
I'll bring him the best 'parel that I have,
Link: 4.1.58
Come on't what will.
Link: 4.1.59


Sirrah, naked fellow,--
Link: 4.1.60

Poor Tom's a-cold.
Link: 4.1.61
I cannot daub it further.
Link: 4.1.62

Come hither, fellow.
Link: 4.1.63

(Aside) And yet I must.--Bless thy sweet eyes, they bleed.
Link: 4.1.64

Know'st thou the way to Dover?
Link: 4.1.65

Both stile and gate, horse-way and foot-path. Poor
Link: 4.1.66
Tom hath been scared out of his good wits: bless
Link: 4.1.67
thee, good man's son, from the foul fiend! five
Link: 4.1.68
fiends have been in poor Tom at once; of lust, as
Link: 4.1.69
Obidicut; Hobbididence, prince of dumbness; Mahu, of
Link: 4.1.70
stealing; Modo, of murder; Flibbertigibbet, of
Link: 4.1.71
mopping and mowing, who since possesses chambermaids
Link: 4.1.72
and waiting-women. So, bless thee, master!
Link: 4.1.73

Here, take this purse, thou whom the heavens' plagues
Link: 4.1.74
Have humbled to all strokes: that I am wretched
Link: 4.1.75
Makes thee the happier: heavens, deal so still!
Link: 4.1.76
Let the superfluous and lust-dieted man,
Link: 4.1.77
That slaves your ordinance, that will not see
Link: 4.1.78
Because he doth not feel, feel your power quickly;
Link: 4.1.79
So distribution should undo excess,
Link: 4.1.80
And each man have enough. Dost thou know Dover?
Link: 4.1.81

Ay, master.
Link: 4.1.82

There is a cliff, whose high and bending head
Link: 4.1.83
Looks fearfully in the confined deep:
Link: 4.1.84
Bring me but to the very brim of it,
Link: 4.1.85
And I'll repair the misery thou dost bear
Link: 4.1.86
With something rich about me: from that place
Link: 4.1.87
I shall no leading need.
Link: 4.1.88

Give me thy arm:
Link: 4.1.89
Poor Tom shall lead thee.
Link: 4.1.90


SCENE II. Before ALBANY's palace.

In Scene 2 of Act 4, the main character is seen wandering in a stormy night, completely disoriented and lost. He is accompanied by his faithful Fool and a disguised Kent. Lear is in a state of madness as he talks to himself and imagines that he is in a position of power and control. He is delusional and cannot accept the reality of his situation.

As they continue to wander, they stumble upon a hovel where a poor man lives with his son. Lear is shocked at the sight of their living conditions and cannot understand why they would choose to live in such poverty. He begins to reflect on his own choices and how he has mistreated his own daughters. He realizes that he was wrong in his judgment and that he must go back and make amends with them.

The Fool tries to reason with Lear, but he is too far gone in his madness. Kent, still in disguise, manages to get a message to Lear's loyal daughter, Cordelia, who has been searching for him. She sends soldiers to rescue him and bring him back to safety. As they leave, Lear reflects on his mistakes and the consequences of his actions. He is remorseful and wishes he had done things differently.

Overall, Scene 2 of Act 4 is a powerful depiction of a man's descent into madness and his eventual realization of his mistakes. It is a poignant reminder of the importance of family and the consequences of neglecting those who are closest to us.


Welcome, my lord: I marvel our mild husband
Link: 4.2.1
Not met us on the way.
Link: 4.2.2
Now, where's your master'?
Link: 4.2.3

Madam, within; but never man so changed.
Link: 4.2.4
I told him of the army that was landed;
Link: 4.2.5
He smiled at it: I told him you were coming:
Link: 4.2.6
His answer was 'The worse:' of Gloucester's treachery,
Link: 4.2.7
And of the loyal service of his son,
Link: 4.2.8
When I inform'd him, then he call'd me sot,
Link: 4.2.9
And told me I had turn'd the wrong side out:
Link: 4.2.10
What most he should dislike seems pleasant to him;
Link: 4.2.11
What like, offensive.
Link: 4.2.12

(To EDMUND) Then shall you go no further.
Link: 4.2.13
It is the cowish terror of his spirit,
Link: 4.2.14
That dares not undertake: he'll not feel wrongs
Link: 4.2.15
Which tie him to an answer. Our wishes on the way
Link: 4.2.16
May prove effects. Back, Edmund, to my brother;
Link: 4.2.17
Hasten his musters and conduct his powers:
Link: 4.2.18
I must change arms at home, and give the distaff
Link: 4.2.19
Into my husband's hands. This trusty servant
Link: 4.2.20
Shall pass between us: ere long you are like to hear,
Link: 4.2.21
If you dare venture in your own behalf,
Link: 4.2.22
A mistress's command. Wear this; spare speech;
Link: 4.2.23
Decline your head: this kiss, if it durst speak,
Link: 4.2.24
Would stretch thy spirits up into the air:
Link: 4.2.25
Conceive, and fare thee well.
Link: 4.2.26

Yours in the ranks of death.
Link: 4.2.27

My most dear Gloucester!
Link: 4.2.28
O, the difference of man and man!
Link: 4.2.29
To thee a woman's services are due:
Link: 4.2.30
My fool usurps my body.
Link: 4.2.31

Madam, here comes my lord.
Link: 4.2.32



I have been worth the whistle.
Link: 4.2.33

O Goneril!
Link: 4.2.34
You are not worth the dust which the rude wind
Link: 4.2.35
Blows in your face. I fear your disposition:
Link: 4.2.36
That nature, which contemns its origin,
Link: 4.2.37
Cannot be border'd certain in itself;
Link: 4.2.38
She that herself will sliver and disbranch
Link: 4.2.39
From her material sap, perforce must wither
Link: 4.2.40
And come to deadly use.
Link: 4.2.41

No more; the text is foolish.
Link: 4.2.42

Wisdom and goodness to the vile seem vile:
Link: 4.2.43
Filths savour but themselves. What have you done?
Link: 4.2.44
Tigers, not daughters, what have you perform'd?
Link: 4.2.45
A father, and a gracious aged man,
Link: 4.2.46
Whose reverence even the head-lugg'd bear would lick,
Link: 4.2.47
Most barbarous, most degenerate! have you madded.
Link: 4.2.48
Could my good brother suffer you to do it?
Link: 4.2.49
A man, a prince, by him so benefited!
Link: 4.2.50
If that the heavens do not their visible spirits
Link: 4.2.51
Send quickly down to tame these vile offences,
Link: 4.2.52
It will come,
Link: 4.2.53
Humanity must perforce prey on itself,
Link: 4.2.54
Like monsters of the deep.
Link: 4.2.55

Milk-liver'd man!
Link: 4.2.56
That bear'st a cheek for blows, a head for wrongs;
Link: 4.2.57
Who hast not in thy brows an eye discerning
Link: 4.2.58
Thine honour from thy suffering; that not know'st
Link: 4.2.59
Fools do those villains pity who are punish'd
Link: 4.2.60
Ere they have done their mischief. Where's thy drum?
Link: 4.2.61
France spreads his banners in our noiseless land;
Link: 4.2.62
With plumed helm thy slayer begins threats;
Link: 4.2.63
Whiles thou, a moral fool, sit'st still, and criest
Link: 4.2.64
'Alack, why does he so?'
Link: 4.2.65

See thyself, devil!
Link: 4.2.66
Proper deformity seems not in the fiend
Link: 4.2.67
So horrid as in woman.
Link: 4.2.68

O vain fool!
Link: 4.2.69

Thou changed and self-cover'd thing, for shame,
Link: 4.2.70
Be-monster not thy feature. Were't my fitness
Link: 4.2.71
To let these hands obey my blood,
Link: 4.2.72
They are apt enough to dislocate and tear
Link: 4.2.73
Thy flesh and bones: howe'er thou art a fiend,
Link: 4.2.74
A woman's shape doth shield thee.
Link: 4.2.75

Marry, your manhood now--
Link: 4.2.76

Enter a Messenger

What news?
Link: 4.2.77

O, my good lord, the Duke of Cornwall's dead:
Link: 4.2.78
Slain by his servant, going to put out
Link: 4.2.79
The other eye of Gloucester.
Link: 4.2.80

Gloucester's eye!
Link: 4.2.81

A servant that he bred, thrill'd with remorse,
Link: 4.2.82
Opposed against the act, bending his sword
Link: 4.2.83
To his great master; who, thereat enraged,
Link: 4.2.84
Flew on him, and amongst them fell'd him dead;
Link: 4.2.85
But not without that harmful stroke, which since
Link: 4.2.86
Hath pluck'd him after.
Link: 4.2.87

This shows you are above,
Link: 4.2.88
You justicers, that these our nether crimes
Link: 4.2.89
So speedily can venge! But, O poor Gloucester!
Link: 4.2.90
Lost he his other eye?
Link: 4.2.91

Both, both, my lord.
Link: 4.2.92
This letter, madam, craves a speedy answer;
Link: 4.2.93
'Tis from your sister.
Link: 4.2.94

(Aside) One way I like this well;
Link: 4.2.95
But being widow, and my Gloucester with her,
Link: 4.2.96
May all the building in my fancy pluck
Link: 4.2.97
Upon my hateful life: another way,
Link: 4.2.98
The news is not so tart.--I'll read, and answer.
Link: 4.2.99


Where was his son when they did take his eyes?
Link: 4.2.100

Come with my lady hither.
Link: 4.2.101

He is not here.
Link: 4.2.102

No, my good lord; I met him back again.
Link: 4.2.103

Knows he the wickedness?
Link: 4.2.104

Ay, my good lord; 'twas he inform'd against him;
Link: 4.2.105
And quit the house on purpose, that their punishment
Link: 4.2.106
Might have the freer course.
Link: 4.2.107

Gloucester, I live
Link: 4.2.108
To thank thee for the love thou show'dst the king,
Link: 4.2.109
And to revenge thine eyes. Come hither, friend:
Link: 4.2.110
Tell me what more thou know'st.
Link: 4.2.111


SCENE III. The French camp near Dover.

Act 4 Scene 3 opens with Cordelia and her army preparing for battle against her own father, King Lear. As they wait for the arrival of their enemy, Cordelia expresses her sadness over having to fight her own father, but remains determined to protect her people.

Meanwhile, the Earl of Gloucester is brought before Edmund, who has taken control of the castle. Gloucester pleads for Edmund's mercy, but Edmund reveals that he has already sentenced him to death for his loyalty to King Lear. Gloucester is taken away to be executed.

Back on the battlefield, King Lear and his troops arrive and Cordelia attempts to reason with her father, urging him to relinquish his power and reconcile with her. However, Lear is stubborn and refuses to back down.

The two sides engage in battle, with Cordelia's army gaining the upper hand. However, just as victory seems within reach, Cordelia is captured by Edmund's forces. Lear is devastated to see his daughter taken captive and pleads with her captors to spare her life.

As the scene ends, Cordelia is taken away to be executed and Lear is left alone to reflect on his actions and the consequences they have brought upon his family.

Enter KENT and a Gentleman

Why the King of France is so suddenly gone back
Link: 4.3.1
know you the reason?
Link: 4.3.2

Something he left imperfect in the
Link: 4.3.3
state, which since his coming forth is thought
Link: 4.3.4
of; which imports to the kingdom so much
Link: 4.3.5
fear and danger, that his personal return was
Link: 4.3.6
most required and necessary.
Link: 4.3.7

Who hath he left behind him general?
Link: 4.3.8

The Marshal of France, Monsieur La Far.
Link: 4.3.9

Did your letters pierce the queen to any
Link: 4.3.10
demonstration of grief?
Link: 4.3.11

Ay, sir; she took them, read them in my presence;
Link: 4.3.12
And now and then an ample tear trill'd down
Link: 4.3.13
Her delicate cheek: it seem'd she was a queen
Link: 4.3.14
Over her passion; who, most rebel-like,
Link: 4.3.15
Sought to be king o'er her.
Link: 4.3.16

O, then it moved her.
Link: 4.3.17

Not to a rage: patience and sorrow strove
Link: 4.3.18
Who should express her goodliest. You have seen
Link: 4.3.19
Sunshine and rain at once: her smiles and tears
Link: 4.3.20
Were like a better way: those happy smilets,
Link: 4.3.21
That play'd on her ripe lip, seem'd not to know
Link: 4.3.22
What guests were in her eyes; which parted thence,
Link: 4.3.23
As pearls from diamonds dropp'd. In brief,
Link: 4.3.24
Sorrow would be a rarity most beloved,
Link: 4.3.25
If all could so become it.
Link: 4.3.26

Made she no verbal question?
Link: 4.3.27

'Faith, once or twice she heaved the name of 'father'
Link: 4.3.28
Pantingly forth, as if it press'd her heart:
Link: 4.3.29
Cried 'Sisters! sisters! Shame of ladies! sisters!
Link: 4.3.30
Kent! father! sisters! What, i' the storm? i' the night?
Link: 4.3.31
Let pity not be believed!' There she shook
Link: 4.3.32
The holy water from her heavenly eyes,
Link: 4.3.33
And clamour moisten'd: then away she started
Link: 4.3.34
To deal with grief alone.
Link: 4.3.35

It is the stars,
Link: 4.3.36
The stars above us, govern our conditions;
Link: 4.3.37
Else one self mate and mate could not beget
Link: 4.3.38
Such different issues. You spoke not with her since?
Link: 4.3.39


Was this before the king return'd?
Link: 4.3.41

No, since.
Link: 4.3.42

Well, sir, the poor distressed Lear's i' the town;
Link: 4.3.43
Who sometime, in his better tune, remembers
Link: 4.3.44
What we are come about, and by no means
Link: 4.3.45
Will yield to see his daughter.
Link: 4.3.46

Why, good sir?
Link: 4.3.47

A sovereign shame so elbows him: his own unkindness,
Link: 4.3.48
That stripp'd her from his benediction, turn'd her
Link: 4.3.49
To foreign casualties, gave her dear rights
Link: 4.3.50
To his dog-hearted daughters, these things sting
Link: 4.3.51
His mind so venomously, that burning shame
Link: 4.3.52
Detains him from Cordelia.
Link: 4.3.53

Alack, poor gentleman!
Link: 4.3.54

Of Albany's and Cornwall's powers you heard not?
Link: 4.3.55

'Tis so, they are afoot.
Link: 4.3.56

Well, sir, I'll bring you to our master Lear,
Link: 4.3.57
And leave you to attend him: some dear cause
Link: 4.3.58
Will in concealment wrap me up awhile;
Link: 4.3.59
When I am known aright, you shall not grieve
Link: 4.3.60
Lending me this acquaintance. I pray you, go
Link: 4.3.61
Along with me.
Link: 4.3.62


SCENE IV. The same. A tent.

Scene 4 of Act 4 of King Lear is a powerful and emotional scene that follows the tumultuous events of the previous scenes. In this scene, the audience is presented with a harrowing portrayal of King Lear's descent into madness and despair.

The scene opens with Lear wandering alone on the heath, his mind consumed by the pain and suffering he has endured. He rages against the heavens, cursing the gods for their cruelty and lamenting his own foolishness. His madness is on full display as he rants and raves, his words reflecting the chaos and confusion that has taken hold of him.

As Lear continues to ramble, he is joined by Edgar, who is disguised as the madman Tom o' Bedlam. Edgar attempts to reason with Lear, but the king is too far gone to listen. He accuses Edgar of being a "philosopher," a term he uses to describe anyone who tries to make sense of the world around them.

Despite Lear's madness, Edgar manages to get through to him on some level. He reminds the king that he is still a king, regardless of his current circumstances, and urges him to take action to regain his throne. Though Lear is initially resistant, he eventually agrees to try to take back his kingdom.

The scene ends with Lear and Edgar leaving the stage together, their fate uncertain. The audience is left to ponder the tragic events that have unfolded and wonder what the future holds for these two characters.

Enter, with drum and colours, CORDELIA, Doctor, and Soldiers

Alack, 'tis he: why, he was met even now
Link: 4.4.1
As mad as the vex'd sea; singing aloud;
Link: 4.4.2
Crown'd with rank fumiter and furrow-weeds,
Link: 4.4.3
With bur-docks, hemlock, nettles, cuckoo-flowers,
Link: 4.4.4
Darnel, and all the idle weeds that grow
Link: 4.4.5
In our sustaining corn. A century send forth;
Link: 4.4.6
Search every acre in the high-grown field,
Link: 4.4.7
And bring him to our eye.
Link: 4.4.8
What can man's wisdom
Link: 4.4.9
In the restoring his bereaved sense?
Link: 4.4.10
He that helps him take all my outward worth.
Link: 4.4.11

There is means, madam:
Link: 4.4.12
Our foster-nurse of nature is repose,
Link: 4.4.13
The which he lacks; that to provoke in him,
Link: 4.4.14
Are many simples operative, whose power
Link: 4.4.15
Will close the eye of anguish.
Link: 4.4.16

All blest secrets,
Link: 4.4.17
All you unpublish'd virtues of the earth,
Link: 4.4.18
Spring with my tears! be aidant and remediate
Link: 4.4.19
In the good man's distress! Seek, seek for him;
Link: 4.4.20
Lest his ungovern'd rage dissolve the life
Link: 4.4.21
That wants the means to lead it.
Link: 4.4.22

Enter a Messenger

News, madam;
Link: 4.4.23
The British powers are marching hitherward.
Link: 4.4.24

'Tis known before; our preparation stands
Link: 4.4.25
In expectation of them. O dear father,
Link: 4.4.26
It is thy business that I go about;
Link: 4.4.27
Therefore great France
Link: 4.4.28
My mourning and important tears hath pitied.
Link: 4.4.29
No blown ambition doth our arms incite,
Link: 4.4.30
But love, dear love, and our aged father's right:
Link: 4.4.31
Soon may I hear and see him!
Link: 4.4.32


SCENE V. Gloucester's castle.

Scene 5 of Act 4 sees the main character in the play, an aging king, wandering the countryside in a state of madness. He is accompanied by one of his daughters, who has betrayed him and taken away his power and wealth. As they wander, they encounter a group of poor farmers who offer them shelter for the night.

The king is initially hesitant to accept their offer, but his daughter convinces him to stay. As they settle in for the night, the king begins to rant and rave, cursing his daughter and expressing his anger and despair at his situation. The farmers watch on in confusion and sadness.

As the night wears on, the king's madness becomes more pronounced. He strips off his clothes and wanders naked through the storm, taunting the elements and expressing his anger at the world. Eventually, he collapses in exhaustion and is taken back to the shelter by his daughter and the farmers.

Scene 5 of Act 4 is a powerful and emotional moment in the play, illustrating the depths of the king's despair and the toll that his daughters' betrayal has taken on him. It is a poignant reminder of the importance of family and the dangers of greed and power, and a testament to the enduring power of Shakespeare's writing.


But are my brother's powers set forth?
Link: 4.5.1

Ay, madam.
Link: 4.5.2

Himself in person there?
Link: 4.5.3

Madam, with much ado:
Link: 4.5.4
Your sister is the better soldier.
Link: 4.5.5

Lord Edmund spake not with your lord at home?
Link: 4.5.6

No, madam.
Link: 4.5.7

What might import my sister's letter to him?
Link: 4.5.8

I know not, lady.
Link: 4.5.9

'Faith, he is posted hence on serious matter.
Link: 4.5.10
It was great ignorance, Gloucester's eyes being out,
Link: 4.5.11
To let him live: where he arrives he moves
Link: 4.5.12
All hearts against us: Edmund, I think, is gone,
Link: 4.5.13
In pity of his misery, to dispatch
Link: 4.5.14
His nighted life: moreover, to descry
Link: 4.5.15
The strength o' the enemy.
Link: 4.5.16

I must needs after him, madam, with my letter.
Link: 4.5.17

Our troops set forth to-morrow: stay with us;
Link: 4.5.18
The ways are dangerous.
Link: 4.5.19

I may not, madam:
Link: 4.5.20
My lady charged my duty in this business.
Link: 4.5.21

Why should she write to Edmund? Might not you
Link: 4.5.22
Transport her purposes by word? Belike,
Link: 4.5.23
Something--I know not what: I'll love thee much,
Link: 4.5.24
Let me unseal the letter.
Link: 4.5.25

Madam, I had rather--
Link: 4.5.26

I know your lady does not love her husband;
Link: 4.5.27
I am sure of that: and at her late being here
Link: 4.5.28
She gave strange oeillades and most speaking looks
Link: 4.5.29
To noble Edmund. I know you are of her bosom.
Link: 4.5.30

I, madam?
Link: 4.5.31

I speak in understanding; you are; I know't:
Link: 4.5.32
Therefore I do advise you, take this note:
Link: 4.5.33
My lord is dead; Edmund and I have talk'd;
Link: 4.5.34
And more convenient is he for my hand
Link: 4.5.35
Than for your lady's: you may gather more.
Link: 4.5.36
If you do find him, pray you, give him this;
Link: 4.5.37
And when your mistress hears thus much from you,
Link: 4.5.38
I pray, desire her call her wisdom to her.
Link: 4.5.39
So, fare you well.
Link: 4.5.40
If you do chance to hear of that blind traitor,
Link: 4.5.41
Preferment falls on him that cuts him off.
Link: 4.5.42

Would I could meet him, madam! I should show
Link: 4.5.43
What party I do follow.
Link: 4.5.44

Fare thee well.
Link: 4.5.45


SCENE VI. Fields near Dover.

Scene 6 of Act 4 begins with a conversation between Edgar, disguised as Poor Tom, and Gloucester. Gloucester is blind and is being led by his son, who he does not recognize. Edgar speaks in a mad manner, causing Gloucester to pity him. Gloucester offers Poor Tom some money and asks him to stay close by.

As they continue to talk, Lear enters the scene. He is also mad and has been wandering the countryside. Gloucester recognizes Lear's voice and they embrace. Lear tells Gloucester that he has been betrayed by his daughters and has lost everything. Gloucester tells Lear that he too has been betrayed by his own son, Edmund.

Gloucester decides to end his own life, feeling that he has nothing left to live for. Edgar, still disguised as Poor Tom, convinces Gloucester to let him lead him to the top of a cliff and pretend to jump off. Gloucester agrees and Edgar leads him to the edge of the cliff.

As Gloucester prepares to jump, Edgar tells him to stop and reveals his true identity. Gloucester is overjoyed to be reunited with his son and grateful for his life. They leave the scene together, with Edgar promising to lead Gloucester to safety.

The scene is filled with themes of betrayal, madness, and the love between a father and son. It is a pivotal moment in the play, setting up the final acts and leading to the ultimate downfall of the characters involved.

Enter GLOUCESTER, and EDGAR dressed like a peasant

When shall we come to the top of that same hill?
Link: 4.6.1

You do climb up it now: look, how we labour.
Link: 4.6.2

Methinks the ground is even.
Link: 4.6.3

Horrible steep.
Link: 4.6.4
Hark, do you hear the sea?
Link: 4.6.5

No, truly.
Link: 4.6.6

Why, then, your other senses grow imperfect
Link: 4.6.7
By your eyes' anguish.
Link: 4.6.8

So may it be, indeed:
Link: 4.6.9
Methinks thy voice is alter'd; and thou speak'st
Link: 4.6.10
In better phrase and matter than thou didst.
Link: 4.6.11

You're much deceived: in nothing am I changed
Link: 4.6.12
But in my garments.
Link: 4.6.13

Methinks you're better spoken.
Link: 4.6.14

Come on, sir; here's the place: stand still. How fearful
Link: 4.6.15
And dizzy 'tis, to cast one's eyes so low!
Link: 4.6.16
The crows and choughs that wing the midway air
Link: 4.6.17
Show scarce so gross as beetles: half way down
Link: 4.6.18
Hangs one that gathers samphire, dreadful trade!
Link: 4.6.19
Methinks he seems no bigger than his head:
Link: 4.6.20
The fishermen, that walk upon the beach,
Link: 4.6.21
Appear like mice; and yond tall anchoring bark,
Link: 4.6.22
Diminish'd to her cock; her cock, a buoy
Link: 4.6.23
Almost too small for sight: the murmuring surge,
Link: 4.6.24
That on the unnumber'd idle pebbles chafes,
Link: 4.6.25
Cannot be heard so high. I'll look no more;
Link: 4.6.26
Lest my brain turn, and the deficient sight
Link: 4.6.27
Topple down headlong.
Link: 4.6.28

Set me where you stand.
Link: 4.6.29

Give me your hand: you are now within a foot
Link: 4.6.30
Of the extreme verge: for all beneath the moon
Link: 4.6.31
Would I not leap upright.
Link: 4.6.32

Let go my hand.
Link: 4.6.33
Here, friend, 's another purse; in it a jewel
Link: 4.6.34
Well worth a poor man's taking: fairies and gods
Link: 4.6.35
Prosper it with thee! Go thou farther off;
Link: 4.6.36
Bid me farewell, and let me hear thee going.
Link: 4.6.37

Now fare you well, good sir.
Link: 4.6.38

With all my heart.
Link: 4.6.39

Why I do trifle thus with his despair
Link: 4.6.40
Is done to cure it.
Link: 4.6.41

(Kneeling) O you mighty gods!
Link: 4.6.42
This world I do renounce, and, in your sights,
Link: 4.6.43
Shake patiently my great affliction off:
Link: 4.6.44
If I could bear it longer, and not fall
Link: 4.6.45
To quarrel with your great opposeless wills,
Link: 4.6.46
My snuff and loathed part of nature should
Link: 4.6.47
Burn itself out. If Edgar live, O, bless him!
Link: 4.6.48
Now, fellow, fare thee well.
Link: 4.6.49

He falls forward

Gone, sir: farewell.
Link: 4.6.50
And yet I know not how conceit may rob
Link: 4.6.51
The treasury of life, when life itself
Link: 4.6.52
Yields to the theft: had he been where he thought,
Link: 4.6.53
By this, had thought been past. Alive or dead?
Link: 4.6.54
Ho, you sir! friend! Hear you, sir! speak!
Link: 4.6.55
Thus might he pass indeed: yet he revives.
Link: 4.6.56
What are you, sir?
Link: 4.6.57

Away, and let me die.
Link: 4.6.58

Hadst thou been aught but gossamer, feathers, air,
Link: 4.6.59
So many fathom down precipitating,
Link: 4.6.60
Thou'dst shiver'd like an egg: but thou dost breathe;
Link: 4.6.61
Hast heavy substance; bleed'st not; speak'st; art sound.
Link: 4.6.62
Ten masts at each make not the altitude
Link: 4.6.63
Which thou hast perpendicularly fell:
Link: 4.6.64
Thy life's a miracle. Speak yet again.
Link: 4.6.65

But have I fall'n, or no?
Link: 4.6.66

From the dread summit of this chalky bourn.
Link: 4.6.67
Look up a-height; the shrill-gorged lark so far
Link: 4.6.68
Cannot be seen or heard: do but look up.
Link: 4.6.69

Alack, I have no eyes.
Link: 4.6.70
Is wretchedness deprived that benefit,
Link: 4.6.71
To end itself by death? 'Twas yet some comfort,
Link: 4.6.72
When misery could beguile the tyrant's rage,
Link: 4.6.73
And frustrate his proud will.
Link: 4.6.74

Give me your arm:
Link: 4.6.75
Up: so. How is 't? Feel you your legs? You stand.
Link: 4.6.76

Too well, too well.
Link: 4.6.77

This is above all strangeness.
Link: 4.6.78
Upon the crown o' the cliff, what thing was that
Link: 4.6.79
Which parted from you?
Link: 4.6.80

A poor unfortunate beggar.
Link: 4.6.81

As I stood here below, methought his eyes
Link: 4.6.82
Were two full moons; he had a thousand noses,
Link: 4.6.83
Horns whelk'd and waved like the enridged sea:
Link: 4.6.84
It was some fiend; therefore, thou happy father,
Link: 4.6.85
Think that the clearest gods, who make them honours
Link: 4.6.86
Of men's impossibilities, have preserved thee.
Link: 4.6.87

I do remember now: henceforth I'll bear
Link: 4.6.88
Affliction till it do cry out itself
Link: 4.6.89
'Enough, enough,' and die. That thing you speak of,
Link: 4.6.90
I took it for a man; often 'twould say
Link: 4.6.91
'The fiend, the fiend:' he led me to that place.
Link: 4.6.92

Bear free and patient thoughts. But who comes here?
Link: 4.6.93
The safer sense will ne'er accommodate
Link: 4.6.94
His master thus.
Link: 4.6.95

No, they cannot touch me for coining; I am the
Link: 4.6.96
king himself.
Link: 4.6.97

O thou side-piercing sight!
Link: 4.6.98

Nature's above art in that respect. There's your
Link: 4.6.99
press-money. That fellow handles his bow like a
Link: 4.6.100
crow-keeper: draw me a clothier's yard. Look,
Link: 4.6.101
look, a mouse! Peace, peace; this piece of toasted
Link: 4.6.102
cheese will do 't. There's my gauntlet; I'll prove
Link: 4.6.103
it on a giant. Bring up the brown bills. O, well
Link: 4.6.104
flown, bird! i' the clout, i' the clout: hewgh!
Link: 4.6.105
Give the word.
Link: 4.6.106

Sweet marjoram.
Link: 4.6.107


I know that voice.
Link: 4.6.109

Ha! Goneril, with a white beard! They flattered
Link: 4.6.110
me like a dog; and told me I had white hairs in my
Link: 4.6.111
beard ere the black ones were there. To say 'ay'
Link: 4.6.112
and 'no' to every thing that I said!--'Ay' and 'no'
Link: 4.6.113
too was no good divinity. When the rain came to
Link: 4.6.114
wet me once, and the wind to make me chatter; when
Link: 4.6.115
the thunder would not peace at my bidding; there I
Link: 4.6.116
found 'em, there I smelt 'em out. Go to, they are
Link: 4.6.117
not men o' their words: they told me I was every
Link: 4.6.118
thing; 'tis a lie, I am not ague-proof.
Link: 4.6.119

The trick of that voice I do well remember:
Link: 4.6.120
Is 't not the king?
Link: 4.6.121

Ay, every inch a king:
Link: 4.6.122
When I do stare, see how the subject quakes.
Link: 4.6.123
I pardon that man's life. What was thy cause? Adultery?
Link: 4.6.124
Thou shalt not die: die for adultery! No:
Link: 4.6.125
The wren goes to 't, and the small gilded fly
Link: 4.6.126
Does lecher in my sight.
Link: 4.6.127
Let copulation thrive; for Gloucester's bastard son
Link: 4.6.128
Was kinder to his father than my daughters
Link: 4.6.129
Got 'tween the lawful sheets.
Link: 4.6.130
To 't, luxury, pell-mell! for I lack soldiers.
Link: 4.6.131
Behold yond simpering dame,
Link: 4.6.132
Whose face between her forks presages snow;
Link: 4.6.133
That minces virtue, and does shake the head
Link: 4.6.134
To hear of pleasure's name;
Link: 4.6.135
The fitchew, nor the soiled horse, goes to 't
Link: 4.6.136
With a more riotous appetite.
Link: 4.6.137
Down from the waist they are Centaurs,
Link: 4.6.138
Though women all above:
Link: 4.6.139
But to the girdle do the gods inherit,
Link: 4.6.140
Beneath is all the fiends';
Link: 4.6.141
There's hell, there's darkness, there's the
Link: 4.6.142
sulphurous pit,
Link: 4.6.143
Burning, scalding, stench, consumption; fie,
Link: 4.6.144
fie, fie! pah, pah! Give me an ounce of civet,
Link: 4.6.145
good apothecary, to sweeten my imagination:
Link: 4.6.146
there's money for thee.
Link: 4.6.147

O, let me kiss that hand!
Link: 4.6.148

Let me wipe it first; it smells of mortality.
Link: 4.6.149

O ruin'd piece of nature! This great world
Link: 4.6.150
Shall so wear out to nought. Dost thou know me?
Link: 4.6.151

I remember thine eyes well enough. Dost thou squiny
Link: 4.6.152
at me? No, do thy worst, blind Cupid! I'll not
Link: 4.6.153
love. Read thou this challenge; mark but the
Link: 4.6.154
penning of it.
Link: 4.6.155

Were all the letters suns, I could not see one.
Link: 4.6.156

I would not take this from report; it is,
Link: 4.6.157
And my heart breaks at it.
Link: 4.6.158


What, with the case of eyes?
Link: 4.6.160

O, ho, are you there with me? No eyes in your
Link: 4.6.161
head, nor no money in your purse? Your eyes are in
Link: 4.6.162
a heavy case, your purse in a light; yet you see how
Link: 4.6.163
this world goes.
Link: 4.6.164

I see it feelingly.
Link: 4.6.165

What, art mad? A man may see how this world goes
Link: 4.6.166
with no eyes. Look with thine ears: see how yond
Link: 4.6.167
justice rails upon yond simple thief. Hark, in
Link: 4.6.168
thine ear: change places; and, handy-dandy, which
Link: 4.6.169
is the justice, which is the thief? Thou hast seen
Link: 4.6.170
a farmer's dog bark at a beggar?
Link: 4.6.171

Ay, sir.
Link: 4.6.172

And the creature run from the cur? There thou
Link: 4.6.173
mightst behold the great image of authority: a
Link: 4.6.174
dog's obeyed in office.
Link: 4.6.175
Thou rascal beadle, hold thy bloody hand!
Link: 4.6.176
Why dost thou lash that whore? Strip thine own back;
Link: 4.6.177
Thou hotly lust'st to use her in that kind
Link: 4.6.178
For which thou whipp'st her. The usurer hangs the cozener.
Link: 4.6.179
Through tatter'd clothes small vices do appear;
Link: 4.6.180
Robes and furr'd gowns hide all. Plate sin with gold,
Link: 4.6.181
And the strong lance of justice hurtless breaks:
Link: 4.6.182
Arm it in rags, a pigmy's straw does pierce it.
Link: 4.6.183
None does offend, none, I say, none; I'll able 'em:
Link: 4.6.184
Take that of me, my friend, who have the power
Link: 4.6.185
To seal the accuser's lips. Get thee glass eyes;
Link: 4.6.186
And like a scurvy politician, seem
Link: 4.6.187
To see the things thou dost not. Now, now, now, now:
Link: 4.6.188
Pull off my boots: harder, harder: so.
Link: 4.6.189

O, matter and impertinency mix'd! Reason in madness!
Link: 4.6.190

If thou wilt weep my fortunes, take my eyes.
Link: 4.6.191
I know thee well enough; thy name is Gloucester:
Link: 4.6.192
Thou must be patient; we came crying hither:
Link: 4.6.193
Thou know'st, the first time that we smell the air,
Link: 4.6.194
We wawl and cry. I will preach to thee: mark.
Link: 4.6.195

Alack, alack the day!
Link: 4.6.196

When we are born, we cry that we are come
Link: 4.6.197
To this great stage of fools: this a good block;
Link: 4.6.198
It were a delicate stratagem, to shoe
Link: 4.6.199
A troop of horse with felt: I'll put 't in proof;
Link: 4.6.200
And when I have stol'n upon these sons-in-law,
Link: 4.6.201
Then, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill!
Link: 4.6.202

Enter a Gentleman, with Attendants

O, here he is: lay hand upon him. Sir,
Link: 4.6.203
Your most dear daughter--
Link: 4.6.204

No rescue? What, a prisoner? I am even
Link: 4.6.205
The natural fool of fortune. Use me well;
Link: 4.6.206
You shall have ransom. Let me have surgeons;
Link: 4.6.207
I am cut to the brains.
Link: 4.6.208

You shall have any thing.
Link: 4.6.209

No seconds? all myself?
Link: 4.6.210
Why, this would make a man a man of salt,
Link: 4.6.211
To use his eyes for garden water-pots,
Link: 4.6.212
Ay, and laying autumn's dust.
Link: 4.6.213

Good sir,--
Link: 4.6.214

I will die bravely, like a bridegroom. What!
Link: 4.6.215
I will be jovial: come, come; I am a king,
Link: 4.6.216
My masters, know you that.
Link: 4.6.217

You are a royal one, and we obey you.
Link: 4.6.218

Then there's life in't. Nay, if you get it, you
Link: 4.6.219
shall get it with running. Sa, sa, sa, sa.
Link: 4.6.220

Exit running; Attendants follow

A sight most pitiful in the meanest wretch,
Link: 4.6.221
Past speaking of in a king! Thou hast one daughter,
Link: 4.6.222
Who redeems nature from the general curse
Link: 4.6.223
Which twain have brought her to.
Link: 4.6.224

Hail, gentle sir.
Link: 4.6.225

Sir, speed you: what's your will?
Link: 4.6.226

Do you hear aught, sir, of a battle toward?
Link: 4.6.227

Most sure and vulgar: every one hears that,
Link: 4.6.228
Which can distinguish sound.
Link: 4.6.229

But, by your favour,
Link: 4.6.230
How near's the other army?
Link: 4.6.231

Near and on speedy foot; the main descry
Link: 4.6.232
Stands on the hourly thought.
Link: 4.6.233

I thank you, sir: that's all.
Link: 4.6.234

Though that the queen on special cause is here,
Link: 4.6.235
Her army is moved on.
Link: 4.6.236

I thank you, sir.
Link: 4.6.237

Exit Gentleman

You ever-gentle gods, take my breath from me:
Link: 4.6.238
Let not my worser spirit tempt me again
Link: 4.6.239
To die before you please!
Link: 4.6.240

Well pray you, father.
Link: 4.6.241

Now, good sir, what are you?
Link: 4.6.242

A most poor man, made tame to fortune's blows;
Link: 4.6.243
Who, by the art of known and feeling sorrows,
Link: 4.6.244
Am pregnant to good pity. Give me your hand,
Link: 4.6.245
I'll lead you to some biding.
Link: 4.6.246

Hearty thanks:
Link: 4.6.247
The bounty and the benison of heaven
Link: 4.6.248
To boot, and boot!
Link: 4.6.249


A proclaim'd prize! Most happy!
Link: 4.6.250
That eyeless head of thine was first framed flesh
Link: 4.6.251
To raise my fortunes. Thou old unhappy traitor,
Link: 4.6.252
Briefly thyself remember: the sword is out
Link: 4.6.253
That must destroy thee.
Link: 4.6.254

Now let thy friendly hand
Link: 4.6.255
Put strength enough to't.
Link: 4.6.256

EDGAR interposes

Wherefore, bold peasant,
Link: 4.6.257
Darest thou support a publish'd traitor? Hence;
Link: 4.6.258
Lest that the infection of his fortune take
Link: 4.6.259
Like hold on thee. Let go his arm.
Link: 4.6.260

Ch'ill not let go, zir, without vurther 'casion.
Link: 4.6.261

Let go, slave, or thou diest!
Link: 4.6.262

Good gentleman, go your gait, and let poor volk
Link: 4.6.263
pass. An chud ha' bin zwaggered out of my life,
Link: 4.6.264
'twould not ha' bin zo long as 'tis by a vortnight.
Link: 4.6.265
Nay, come not near th' old man; keep out, che vor
Link: 4.6.266
ye, or ise try whether your costard or my ballow be
Link: 4.6.267
the harder: ch'ill be plain with you.
Link: 4.6.268

Out, dunghill!
Link: 4.6.269

Ch'ill pick your teeth, zir: come; no matter vor
Link: 4.6.270
your foins.
Link: 4.6.271

They fight, and EDGAR knocks him down

Slave, thou hast slain me: villain, take my purse:
Link: 4.6.272
If ever thou wilt thrive, bury my body;
Link: 4.6.273
And give the letters which thou find'st about me
Link: 4.6.274
To Edmund earl of Gloucester; seek him out
Link: 4.6.275
Upon the British party: O, untimely death!
Link: 4.6.276


I know thee well: a serviceable villain;
Link: 4.6.277
As duteous to the vices of thy mistress
Link: 4.6.278
As badness would desire.
Link: 4.6.279

What, is he dead?
Link: 4.6.280

Sit you down, father; rest you
Link: 4.6.281
Let's see these pockets: the letters that he speaks of
Link: 4.6.282
May be my friends. He's dead; I am only sorry
Link: 4.6.283
He had no other death's-man. Let us see:
Link: 4.6.284
Leave, gentle wax; and, manners, blame us not:
Link: 4.6.285
To know our enemies' minds, we'ld rip their hearts;
Link: 4.6.286
Their papers, is more lawful.
Link: 4.6.287
'Let our reciprocal vows be remembered. You have
Link: 4.6.288
many opportunities to cut him off: if your will
Link: 4.6.289
want not, time and place will be fruitfully offered.
Link: 4.6.290
There is nothing done, if he return the conqueror:
Link: 4.6.291
then am I the prisoner, and his bed my goal; from
Link: 4.6.292
the loathed warmth whereof deliver me, and supply
Link: 4.6.293
the place for your labour.
Link: 4.6.294
'Your--wife, so I would say--
Link: 4.6.295
'Affectionate servant,
Link: 4.6.296
Link: 4.6.297
O undistinguish'd space of woman's will!
Link: 4.6.298
A plot upon her virtuous husband's life;
Link: 4.6.299
And the exchange my brother! Here, in the sands,
Link: 4.6.300
Thee I'll rake up, the post unsanctified
Link: 4.6.301
Of murderous lechers: and in the mature time
Link: 4.6.302
With this ungracious paper strike the sight
Link: 4.6.303
Of the death practised duke: for him 'tis well
Link: 4.6.304
That of thy death and business I can tell.
Link: 4.6.305

The king is mad: how stiff is my vile sense,
Link: 4.6.306
That I stand up, and have ingenious feeling
Link: 4.6.307
Of my huge sorrows! Better I were distract:
Link: 4.6.308
So should my thoughts be sever'd from my griefs,
Link: 4.6.309
And woes by wrong imaginations lose
Link: 4.6.310
The knowledge of themselves.
Link: 4.6.311

Give me your hand:
Link: 4.6.312
Far off, methinks, I hear the beaten drum:
Link: 4.6.313
Come, father, I'll bestow you with a friend.
Link: 4.6.314


SCENE VII. A tent in the French camp. LEAR on a bed asleep, soft music playing; Gentleman, and others attending.

In Scene 7 of Act 4, a blind and distraught King is wandering around in a storm with his loyal servant. They come across a hovel and seek shelter there. The hovel is occupied by a madman who is singing and raving. The King realizes that even the lowest of men can be driven to madness and despair. He also realizes the true nature of his daughters and their betrayal of him. The King's servant tries to comfort him and urges him to seek the help of his other daughter, Cordelia. The King agrees and they set off towards her.

Enter CORDELIA, KENT, and Doctor

O thou good Kent, how shall I live and work,
Link: 4.7.1
To match thy goodness? My life will be too short,
Link: 4.7.2
And every measure fail me.
Link: 4.7.3

To be acknowledged, madam, is o'erpaid.
Link: 4.7.4
All my reports go with the modest truth;
Link: 4.7.5
Nor more nor clipp'd, but so.
Link: 4.7.6

Be better suited:
Link: 4.7.7
These weeds are memories of those worser hours:
Link: 4.7.8
I prithee, put them off.
Link: 4.7.9

Pardon me, dear madam;
Link: 4.7.10
Yet to be known shortens my made intent:
Link: 4.7.11
My boon I make it, that you know me not
Link: 4.7.12
Till time and I think meet.
Link: 4.7.13

Then be't so, my good lord.
Link: 4.7.14
How does the king?
Link: 4.7.15

Madam, sleeps still.
Link: 4.7.16

O you kind gods,
Link: 4.7.17
Cure this great breach in his abused nature!
Link: 4.7.18
The untuned and jarring senses, O, wind up
Link: 4.7.19
Of this child-changed father!
Link: 4.7.20

So please your majesty
Link: 4.7.21
That we may wake the king: he hath slept long.
Link: 4.7.22

Be govern'd by your knowledge, and proceed
Link: 4.7.23
I' the sway of your own will. Is he array'd?
Link: 4.7.24

Ay, madam; in the heaviness of his sleep
Link: 4.7.25
We put fresh garments on him.
Link: 4.7.26

Be by, good madam, when we do awake him;
Link: 4.7.27
I doubt not of his temperance.
Link: 4.7.28

Very well.
Link: 4.7.29

Please you, draw near. Louder the music there!
Link: 4.7.30

O my dear father! Restoration hang
Link: 4.7.31
Thy medicine on my lips; and let this kiss
Link: 4.7.32
Repair those violent harms that my two sisters
Link: 4.7.33
Have in thy reverence made!
Link: 4.7.34

Kind and dear princess!
Link: 4.7.35

Had you not been their father, these white flakes
Link: 4.7.36
Had challenged pity of them. Was this a face
Link: 4.7.37
To be opposed against the warring winds?
Link: 4.7.38
To stand against the deep dread-bolted thunder?
Link: 4.7.39
In the most terrible and nimble stroke
Link: 4.7.40
Of quick, cross lightning? to watch--poor perdu!--
Link: 4.7.41
With this thin helm? Mine enemy's dog,
Link: 4.7.42
Though he had bit me, should have stood that night
Link: 4.7.43
Against my fire; and wast thou fain, poor father,
Link: 4.7.44
To hovel thee with swine, and rogues forlorn,
Link: 4.7.45
In short and musty straw? Alack, alack!
Link: 4.7.46
'Tis wonder that thy life and wits at once
Link: 4.7.47
Had not concluded all. He wakes; speak to him.
Link: 4.7.48

Madam, do you; 'tis fittest.
Link: 4.7.49

How does my royal lord? How fares your majesty?
Link: 4.7.50

You do me wrong to take me out o' the grave:
Link: 4.7.51
Thou art a soul in bliss; but I am bound
Link: 4.7.52
Upon a wheel of fire, that mine own tears
Link: 4.7.53
Do scald like moulten lead.
Link: 4.7.54

Sir, do you know me?
Link: 4.7.55

You are a spirit, I know: when did you die?
Link: 4.7.56

Still, still, far wide!
Link: 4.7.57

He's scarce awake: let him alone awhile.
Link: 4.7.58

Where have I been? Where am I? Fair daylight?
Link: 4.7.59
I am mightily abused. I should e'en die with pity,
Link: 4.7.60
To see another thus. I know not what to say.
Link: 4.7.61
I will not swear these are my hands: let's see;
Link: 4.7.62
I feel this pin prick. Would I were assured
Link: 4.7.63
Of my condition!
Link: 4.7.64

O, look upon me, sir,
Link: 4.7.65
And hold your hands in benediction o'er me:
Link: 4.7.66
No, sir, you must not kneel.
Link: 4.7.67

Pray, do not mock me:
Link: 4.7.68
I am a very foolish fond old man,
Link: 4.7.69
Fourscore and upward, not an hour more nor less;
Link: 4.7.70
And, to deal plainly,
Link: 4.7.71
I fear I am not in my perfect mind.
Link: 4.7.72
Methinks I should know you, and know this man;
Link: 4.7.73
Yet I am doubtful for I am mainly ignorant
Link: 4.7.74
What place this is; and all the skill I have
Link: 4.7.75
Remembers not these garments; nor I know not
Link: 4.7.76
Where I did lodge last night. Do not laugh at me;
Link: 4.7.77
For, as I am a man, I think this lady
Link: 4.7.78
To be my child Cordelia.
Link: 4.7.79

And so I am, I am.
Link: 4.7.80

Be your tears wet? yes, 'faith. I pray, weep not:
Link: 4.7.81
If you have poison for me, I will drink it.
Link: 4.7.82
I know you do not love me; for your sisters
Link: 4.7.83
Have, as I do remember, done me wrong:
Link: 4.7.84
You have some cause, they have not.
Link: 4.7.85

No cause, no cause.
Link: 4.7.86

Am I in France?
Link: 4.7.87

In your own kingdom, sir.
Link: 4.7.88

Do not abuse me.
Link: 4.7.89

Be comforted, good madam: the great rage,
Link: 4.7.90
You see, is kill'd in him: and yet it is danger
Link: 4.7.91
To make him even o'er the time he has lost.
Link: 4.7.92
Desire him to go in; trouble him no more
Link: 4.7.93
Till further settling.
Link: 4.7.94

Will't please your highness walk?
Link: 4.7.95

You must bear with me:
Link: 4.7.96
Pray you now, forget and forgive: I am old and foolish.
Link: 4.7.97

Exeunt all but KENT and Gentleman

Holds it true, sir, that the Duke of Cornwall was so slain?
Link: 4.7.98

Most certain, sir.
Link: 4.7.99

Who is conductor of his people?
Link: 4.7.100

As 'tis said, the bastard son of Gloucester.
Link: 4.7.101

They say Edgar, his banished son, is with the Earl
Link: 4.7.102
of Kent in Germany.
Link: 4.7.103

Report is changeable. 'Tis time to look about; the
Link: 4.7.104
powers of the kingdom approach apace.
Link: 4.7.105

The arbitrement is like to be bloody. Fare you
Link: 4.7.106
well, sir.
Link: 4.7.107


My point and period will be throughly wrought,
Link: 4.7.108
Or well or ill, as this day's battle's fought.
Link: 4.7.109


Act V

Act 5 of King Lear is the final act of the play and begins with the wounded Edmund, who has betrayed his father and brother, being brought to the stage. He confesses his love for Goneril's sister, Regan, and his desire to kill Edgar. However, before he can carry out his plan, Edgar challenges him to a duel and kills him.

Meanwhile, Lear, who has been wandering in the storm with his loyal servant, Kent, and his Fool, has been captured by Cordelia's army. Cordelia, who has forgiven her father, orders her soldiers to treat him with kindness and tenderness. Lear, who has been driven to the brink of insanity, is finally reunited with Cordelia. However, their reunion is short-lived as Cordelia is later hanged by Edmund's orders.

Lear's grief over the loss of his daughter causes him to die of a broken heart. Before he dies, he carries Cordelia's body on stage and delivers the famous lines, "Howl, howl, howl, howl! O, you are men of stones! Had I your tongues and eyes, I'd use them so that heaven's vault should crack. She's gone forever!"

The play ends with the deaths of Lear and Cordelia and the remaining characters left to reflect on the tragic events that have unfolded. The audience is left with a sense of the fragility of human life and the consequences of greed, betrayal, and revenge.

SCENE I. The British camp, near Dover.

Scene 1 of Act 5 begins with Edmund, the Earl of Gloucester's illegitimate son, ordering his soldiers to watch out for King Lear, who has been wandering aimlessly on the heath in a state of madness. Edmund plans to capture Lear and his loyal followers and bring them to the Duke of Cornwall, who has promised to reward him for his loyalty.

As Edmund leaves, King Lear enters, accompanied by his loyal follower, Kent. Lear is still in a state of madness, but he has moments of clarity in which he recognizes Kent and expresses regret for the way he treated him in the past. Kent tells Lear that Cordelia, his youngest daughter, has been leading an army against the Duke of Cornwall and that they are coming to his aid.

Just then, a messenger arrives with news that the Duke of Cornwall has been killed and that his wife, Regan, has taken over the leadership of their army. Lear is overjoyed at the news and decides to go to Regan's castle to seek refuge and reunite with his daughter, Cordelia.

Meanwhile, Edmund has captured Lear's loyal followers and is planning to execute them. However, he is interrupted by the arrival of Regan, who has come to take charge of the situation. Edmund sees this as an opportunity to win Regan's favor and suggests that they capture Lear and Cordelia, who are on their way to the castle.

Regan agrees, and they set a trap for Lear and Cordelia. When they arrive, Regan and Edmund turn on them and order their soldiers to capture them. A battle ensues, and Lear and Cordelia are eventually taken prisoner.

The scene ends with Edmund gloating over his victory and his plans to marry both Regan and her sister, Goneril, who has also arrived at the castle. However, he is interrupted by a messenger who brings news that the Duke of Albany, Regan's husband, has raised an army against them and is on his way to the castle to fight them.

Enter, with drum and colours, EDMUND, REGAN, Gentlemen, and Soldiers. EDMUND Know of the duke if his last purpose hold, Or whether since he is advised by aught To change the course: he's full of alteration And self-reproving: bring his constant pleasure. [To a Gentleman, who goes out

Our sister's man is certainly miscarried.
Link: 5.1.1

'Tis to be doubted, madam.
Link: 5.1.2

Now, sweet lord,
Link: 5.1.3
You know the goodness I intend upon you:
Link: 5.1.4
Tell me--but truly--but then speak the truth,
Link: 5.1.5
Do you not love my sister?
Link: 5.1.6

In honour'd love.
Link: 5.1.7

But have you never found my brother's way
Link: 5.1.8
To the forfended place?
Link: 5.1.9

That thought abuses you.
Link: 5.1.10

I am doubtful that you have been conjunct
Link: 5.1.11
And bosom'd with her, as far as we call hers.
Link: 5.1.12

No, by mine honour, madam.
Link: 5.1.13

I never shall endure her: dear my lord,
Link: 5.1.14
Be not familiar with her.
Link: 5.1.15

Fear me not:
Link: 5.1.16
She and the duke her husband!
Link: 5.1.17

Enter, with drum and colours, ALBANY, GONERIL, and Soldiers

(Aside) I had rather lose the battle than that sister
Link: 5.1.18
Should loosen him and me.
Link: 5.1.19

Our very loving sister, well be-met.
Link: 5.1.20
Sir, this I hear; the king is come to his daughter,
Link: 5.1.21
With others whom the rigor of our state
Link: 5.1.22
Forced to cry out. Where I could not be honest,
Link: 5.1.23
I never yet was valiant: for this business,
Link: 5.1.24
It toucheth us, as France invades our land,
Link: 5.1.25
Not bolds the king, with others, whom, I fear,
Link: 5.1.26
Most just and heavy causes make oppose.
Link: 5.1.27

Sir, you speak nobly.
Link: 5.1.28

Why is this reason'd?
Link: 5.1.29

Combine together 'gainst the enemy;
Link: 5.1.30
For these domestic and particular broils
Link: 5.1.31
Are not the question here.
Link: 5.1.32

Let's then determine
Link: 5.1.33
With the ancient of war on our proceedings.
Link: 5.1.34

I shall attend you presently at your tent.
Link: 5.1.35

Sister, you'll go with us?
Link: 5.1.36


'Tis most convenient; pray you, go with us.
Link: 5.1.38

(Aside) O, ho, I know the riddle.--I will go.
Link: 5.1.39

As they are going out, enter EDGAR disguised

If e'er your grace had speech with man so poor,
Link: 5.1.40
Hear me one word.
Link: 5.1.41

I'll overtake you. Speak.
Link: 5.1.42

Exeunt all but ALBANY and EDGAR

Before you fight the battle, ope this letter.
Link: 5.1.43
If you have victory, let the trumpet sound
Link: 5.1.44
For him that brought it: wretched though I seem,
Link: 5.1.45
I can produce a champion that will prove
Link: 5.1.46
What is avouched there. If you miscarry,
Link: 5.1.47
Your business of the world hath so an end,
Link: 5.1.48
And machination ceases. Fortune love you.
Link: 5.1.49

Stay till I have read the letter.
Link: 5.1.50

I was forbid it.
Link: 5.1.51
When time shall serve, let but the herald cry,
Link: 5.1.52
And I'll appear again.
Link: 5.1.53

Why, fare thee well: I will o'erlook thy paper.
Link: 5.1.54


Re-enter EDMUND

The enemy's in view; draw up your powers.
Link: 5.1.55
Here is the guess of their true strength and forces
Link: 5.1.56
By diligent discovery; but your haste
Link: 5.1.57
Is now urged on you.
Link: 5.1.58

We will greet the time.
Link: 5.1.59


To both these sisters have I sworn my love;
Link: 5.1.60
Each jealous of the other, as the stung
Link: 5.1.61
Are of the adder. Which of them shall I take?
Link: 5.1.62
Both? one? or neither? Neither can be enjoy'd,
Link: 5.1.63
If both remain alive: to take the widow
Link: 5.1.64
Exasperates, makes mad her sister Goneril;
Link: 5.1.65
And hardly shall I carry out my side,
Link: 5.1.66
Her husband being alive. Now then we'll use
Link: 5.1.67
His countenance for the battle; which being done,
Link: 5.1.68
Let her who would be rid of him devise
Link: 5.1.69
His speedy taking off. As for the mercy
Link: 5.1.70
Which he intends to Lear and to Cordelia,
Link: 5.1.71
The battle done, and they within our power,
Link: 5.1.72
Shall never see his pardon; for my state
Link: 5.1.73
Stands on me to defend, not to debate.
Link: 5.1.74


SCENE II. A field between the two camps.

Scene 2 of Act 5 takes place in a tent on the battlefield where the British army is preparing to fight against the French. Edmund enters the tent with two soldiers and orders them to bring in Cordelia and to treat her with kindness and respect.

Cordelia is brought in, and she expresses her love for her father, King Lear, and her hope that they can reconcile. Edmund, however, orders her to be taken away and placed in custody, saying that he will decide what to do with her later.

Albany, who has just arrived on the battlefield, confronts Edmund about his actions towards Cordelia and demands that she be released. Edmund refuses and challenges Albany to a duel, which Albany accepts.

Meanwhile, Goneril, who has been poisoned by Regan, enters the tent and confesses her wrongdoing to Albany. She then kills herself with a dagger. Edmund, who had been planning to marry Goneril, is shocked and vows to avenge her death.

The scene ends with Edmund and Albany preparing to fight each other, and with Cordelia being taken away to prison. The audience is left wondering what will happen next in this tragic tale of family betrayal and political power struggles.

Alarum within. Enter, with drum and colours, KING LEAR, CORDELIA, and Soldiers, over the stage; and exeunt


Here, father, take the shadow of this tree
Link: 5.2.1
For your good host; pray that the right may thrive:
Link: 5.2.2
If ever I return to you again,
Link: 5.2.3
I'll bring you comfort.
Link: 5.2.4

Grace go with you, sir!
Link: 5.2.5


Alarum and retreat within. Re-enter EDGAR

Away, old man; give me thy hand; away!
Link: 5.2.6
King Lear hath lost, he and his daughter ta'en:
Link: 5.2.7
Give me thy hand; come on.
Link: 5.2.8

No farther, sir; a man may rot even here.
Link: 5.2.9

What, in ill thoughts again? Men must endure
Link: 5.2.10
Their going hence, even as their coming hither;
Link: 5.2.11
Ripeness is all: come on.
Link: 5.2.12

And that's true too.
Link: 5.2.13


SCENE III. The British camp near Dover.

In Scene 3 of Act 5, two characters are discussing the events that have led up to the current situation. The first character is upset about the way things have turned out and feels that the blame lies with the second character. The second character defends their actions and tries to explain their reasoning.

As the conversation continues, tensions rise and the first character becomes more and more angry. They accuse the second character of being a liar and a traitor. The second character tries to defend themselves, but the first character is not willing to listen.

Eventually, the first character becomes so enraged that they attack the second character. The scene ends with the two characters fighting and it is unclear what will happen next.

Overall, this scene is a tense and dramatic moment in the play. It highlights the themes of betrayal, anger, and violence that are present throughout the story. It also shows how emotions can boil over and lead to destructive behavior.

Enter, in conquest, with drum and colours, EDMUND, KING LEAR and CORDELIA, prisoners; Captain, Soldiers, c

Some officers take them away: good guard,
Link: 5.3.1
Until their greater pleasures first be known
Link: 5.3.2
That are to censure them.
Link: 5.3.3

We are not the first
Link: 5.3.4
Who, with best meaning, have incurr'd the worst.
Link: 5.3.5
For thee, oppressed king, am I cast down;
Link: 5.3.6
Myself could else out-frown false fortune's frown.
Link: 5.3.7
Shall we not see these daughters and these sisters?
Link: 5.3.8

No, no, no, no! Come, let's away to prison:
Link: 5.3.9
We two alone will sing like birds i' the cage:
Link: 5.3.10
When thou dost ask me blessing, I'll kneel down,
Link: 5.3.11
And ask of thee forgiveness: so we'll live,
Link: 5.3.12
And pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh
Link: 5.3.13
At gilded butterflies, and hear poor rogues
Link: 5.3.14
Talk of court news; and we'll talk with them too,
Link: 5.3.15
Who loses and who wins; who's in, who's out;
Link: 5.3.16
And take upon's the mystery of things,
Link: 5.3.17
As if we were God's spies: and we'll wear out,
Link: 5.3.18
In a wall'd prison, packs and sects of great ones,
Link: 5.3.19
That ebb and flow by the moon.
Link: 5.3.20

Take them away.
Link: 5.3.21

Upon such sacrifices, my Cordelia,
Link: 5.3.22
The gods themselves throw incense. Have I caught thee?
Link: 5.3.23
He that parts us shall bring a brand from heaven,
Link: 5.3.24
And fire us hence like foxes. Wipe thine eyes;
Link: 5.3.25
The good-years shall devour them, flesh and fell,
Link: 5.3.26
Ere they shall make us weep: we'll see 'em starve
Link: 5.3.27
first. Come.
Link: 5.3.28

Exeunt KING LEAR and CORDELIA, guarded

Come hither, captain; hark.
Link: 5.3.29
Take thou this note;
Link: 5.3.30
go follow them to prison:
Link: 5.3.31
One step I have advanced thee; if thou dost
Link: 5.3.32
As this instructs thee, thou dost make thy way
Link: 5.3.33
To noble fortunes: know thou this, that men
Link: 5.3.34
Are as the time is: to be tender-minded
Link: 5.3.35
Does not become a sword: thy great employment
Link: 5.3.36
Will not bear question; either say thou'lt do 't,
Link: 5.3.37
Or thrive by other means.
Link: 5.3.38

I'll do 't, my lord.
Link: 5.3.39

About it; and write happy when thou hast done.
Link: 5.3.40
Mark, I say, instantly; and carry it so
Link: 5.3.41
As I have set it down.
Link: 5.3.42

I cannot draw a cart, nor eat dried oats;
Link: 5.3.43
If it be man's work, I'll do 't.
Link: 5.3.44


Flourish. Enter ALBANY, GONERIL, REGAN, another Captain, and Soldiers

Sir, you have shown to-day your valiant strain,
Link: 5.3.45
And fortune led you well: you have the captives
Link: 5.3.46
That were the opposites of this day's strife:
Link: 5.3.47
We do require them of you, so to use them
Link: 5.3.48
As we shall find their merits and our safety
Link: 5.3.49
May equally determine.
Link: 5.3.50

Sir, I thought it fit
Link: 5.3.51
To send the old and miserable king
Link: 5.3.52
To some retention and appointed guard;
Link: 5.3.53
Whose age has charms in it, whose title more,
Link: 5.3.54
To pluck the common bosom on his side,
Link: 5.3.55
An turn our impress'd lances in our eyes
Link: 5.3.56
Which do command them. With him I sent the queen;
Link: 5.3.57
My reason all the same; and they are ready
Link: 5.3.58
To-morrow, or at further space, to appear
Link: 5.3.59
Where you shall hold your session. At this time
Link: 5.3.60
We sweat and bleed: the friend hath lost his friend;
Link: 5.3.61
And the best quarrels, in the heat, are cursed
Link: 5.3.62
By those that feel their sharpness:
Link: 5.3.63
The question of Cordelia and her father
Link: 5.3.64
Requires a fitter place.
Link: 5.3.65

Sir, by your patience,
Link: 5.3.66
I hold you but a subject of this war,
Link: 5.3.67
Not as a brother.
Link: 5.3.68

That's as we list to grace him.
Link: 5.3.69
Methinks our pleasure might have been demanded,
Link: 5.3.70
Ere you had spoke so far. He led our powers;
Link: 5.3.71
Bore the commission of my place and person;
Link: 5.3.72
The which immediacy may well stand up,
Link: 5.3.73
And call itself your brother.
Link: 5.3.74

Not so hot:
Link: 5.3.75
In his own grace he doth exalt himself,
Link: 5.3.76
More than in your addition.
Link: 5.3.77

In my rights,
Link: 5.3.78
By me invested, he compeers the best.
Link: 5.3.79

That were the most, if he should husband you.
Link: 5.3.80

Jesters do oft prove prophets.
Link: 5.3.81

Holla, holla!
Link: 5.3.82
That eye that told you so look'd but a-squint.
Link: 5.3.83

Lady, I am not well; else I should answer
Link: 5.3.84
From a full-flowing stomach. General,
Link: 5.3.85
Take thou my soldiers, prisoners, patrimony;
Link: 5.3.86
Dispose of them, of me; the walls are thine:
Link: 5.3.87
Witness the world, that I create thee here
Link: 5.3.88
My lord and master.
Link: 5.3.89

Mean you to enjoy him?
Link: 5.3.90

The let-alone lies not in your good will.
Link: 5.3.91

Nor in thine, lord.
Link: 5.3.92

Half-blooded fellow, yes.
Link: 5.3.93

(To EDMUND) Let the drum strike, and prove my title thine.
Link: 5.3.94

Stay yet; hear reason. Edmund, I arrest thee
Link: 5.3.95
On capital treason; and, in thine attaint,
Link: 5.3.96
This gilded serpent
Link: 5.3.97
For your claim, fair sister,
Link: 5.3.98
I bar it in the interest of my wife:
Link: 5.3.99
'Tis she is sub-contracted to this lord,
Link: 5.3.100
And I, her husband, contradict your bans.
Link: 5.3.101
If you will marry, make your loves to me,
Link: 5.3.102
My lady is bespoke.
Link: 5.3.103

An interlude!
Link: 5.3.104

Thou art arm'd, Gloucester: let the trumpet sound:
Link: 5.3.105
If none appear to prove upon thy head
Link: 5.3.106
Thy heinous, manifest, and many treasons,
Link: 5.3.107
There is my pledge;
Link: 5.3.108
I'll prove it on thy heart,
Link: 5.3.109
Ere I taste bread, thou art in nothing less
Link: 5.3.110
Than I have here proclaim'd thee.
Link: 5.3.111

Sick, O, sick!
Link: 5.3.112

(Aside) If not, I'll ne'er trust medicine.
Link: 5.3.113

There's my exchange:
Link: 5.3.114
what in the world he is
Link: 5.3.115
That names me traitor, villain-like he lies:
Link: 5.3.116
Call by thy trumpet: he that dares approach,
Link: 5.3.117
On him, on you, who not? I will maintain
Link: 5.3.118
My truth and honour firmly.
Link: 5.3.119

A herald, ho!
Link: 5.3.120

A herald, ho, a herald!
Link: 5.3.121

Trust to thy single virtue; for thy soldiers,
Link: 5.3.122
All levied in my name, have in my name
Link: 5.3.123
Took their discharge.
Link: 5.3.124

My sickness grows upon me.
Link: 5.3.125

She is not well; convey her to my tent.
Link: 5.3.126
Come hither, herald,--Let the trumpet sound,
Link: 5.3.127
And read out this.
Link: 5.3.128

Sound, trumpet!
Link: 5.3.129

A trumpet sounds

(Reads) 'If any man of quality or degree within
Link: 5.3.130
the lists of the army will maintain upon Edmund,
Link: 5.3.131
supposed Earl of Gloucester, that he is a manifold
Link: 5.3.132
traitor, let him appear by the third sound of the
Link: 5.3.133
trumpet: he is bold in his defence.'
Link: 5.3.134


First trumpet


Second trumpet


Trumpet answers within

Enter EDGAR, at the third sound, armed, with a trumpet before him

Ask him his purposes, why he appears
Link: 5.3.138
Upon this call o' the trumpet.
Link: 5.3.139

What are you?
Link: 5.3.140
Your name, your quality? and why you answer
Link: 5.3.141
This present summons?
Link: 5.3.142

Know, my name is lost;
Link: 5.3.143
By treason's tooth bare-gnawn and canker-bit:
Link: 5.3.144
Yet am I noble as the adversary
Link: 5.3.145
I come to cope.
Link: 5.3.146

Which is that adversary?
Link: 5.3.147

What's he that speaks for Edmund Earl of Gloucester?
Link: 5.3.148

Himself: what say'st thou to him?
Link: 5.3.149

Draw thy sword,
Link: 5.3.150
That, if my speech offend a noble heart,
Link: 5.3.151
Thy arm may do thee justice: here is mine.
Link: 5.3.152
Behold, it is the privilege of mine honours,
Link: 5.3.153
My oath, and my profession: I protest,
Link: 5.3.154
Maugre thy strength, youth, place, and eminence,
Link: 5.3.155
Despite thy victor sword and fire-new fortune,
Link: 5.3.156
Thy valour and thy heart, thou art a traitor;
Link: 5.3.157
False to thy gods, thy brother, and thy father;
Link: 5.3.158
Conspirant 'gainst this high-illustrious prince;
Link: 5.3.159
And, from the extremest upward of thy head
Link: 5.3.160
To the descent and dust below thy foot,
Link: 5.3.161
A most toad-spotted traitor. Say thou 'No,'
Link: 5.3.162
This sword, this arm, and my best spirits, are bent
Link: 5.3.163
To prove upon thy heart, whereto I speak,
Link: 5.3.164
Thou liest.
Link: 5.3.165

In wisdom I should ask thy name;
Link: 5.3.166
But, since thy outside looks so fair and warlike,
Link: 5.3.167
And that thy tongue some say of breeding breathes,
Link: 5.3.168
What safe and nicely I might well delay
Link: 5.3.169
By rule of knighthood, I disdain and spurn:
Link: 5.3.170
Back do I toss these treasons to thy head;
Link: 5.3.171
With the hell-hated lie o'erwhelm thy heart;
Link: 5.3.172
Which, for they yet glance by and scarcely bruise,
Link: 5.3.173
This sword of mine shall give them instant way,
Link: 5.3.174
Where they shall rest for ever. Trumpets, speak!
Link: 5.3.175

Alarums. They fight. EDMUND falls

Save him, save him!
Link: 5.3.176

This is practise, Gloucester:
Link: 5.3.177
By the law of arms thou wast not bound to answer
Link: 5.3.178
An unknown opposite; thou art not vanquish'd,
Link: 5.3.179
But cozen'd and beguiled.
Link: 5.3.180

Shut your mouth, dame,
Link: 5.3.181
Or with this paper shall I stop it: Hold, sir:
Link: 5.3.182
Thou worse than any name, read thine own evil:
Link: 5.3.183
No tearing, lady: I perceive you know it.
Link: 5.3.184

Gives the letter to EDMUND

Say, if I do, the laws are mine, not thine:
Link: 5.3.185
Who can arraign me for't.
Link: 5.3.186

Most monstrous! oh!
Link: 5.3.187
Know'st thou this paper?
Link: 5.3.188

Ask me not what I know.
Link: 5.3.189


Go after her: she's desperate; govern her.
Link: 5.3.190

What you have charged me with, that have I done;
Link: 5.3.191
And more, much more; the time will bring it out:
Link: 5.3.192
'Tis past, and so am I. But what art thou
Link: 5.3.193
That hast this fortune on me? If thou'rt noble,
Link: 5.3.194
I do forgive thee.
Link: 5.3.195

Let's exchange charity.
Link: 5.3.196
I am no less in blood than thou art, Edmund;
Link: 5.3.197
If more, the more thou hast wrong'd me.
Link: 5.3.198
My name is Edgar, and thy father's son.
Link: 5.3.199
The gods are just, and of our pleasant vices
Link: 5.3.200
Make instruments to plague us:
Link: 5.3.201
The dark and vicious place where thee he got
Link: 5.3.202
Cost him his eyes.
Link: 5.3.203

Thou hast spoken right, 'tis true;
Link: 5.3.204
The wheel is come full circle: I am here.
Link: 5.3.205

Methought thy very gait did prophesy
Link: 5.3.206
A royal nobleness: I must embrace thee:
Link: 5.3.207
Let sorrow split my heart, if ever I
Link: 5.3.208
Did hate thee or thy father!
Link: 5.3.209

Worthy prince, I know't.
Link: 5.3.210

Where have you hid yourself?
Link: 5.3.211
How have you known the miseries of your father?
Link: 5.3.212

By nursing them, my lord. List a brief tale;
Link: 5.3.213
And when 'tis told, O, that my heart would burst!
Link: 5.3.214
The bloody proclamation to escape,
Link: 5.3.215
That follow'd me so near,--O, our lives' sweetness!
Link: 5.3.216
That we the pain of death would hourly die
Link: 5.3.217
Rather than die at once!--taught me to shift
Link: 5.3.218
Into a madman's rags; to assume a semblance
Link: 5.3.219
That very dogs disdain'd: and in this habit
Link: 5.3.220
Met I my father with his bleeding rings,
Link: 5.3.221
Their precious stones new lost: became his guide,
Link: 5.3.222
Led him, begg'd for him, saved him from despair;
Link: 5.3.223
Never,--O fault!--reveal'd myself unto him,
Link: 5.3.224
Until some half-hour past, when I was arm'd:
Link: 5.3.225
Not sure, though hoping, of this good success,
Link: 5.3.226
I ask'd his blessing, and from first to last
Link: 5.3.227
Told him my pilgrimage: but his flaw'd heart,
Link: 5.3.228
Alack, too weak the conflict to support!
Link: 5.3.229
'Twixt two extremes of passion, joy and grief,
Link: 5.3.230
Burst smilingly.
Link: 5.3.231

This speech of yours hath moved me,
Link: 5.3.232
And shall perchance do good: but speak you on;
Link: 5.3.233
You look as you had something more to say.
Link: 5.3.234

If there be more, more woeful, hold it in;
Link: 5.3.235
For I am almost ready to dissolve,
Link: 5.3.236
Hearing of this.
Link: 5.3.237

This would have seem'd a period
Link: 5.3.238
To such as love not sorrow; but another,
Link: 5.3.239
To amplify too much, would make much more,
Link: 5.3.240
And top extremity.
Link: 5.3.241
Whilst I was big in clamour came there in a man,
Link: 5.3.242
Who, having seen me in my worst estate,
Link: 5.3.243
Shunn'd my abhorr'd society; but then, finding
Link: 5.3.244
Who 'twas that so endured, with his strong arms
Link: 5.3.245
He fastened on my neck, and bellow'd out
Link: 5.3.246
As he'ld burst heaven; threw him on my father;
Link: 5.3.247
Told the most piteous tale of Lear and him
Link: 5.3.248
That ever ear received: which in recounting
Link: 5.3.249
His grief grew puissant and the strings of life
Link: 5.3.250
Began to crack: twice then the trumpets sounded,
Link: 5.3.251
And there I left him tranced.
Link: 5.3.252

But who was this?
Link: 5.3.253

Kent, sir, the banish'd Kent; who in disguise
Link: 5.3.254
Follow'd his enemy king, and did him service
Link: 5.3.255
Improper for a slave.
Link: 5.3.256

Enter a Gentleman, with a bloody knife

Help, help, O, help!
Link: 5.3.257

What kind of help?
Link: 5.3.258

Speak, man.
Link: 5.3.259

What means that bloody knife?
Link: 5.3.260

'Tis hot, it smokes;
Link: 5.3.261
It came even from the heart of--O, she's dead!
Link: 5.3.262

Who dead? speak, man.
Link: 5.3.263

Your lady, sir, your lady: and her sister
Link: 5.3.264
By her is poisoned; she hath confess'd it.
Link: 5.3.265

I was contracted to them both: all three
Link: 5.3.266
Now marry in an instant.
Link: 5.3.267

Here comes Kent.
Link: 5.3.268

Produce their bodies, be they alive or dead:
Link: 5.3.269
This judgment of the heavens, that makes us tremble,
Link: 5.3.270
Touches us not with pity.
Link: 5.3.271
O, is this he?
Link: 5.3.272
The time will not allow the compliment
Link: 5.3.273
Which very manners urges.
Link: 5.3.274

I am come
Link: 5.3.275
To bid my king and master aye good night:
Link: 5.3.276
Is he not here?
Link: 5.3.277

Great thing of us forgot!
Link: 5.3.278
Speak, Edmund, where's the king? and where's Cordelia?
Link: 5.3.279
See'st thou this object, Kent?
Link: 5.3.280

The bodies of GONERIL and REGAN are brought in

Alack, why thus?
Link: 5.3.281

Yet Edmund was beloved:
Link: 5.3.282
The one the other poison'd for my sake,
Link: 5.3.283
And after slew herself.
Link: 5.3.284

Even so. Cover their faces.
Link: 5.3.285

I pant for life: some good I mean to do,
Link: 5.3.286
Despite of mine own nature. Quickly send,
Link: 5.3.287
Be brief in it, to the castle; for my writ
Link: 5.3.288
Is on the life of Lear and on Cordelia:
Link: 5.3.289
Nay, send in time.
Link: 5.3.290

Run, run, O, run!
Link: 5.3.291

To who, my lord? Who hath the office? send
Link: 5.3.292
Thy token of reprieve.
Link: 5.3.293

Well thought on: take my sword,
Link: 5.3.294
Give it the captain.
Link: 5.3.295

Haste thee, for thy life.
Link: 5.3.296


He hath commission from thy wife and me
Link: 5.3.297
To hang Cordelia in the prison, and
Link: 5.3.298
To lay the blame upon her own despair,
Link: 5.3.299
That she fordid herself.
Link: 5.3.300

The gods defend her! Bear him hence awhile.
Link: 5.3.301

EDMUND is borne off

Re-enter KING LEAR, with CORDELIA dead in his arms; EDGAR, Captain, and others following

Howl, howl, howl, howl! O, you are men of stones:
Link: 5.3.302
Had I your tongues and eyes, I'ld use them so
Link: 5.3.303
That heaven's vault should crack. She's gone for ever!
Link: 5.3.304
I know when one is dead, and when one lives;
Link: 5.3.305
She's dead as earth. Lend me a looking-glass;
Link: 5.3.306
If that her breath will mist or stain the stone,
Link: 5.3.307
Why, then she lives.
Link: 5.3.308

Is this the promised end
Link: 5.3.309

Or image of that horror?
Link: 5.3.310

Fall, and cease!
Link: 5.3.311

This feather stirs; she lives! if it be so,
Link: 5.3.312
It is a chance which does redeem all sorrows
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That ever I have felt.
Link: 5.3.314

(Kneeling) O my good master!
Link: 5.3.315

Prithee, away.
Link: 5.3.316

'Tis noble Kent, your friend.
Link: 5.3.317

A plague upon you, murderers, traitors all!
Link: 5.3.318
I might have saved her; now she's gone for ever!
Link: 5.3.319
Cordelia, Cordelia! stay a little. Ha!
Link: 5.3.320
What is't thou say'st? Her voice was ever soft,
Link: 5.3.321
Gentle, and low, an excellent thing in woman.
Link: 5.3.322
I kill'd the slave that was a-hanging thee.
Link: 5.3.323

'Tis true, my lords, he did.
Link: 5.3.324

Did I not, fellow?
Link: 5.3.325
I have seen the day, with my good biting falchion
Link: 5.3.326
I would have made them skip: I am old now,
Link: 5.3.327
And these same crosses spoil me. Who are you?
Link: 5.3.328
Mine eyes are not o' the best: I'll tell you straight.
Link: 5.3.329

If fortune brag of two she loved and hated,
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One of them we behold.
Link: 5.3.331

This is a dull sight. Are you not Kent?
Link: 5.3.332

The same,
Link: 5.3.333
Your servant Kent: Where is your servant Caius?
Link: 5.3.334

He's a good fellow, I can tell you that;
Link: 5.3.335
He'll strike, and quickly too: he's dead and rotten.
Link: 5.3.336

No, my good lord; I am the very man,--
Link: 5.3.337

I'll see that straight.
Link: 5.3.338

That, from your first of difference and decay,
Link: 5.3.339
Have follow'd your sad steps.
Link: 5.3.340

You are welcome hither.
Link: 5.3.341

Nor no man else: all's cheerless, dark, and deadly.
Link: 5.3.342
Your eldest daughters have fordone them selves,
Link: 5.3.343
And desperately are dead.
Link: 5.3.344

Ay, so I think.
Link: 5.3.345

He knows not what he says: and vain it is
Link: 5.3.346
That we present us to him.
Link: 5.3.347

Very bootless.
Link: 5.3.348

Enter a Captain

Edmund is dead, my lord.
Link: 5.3.349

That's but a trifle here.
Link: 5.3.350
You lords and noble friends, know our intent.
Link: 5.3.351
What comfort to this great decay may come
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Shall be applied: for us we will resign,
Link: 5.3.353
During the life of this old majesty,
Link: 5.3.354
To him our absolute power:
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you, to your rights:
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With boot, and such addition as your honours
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Have more than merited. All friends shall taste
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The wages of their virtue, and all foes
Link: 5.3.359
The cup of their deservings. O, see, see!
Link: 5.3.360

And my poor fool is hang'd! No, no, no life!
Link: 5.3.361
Why should a dog, a horse, a rat, have life,
Link: 5.3.362
And thou no breath at all? Thou'lt come no more,
Link: 5.3.363
Never, never, never, never, never!
Link: 5.3.364
Pray you, undo this button: thank you, sir.
Link: 5.3.365
Do you see this? Look on her, look, her lips,
Link: 5.3.366
Look there, look there!
Link: 5.3.367


He faints! My lord, my lord!
Link: 5.3.368

Break, heart; I prithee, break!
Link: 5.3.369

Look up, my lord.
Link: 5.3.370

Vex not his ghost: O, let him pass! he hates him much
Link: 5.3.371
That would upon the rack of this tough world
Link: 5.3.372
Stretch him out longer.
Link: 5.3.373

He is gone, indeed.
Link: 5.3.374

The wonder is, he hath endured so long:
Link: 5.3.375
He but usurp'd his life.
Link: 5.3.376

Bear them from hence. Our present business
Link: 5.3.377
Is general woe.
Link: 5.3.378
Friends of my soul, you twain
Link: 5.3.379
Rule in this realm, and the gored state sustain.
Link: 5.3.380

I have a journey, sir, shortly to go;
Link: 5.3.381
My master calls me, I must not say no.
Link: 5.3.382

The weight of this sad time we must obey;
Link: 5.3.383
Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say.
Link: 5.3.384
The oldest hath borne most: we that are young
Link: 5.3.385
Shall never see so much, nor live so long.
Link: 5.3.386

Exeunt, with a dead march