A stage-to-screen film of King Lear, filmed in the round in Manchester. A brutal portrait of a man unravelling - pitted against his daughters, nature and the universe itself.
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King Lear is probably one of the biggest challenges a director is ever going to face.
It's an epic story of a man's descent into madness
his struggles with his pride, his arrogance.
It's also a story of the young wrestling power away from the old.
I started from the premise that he was sick,
and he knew he was sick,
and that sickness affected the decisions he made -
which are not good decisions, really.
But he was doing because he was looking for a means of protection
because he had intimations of his own mortality.
When I started working on King Lear,
I wanted to set it exactly where it's set, in an ancient Britain, a pagan time.
I also wanted to set it with a black king,
that was quite important to me.
There's an idea that the black presence in England started in the '50s, with the Windrush generation,
but as I kind of probed and dug I found that actually
there's been a black presence in England for absolute centuries,
so I pushed the idea even further and imagined, what if you could be the king?
I mean, this is a time when race isn't an issue.
The most important thing is whoever is the strongest -
-So this is the story of King Lear.
I thought the King had more affected the Duke of Albany than Cornwall.
It always seemed so to us - but now, in the division
of the kingdom, it appears not which of the dukes he values most.
Is not this your son, my lord?
Mm. His breeding, sir, hath been at my charge.
I have so often blushed to acknowledge him
that now I am brazed to it.
I cannot conceive you.
Sir, this young fellow's mother could.
Whereupon she grew round-wombed, and had, indeed, sir,
a son for her cradle ere she had a husband for her bed.
Do you smell a fault?
I cannot wish the fault undone, the issue of it being so proper.
But I have a son, sir, by order of law,
who yet is no dearer in my account.
Though this knave came something saucily to the world
before he was sent for, yet was his mother fair -
there was good sport at his making.
And the whoreson must be acknowledged.
Do you know this noble gentleman, Edmund?
No, my lord.
My lord of Kent - remember him hereafter as my honourable friend.
My services to your lordship.
I must love you, and sue to know you better.
Sir, I shall study deserving.
He has been out nine years, and away he shall again.
The King is coming.
Attend the lords of France and Burgundy, Gloucester.
I shall, my lord.
Meantime, we shall express our darker purpose.
Give me the map there.
Know that we have divided in three our kingdom.
And 'tis our fast intent
To shake all cares and business from our age,
Conferring them on younger strengths, while we
Unburdened crawl toward death.
Our son of Cornwall,
And you, our no less loving son of Albany,
We have this hour a constant will to publish
Our daughters' several dowers, that future strife
May be prevented now.
The two great princes, France and Burgundy,
Great rivals in our youngest daughter's love,
Long in our court have made their amorous sojourn,
And here are to be answered.
Tell me, my daughters -
Since now we will divest us both of rule,
Interest of territory, cares of state -
Which of you shall we say doth love us most,
That we our largest bounty may extend
Where nature doth with merit challenge?
Goneril, our eldest-born, speak first.
Sir, I do love you more than word can wield the matter,
Dearer than eyesight, space and liberty,
Beyond what can be valued, rich or rare,
No less than life, with grace, health, beauty, honour!
As much as child e'er loved, or father found,
A love that makes breath poor and speech unable -
Beyond all manner of so much I love you.
Of all these bounds, even from this line to this,
With shadowy forests and with champaigns riched,
With plenteous rivers and wide-skirted meads,
We make thee lady.
To thine and Albany's issues
Be this perpetual.
What says our second daughter,
Our dearest Regan, wife to Cornwall? Speak.
Sir, I am made of that self mettle as my sister,
And prize me at her worth.
In my true heart I find she names my very deed of love -
Only...she comes too short, that I profess
Myself an enemy to all other joys
Which the most precious square of sense possesses,
And find I am alone felicitate
In your dear highness' love.
To thee and thine hereditary ever
Remain this ample third of our fair kingdom,
No less in space, validity and pleasure
Than that conferred on Goneril.
But now, our joy,
Although the last and least, to whose young love
The vines of France and the milk of Burgundy
Strive to be interessed,
What can you say to draw
A third more opulent than your sisters?
Nothing, my lord.
How? Nothing will come of nothing. Speak again.
Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave
My heart into my mouth.
I love your majesty
According to my bond, no more, no less.
How? How, Cordelia?
Mend your speech a little,
Lest you may mar your fortunes.
Good, my lord,
You have begot me, bred me, loved me.
I return those duties back as are right fit,
Obey you, love you and most honour you.
Why have my sisters' husbands, if they say
They love you all?
Happily when I shall wed,
That lord whose hand must take my plight shall carry
Half my love with him, half my care and duty.
Sure, I shall never marry like my sisters
To love my father all.
But goes thy heart with this?
Ay, my good lord.
So young and so untender?
So young, my lord, and true.
Well, let it be so.
Thy truth then be thy dower,
For by the sacred radiance of the sun,
The mysteries of Hecate and the night,
By all the operation of the orbs
From whom we do exist and cease to be -
Here I disclaim all my paternal care,
Propinquity and property of blood,
And as a stranger to my heart and me
Hold thee from this for ever.
Good, my liege...
Come not between the dragon and his wrath!
I loved her most, and thought to set my rest
On her kind nursery.
Hence, and avoid my sight!
So be my grave my peace, as here I give
Her father's heart from her!
Call France. Who stirs? Call Burgundy.
Cornwall and Albany,
With my two daughters' dowers, digest this third.
Let pride, which she calls plainness, marry her.
I do invest you jointly with my power,
Pre-eminence and all the large effects
That troop with majesty.
Ourself by monthly course,
With reservation of an hundred knights
By you to be sustained, shall our abode
Make with you by due turn - only we shall retain
The name, and all the addition to a king - the sway,
Revenue, execution of the rest,
Beloved sons, be yours - which to confirm,
This coronet part between you.
Royal Lear, whom I have ever honoured as my king,
Loved as my father, as my master followed,
As my great patron thought on in my prayers...
The bow is bent and drawn - make from the shaft.
Let it fall rather, though the fork invade
The region of my heart - be Kent unmannerly
When Lear is mad!
What wouldst thou do, old man?
Think'st thou that duty shall have dread to speak,
When power to flattery bows?
To plainness honour's bound
When majesty stoops to folly.
Reverse thy state,
And in thy best consideration check
This hideous rashness.
Answer my life, my judgement,
Thy youngest daughter does not love thee least,
Nor are those empty-hearted, whose low sounds
Reverb no hollowness.
Kent, on thy life, no more.
My life I never held but as a pawn
To wage against thine enemies, ne'er fear to lose it,
Thy safety being the motive.
Out of my sight!
See better, Lear, and let me still remain
The true blank of thine eye.
Now by Apollo...
Now by Apollo, King,
Thou swear'st thy gods in vain!
O vassal! Miscreant!
Do, kill thy physician, and thy fee bestow
Upon the foul disease.
Revoke thy gift,
Or whilst I can vent clamour from my throat
I'll tell thee thou dost evil.
Hear me, recreant,
On thine allegiance, hear me -
That thou hast sought to make us break our vows,
Which we durst never yet, and with strained pride
To come betwixt our sentencing and our power,
Which nor our nature, nor our place can bear,
Our potency made good, take thy reward.
Five days we do allot thee for provision,
To shield thee from disasters of the world,
And on the sixth to turn thy hated back
Upon our kingdom.
If on the next day following
Thy banished trunk is found in our dominions...
..The moment is thy death.
By Jupiter, this shall not be revoked.
Why, fare thee well, King, since thus thou wilt appear,
Freedom lives hence and banishment is here.
The gods to their dear shelter take thee, maid,
That justly think'st and hast most rightly said.
And your large speeches may your deeds approve,
That good effects may spring from words of love.
Thus Kent, O princes, bids you all adieu -
He'll shape his old course in a country new.
Here's France and Burgundy, my noble lord.
My lord of Burgundy,
We first address toward you,
Who with this king
Hath rivalled for our daughter.
What in the least
Will you require in present dower with her,
Or cease your quest of love?
Most royal majesty,
I crave no more than hath your highness offered.
Nor will you tender less?
Right noble Burgundy,
When she was dear to us, we did hold her so,
But now her price is fallen.
Sir, there she stands -
If aught within that little-seeming substance,
Or all of it, with our displeasure pieced,
And nothing more, may fitly like your grace,
She's there, and she is yours.
I know no answer.
Sir, will you, with those infirmities she owes,
Unfriended, new adopted to our hate,
Dowered with our curse and strangered with our oath,
Take her or leave her?
Pardon me, royal sir -
Election makes not up on such conditions.
Then leave her, sir!
For, by the power that made me,
I tell you all her wealth.
For you, great king,
I would not from your love make such a stray,
To match you where I hate, therefore beseech you
To avert your liking a more worthier way
Than on a wretch whom nature is ashamed
Almost to acknowledge hers.
This is most strange,
That she who even but now was your best object,
The argument of your praise, balm of your age,
The best, the dearest, should in this trice of time
Commit a thing so monstrous, to dismantle
So many folds of favour.
Sure, her offence
Must be of such unnatural degree
That monsters it, or your fore-vouched affection
Fallen into taint -
Which to believe of her
Must be a faith that reason without miracle
Should never plant in me.
I yet beseech your majesty,
If for I want that glib and oily art
To speak and purpose not - since what I well intend,
I'll do it before I speak -
That you make known
It is no vicious blot, murder, or foulness,
Nor unchaste action or dishonoured step,
That hath deprived me of your grace and favour,
But even for want of that for which I am richer,
A still-soliciting eye and such a tongue
That I am glad I have not - though not to have it
Hath lost me in your liking.
Go to, go to. Better thou
Hadst not been born than not to have pleased me better.
Is it no more but this?
A tardiness in nature,
Which often leaves the history unspoke that it intends to do?
My lord of Burgundy, what say you to the lady?
Love's not love
When it is mingled with regards that stand
Aloof from the entire point.
Will you have her? She is herself a dowry.
Give but that portion which yourself proposed,
And here I take Cordelia by the hand, Duchess of Burgundy.
I have sworn, I am firm.
I am sorry, then, you have so lost a father
That you must lose a husband.
Peace be with Burgundy.
Since that respects and fortune are his love,
I shall not be his wife.
Fairest Cordelia, that art most rich being poor,
Most choice forsaken and most loved despised,
Thee and thy virtues here I seize upon,
Be it lawful I take up what's cast away.
Thy dowerless daughter, King, thrown to my chance,
Is queen of us, of ours and our fair France.
Not all the dukes of waterish Burgundy
Can buy this unprized, precious maid of me.
Bid them farewell, Cordelia, though unkind,
Thou losest here, a better where to find.
Thou hast her, France - let her be thine, for we
Have no such daughter, nor will ever see
That face of hers again.
Therefore, be gone,
Without our grace, our love, our benison.
Come, noble Burgundy.
Bid farewell to your sisters.
The jewels of our father, with washed eyes
Cordelia leaves you.
I know you what you are,
And like a sister I am most loath to call
Your faults as they are named.
Love well our father!
To your professed bosom I commit him,
But yet, alas, stood I within his grace,
I would prefer him to a better place.
Farewell to you both.
Prescribe not us our duty.
Let your study be to content your lord,
Who hath received you at fortune's alms.
You have obedience scanted,
And well are worth the want that you have wanted.
Time shall unfold what plighted cunning hides,
Who covert faults at last with shame derides.
Well may you prosper.
Come, my fair Cordelia.
Sister, it is not a little I have to say of what most nearly
appertains to us both.
I think our father will hence tonight.
That's most certain, and with you, next month with us.
You see how full of changes his age is.
He always loved our sister most, and with what poor judgement
he hath now cast her off appears too grossly.
'Tis the infirmity of his age, yet he hath ever
but slenderly known himself.
The best and soundest of his time hath been but rash.
Then must we look to receive from his years not alone
the imperfections of long-engrafted condition,
but therewithal the unruly waywardness
that infirm and choleric years bring with them.
Such unconstant starts are we like to have from him
as this of Kent's banishment.
Pray you let us hit together - if our father carry authority
with such disposition as he bears,
this last surrender of his will but offend us.
We shall further think of it.
We must do something, and in the heat.
Thou, Nature, art my goddess - to thy law
My services are bound.
Wherefore should I
Stand in the plague of custom, and permit
The curiosity of nations to deprive me?
For that I am some 12 or 14 moonshines
Lag of a brother?
When my dimensions are as well compact,
My mind as generous, and my shape as true
As honest madam's issue?
Why brand they us
With base? With baseness, bastardy?
Who, in the lusty stealth of nature take
More composition and fierce quality
Than doth within a dull, stale, tired bed
Go to the creating a whole tribe of fops
Got 'tween a sleep and wake?
Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land.
Our father's love is to the bastard Edmund
As to the legitimate.
HE LAUGHS RUEFULLY
Fine word, "legitimate"!
Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed,
And my invention thrive,
Edmund the base
Shall top the legitimate!
I grow, I prosper -
Now, gods, stand up for bastards!
Kent banished thus? And France in choler parted?
And the King gone tonight?
All this done upon the gad?
Edmund, how now, what news?
So please your lordship, none.
Why so earnestly seek you to put up that letter?
I know no news, my lord.
What paper were you reading?
Nothing, my lord.
No? What needed, then, that terrible dispatch of it into your pocket?
The quality of nothing hath no such need to hide itself.
Let's see - come.
If it be nothing, I shall not need spectacles.
I beseech you, sir, pardon me.
It is a letter from my brother that I have not all o'er-read,
and for so much as I have perused,
I find it not fit for your o'er-looking.
Give me the letter, sir.
I shall offend, either to detain or give it.
The contents, as in part I understand them, are to blame.
Let's see, let's see.
I hope, for my brother's justification,
he wrote this but as an essay, or taste of my virtue.
"This policy, and reverence of age,
"makes the world bitter to the best of our times,
"keeps our fortunes from us till our oldness cannot relish them.
"I begin to find an idle and fond bondage in the oppression
"of aged tyranny, who sways not as
"it hath power, but as it is suffered.
"Come to me, that of this I may speak more.
"If our father would sleep till I waked him...
"..you should enjoy half his revenue
"for ever and live the beloved of your brother, Edgar."
"Sleep till I wake him, you should enjoy half his revenue."
My son Edgar? Had he a hand to write this?
A heart and brain to breed it in?
When came you to this? Who brought it?
It was not brought me, my lord, there's the cunning of it.
I found it thrown in at the casement of my closet.
You know the character to be your brother's?
If the matter were good, I durst swear it were his -
but, in respect of that, I would fain think it were not.
-It is his?
-It is his hand, my lord.
But I hope his heart is not in the contents.
Hath he never before sounded you in this business?
Never, my lord.
But I have heard him oft maintain it to be fit that,
sons at perfect age and fathers declined,
the father should be as ward to the son and the son manage his revenue.
O villain, villain!
His very opinion in the letter. Abhorred villain!
Unnatural, detested, brutish villain -
worse than brutish!
Go, sirrah, seek him.
I'll apprehend him.
Abominable villain, where is he?
I do not well know, my lord.
I dare pawn down my life for him, that he hath writ this to
feel my affection to your honour, and to no other pretence of danger.
Think you so?
If your honour judge it meet, I shall place you
where you shall hear us
confer of this and by an auricular assurance have your satisfaction,
and that without any further delay than this very evening.
He cannot be such a monster.
Nor is not, sure.
To his father, who so tenderly and entirely loves him.
Heaven and earth! Edmund, seek him out.
Wind me into him, I pray you, frame the business after your own wisdom.
I will seek him out, sir, presently -
convey the business as I shall find means and acquaint you withal.
These late eclipses in the sun and moon portend no good to us.
Though the wisdom of Nature can reason it thus and thus,
yet nature finds itself scourged by the sequent effects.
Love cools, friendship falls off, brothers divide,
and the bond cracked 'twixt son and father.
This villain of mine comes under the prediction -
there's son against father.
The King falls from bias of nature - there's father against child.
We have seen the best of our time.
Seek out this villain, Edmund. It shall lose thee nothing.
Do it carefully.
And the noble and true-hearted Kent banished, his offence, honesty!
This is the excellent foppery of the world,
that when we are sick in fortune, often the surfeits of our own
behaviour, we make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and
the stars, as if we were villains on necessity, fools by heavenly
compulsion, knaves, thieves and treachers by spherical predominance.
Drunkards, liars and adulterers
by an enforced obedience of planetary influence.
And all that we are evil in by a divine thrusting on.
An admirable evasion of whoremaster man,
to lay his goatish disposition on the charge of a star.
My father compounded with my mother under the dragon's tail
and my nativity was under Ursa Major,
so that it follows I am lecherous and rough.
I should have been that I am had the maidenliest star
in the firmament twinkled on my bastardizing.
Pat he comes, like the catastrophe of the old comedy.
My cue is villainous melancholy, with a sigh like Tom o' Bedlam.
O, these eclipses do foretell these divisions!
Fa, sol, la, mi.
How now, brother Edmund, what serious contemplation are you in?
I am thinking, brother, of a prediction
I read this other day, what should follow these eclipses.
Do you busy yourself with that?
I promise you, what he writes of succeeds unhappily,
as of the unnaturalness between the child and the parent,
death, dearth, dissolution of ancient amities, divisions in state,
menaces and maledictions against King and nobles,
needless diffidences, banishment of friends,
dissipation of cohorts, nuptial breaches, and I know not what.
How long have you been a sectary astronomical?
Come, come, when saw you my father last?
-Why, the night gone by.
-Spake you with him?
Ay, two hours together.
Parted you in good terms?
Found you no displeasure in him, by word nor countenance?
None at all.
Bethink yourself wherein you may have offended him, and at my
entreaty forbear his presence until some little time hath qualified
the heat of his displeasure, which at this instant so rageth in him
that with the mischief of your person it would scarcely allay.
Some villain hath done me wrong.
That's my fear.
I pray you, have a continent forbearance till
the speed of his rage goes slower, and, as I say, retire with me to
my lodging, from whence I will fitly bring you to hear my lord speak.
Pray ye, there's my key.
If you do stir abroad, go armed.
Brother, I advise you to the best, go armed.
I am no honest man if there be any good meaning toward you.
I have told you what I have seen and heard - but faintly -
nothing like the image and horror of it.
Now pray you, away!
Shall I hear from you anon?
I do serve you in this business.
A credulous father and a brother noble,
Whose nature is so far from doing harms
That he suspects none -
on whose foolish honesty
My practices ride easy.
I see the business.
Let me, if not by birth, have lands by wit.
All with me's meet that I can fashion fit.
Did my father strike my gentleman for chiding of his fool?
By day and night he wrongs me.
He flashes into one gross crime or other
That sets us all at odds.
I'll not endure it.
His knights grow riotous and himself upbraids us
On every trifle.
When he returns from hunting, I will not speak with him - say I am sick.
If you come slack of former services
-You shall do well.
-Oh, I don't...
-The fault of it I'll answer.
He's coming, madam - I hear him.
Put on what weary negligence you please,
You and your fellows. I'd have it come to question.
If he distaste it, let him to our sister,
Whose mind and mine,
I know in that are one, Not to be overruled.
Idle old man,
That still would manage those authorities
That he hath given away.
Now by my life
Old fools are babes again and must be used
With checks as flatteries, when they are seen abused.
-Remember what I have said.
-Very well, madam.
And let his knights have colder looks among you,
What grows of it no matter - advise your fellows so.
I would breed from hence occasions, and I shall,
That I may speak.
I'll write straight to my sister
To hold my very course.
Go, prepare for dinner.
LAUGHING AND CHATTER
If but as well I other accents borrow
That can my speech diffuse, my good intent
May carry through itself to that full issue
For which I razed my likeness.
Now, banished Kent,
If thou canst serve where thou dost stand condemned
So may it come thy master whom thou lov'st
Shall find thee full of labours.
Let me not stay a jot for dinner -
go, get it ready.
-Dinner! Dinner! Dinner!
How now, what art thou?
A man, sir.
What dost thou profess? What wouldst thou with us?
I do profess to be no less than I seem - to serve him truly
that will put me in trust, to love him that is honest,
to converse with him that is wise and says little,
to fear judgment, to fight when I cannot choose - and to eat no fish.
What art thou?
A very honest-hearted fellow, and as poor as the King.
If thou be'st as poor for a subject as he is for a king,
thou art poor enough.
-What wouldst thou?
Who wouldst thou serve?
Dost thou know me, fellow?
No, sir, but you have that in your countenance
that I would fain call master.
What services canst thou do?
I can keep honest counsel, ride, run,
mar a curious tale in telling it and deliver a plain message bluntly.
That which ordinary men are fit for I am qualified in,
and the best of me is diligence.
How old art thou?
Not so young, sir, to love a woman for singing,
nor so old to dote on her for anything.
I have years on my back forty-eight.
Follow me, thou shalt serve me - if I like thee no worse after dinner,
I will not part from thee yet.
Dinner, ho, dinner!
Where's my knave, my fool?
You, you, sirrah, where's my daughter?
So please you -
un, deux, trois...
What says the fellow there? Call the clotpoll back.
Where's my fool?
Ho, I think the world's asleep.
How now, where's that mongrel?
He says, my lord, your daughter is not well.
Why came not the slave back to me when I called him?
Sir, he answered me in the roundest manner, he would not.
He would not?
My lord, I know not what the matter is,
but to my judgment your highness is not entertained with that
ceremonious affection as you were wont.
Ah. Sayst thou so.
I beseech you pardon me, my lord, if I be mistaken.
For my duty cannot be silent when I think your highness wronged.
I will look further into't.
But where's my fool?
I have not seen him this two days.
Since my young lady's going into France, sir,
the fool hath much pined away.
No more of that, I have noted it well.
Go you and tell my daughter I would speak with her.
Go you, call hither my fool.
You, sir. You, sir!
Come you hither, sir.
Who am I, sir?
My lady's father.
My lady's father?
My lord's knave, you whoreson dog, you slave, you cur!
I am none of these, my lord, I beseech your pardon.
Do you bandy looks with me, you rascal?
I'll not be strucken, my lord.
Nor tripped neither, you base football player.
I thank thee, fellow. Thou serv'st me and I'll love thee.
Come, sir, arise, away, I'll teach you differences.
Away, away. If you will measure your lubber's length again, tarry -
but away, go to, have you wisdom?
Now, my friendly knave, I thank thee.
There's earnest of thy service.
A SINGLE PERSON APPLAUDS
Let me hire him too.
Here's my coxcomb.
How now, my pretty knave, how dost thou?
Sirrah, you were best take my coxcomb.
-Why? For taking one's part that's out of favour.
Nay, an thou canst not smile as the wind sits,
thou'lt catch cold shortly.
There, take my coxcomb.
Why, this fellow has banished two on's daughters
and did the third a blessing against his will -
if thou follow him, thou must needs wear my coxcomb.
How now, Nuncle?
Would I had two coxcombs and two daughters.
Why, my boy?
If I gave them all my living, I'd keep my coxcombs myself.
There's mine - beg another of thy daughters.
Take heed, sirrah, the whip.
Truth's a dog that must to kennel - he must be whipped out,
when the Lady Brach may stand by the fire and stink.
A pestilent gall to me.
-Sirrah, I'll teach thee a speech.
Mark it, Nuncle.
HE CLEARS HIS THROAT
Have more than thou showest,
Speak less than thou knowest, Lend less than thou owest,
Ride more than thou goest, Learn more than thou trowest,
Set less than thou throwest,
# Leave thy drink and thy whore
# And keep in-a-door, And thou shalt have more
# Than two tens to a score. #
This is nothing, fool.
Then 'tis like the breath of an unfee'd lawyer,
you gave me nothing for't.
Can you make no use of nothing, Nuncle?
Why no, boy - nothing can be made out of nothing.
Prithee tell him, so much the rent of his land comes to -
-he will not believe a fool.
-A bitter fool.
Dost thou know the difference, my boy, between a bitter fool
-and a sweet one?
-No, lad, teach me.
That lord that counselled thee to give away thy land,
Come place him here by me - Do thou for him stand.
The sweet and bitter fool Will presently appear,
The one in motley here, The other found out there.
Dost thou call me fool, boy?
All thy other titles thou hast given away - that thou wast born with.
This is not altogether fool, my lord.
Nuncle, give me an egg...
..give me an egg and I'll give thee two crowns.
What two crowns shall they be?
Why, after I have cut the egg i' the middle,
and eat up the meat, the two crowns of the egg.
When thou clovest thy crown i' the middle, and gav'st away both parts,
thou bor'st thine ass on thy back o'er the dirt.
Thou hadst little wit in thy bald crown
when thou gav'st thy golden one away.
If I speak like myself in this,
let him be whipped that first finds it so.
# Fools had ne'er less grace in a year
# For wise men are grown foppish
# And know not what their wits to wear
# Their manners are so apish. #
When were you wont to be so full of songs, sirrah?
I have used it, Nuncle,
e'er since thou mad'st thy daughters thy mothers,
for when thou gav'st them the rod, and putt'st down thine own breeches,
# Then they for sudden joy did weep
# And I for sorrow sung
# That such a king should play bo-peep
# And go the fools among. #
Prithee, Nuncle, keep a schoolmaster that can teach thy fool to lie -
I would fain learn to lie.
An you lie, sirrah, we'll have you whipped.
I marvel what kin thou and thy daughters are.
They'll have me whipped for speaking true,
thou'lt have me whipped for lying,
and sometimes I am whipped for holding my peace.
I had rather be any kind o' thing than a fool,
and yet I would not be thee, Nuncle.
Thou hast pared thy wit o' both sides
and left nothing i' the middle.
Oh. Here comes one o'the parings.
How now, daughter? What makes that frontlet on?
Methinks you are too much of late i' the frown.
Thou wast a pretty fellow
when thou hadst no need to care for her frowning.
Now thou art an O without a figure - I am better than thou art now.
I am a fool, thou art nothing.
Yes, forsooth, I will hold my tongue, so your face bids me,
though you say nothing.
# Mum, mum!
# He that keeps nor crust nor crumb, Weary of all, shall want some. #
That's a shelled peascod.
Not only, sir, this your all-licensed fool,
But other of your insolent retinue Do hourly carp and quarrel,
breaking forth In rank and not-to-be-endured riots.
Sir, I had thought by making this well known unto you
To have found a safe redress,
but now grow fearful
By what yourself too late have spoke and done,
That you protect this course and put it on
By your allowance.
For you know, Nuncle,
The hedge-sparrow has fed the cuckoo so long
It's had it head bit off by its young.
So out went the candle and we were left darkling.
Are you our daughter?
Come, sir, I would you would make use of that good wisdom,
Whereof I know you are fraught, and put away
These dispositions, which of late transport you
From what you rightly are.
May not an ass know when the cart draws the horse?
Whoop, Jug, I love thee.
Doth any here know me?
Why, this is not Lear.
Doth Lear walk thus, speak thus? Where are his eyes?
Either his notion weakens or his discernings are lethargied - Ha!
Sleeping or waking? Sure 'tis not so.
Who is it that can tell me who I am?
I would learn that, for by the marks of sovereignty, knowledge
and reason, I should be false persuaded I had daughters.
Which they will make an obedient father.
Your name, fair gentlewoman?
This admiration, sir, is much o' the savour
Of other your new pranks.
I do beseech you
To understand my purposes aright -
As you are old and reverend, should be wise.
Here do you keep a hundred knights and squires,
Men so disordered, so debauched and bold,
That this our court, infected with their manners,
Shows like a riotous inn.
Epicurism and lust
Make it more like a tavern or a brothel
Than a graced palace.
The shame itself doth speak
For instant remedy.
Be then desired,
By her that else will take the thing she begs,
A little to disquantity your train,
And the remainder that shall still depend
To be such men as may besort your age,
And know themselves, and you.
Darkness and devils! Saddle my horses - call my train together.
Degenerate bastard, I'll not trouble thee -
Yet have I left a daughter.
You strike my people,
and your disordered rabble
Make servants of their betters.
Woe that too late repents!
O, sir, are you come?
Is it your will, sir? Speak.
Prepare my horses.
Ingratitude, thou marble-hearted fiend,
More hideous when thou show'st thee in a child
Than the sea-monster.
Pray, sir, be patient.
Detested kite, thou liest.
My train are men of choice and rarest part
That all particulars of duty know,
And in the most exact regard support The worships of their name.
O most small fault,
How ugly didst thou in Cordelia show,
Which like an engine wrenched my frame of nature
From the fixed place, drew from my heart all love
And added to the gall.
O Lear, Lear, Lear!
Beat at this gate that let thy folly in
And thy dear judgment out.
Go, go, my people.
My lord, I am guiltless as I am ignorant
Of what hath moved you.
It may be so, my lord.
Hear, Nature, hear, dear goddess, hear!
Suspend thy purpose if thou didst intend
To make this creature fruitful.
Into her womb convey sterility,
Dry up in her the organs of increase,
And from her derogate body never spring
A babe to honour her.
If she must teem, Create her child of spleen,
that it may live
And be a thwart disnatured torment to her.
Let it stamp wrinkles in her brow of youth,
With cadent tears fret channels in her cheeks,
Turn all her mother's pains and benefits
To laughter and contempt, that she may feel
How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is
To have a thankless child.
Now gods that we adore, whereof comes this?
Never afflict yourself to know more of it,
But let his disposition have such scope
As dotage gives it.
What, fifty of my followers at a clap? Within a fortnight?
What's the matter, sir?
I'll tell thee.
Life and death, I am ashamed
That thou hast power to shake my manhood thus,
That these hot tears, which break from me perforce,
Should make thee worth them.
Blasts and fogs upon thee!
Th' untented woundings of a father's curse
Pierce every sense about thee.
Old fond eyes,
Beweep this cause again,
I'll pluck ye out,
And cast you with the waters that you loose
To temper clay. Yea, is't come to this? Ha?
Let it be so - I have another daughter,
Who I am sure is kind and comfortable.
When she shall hear this of thee with her nails
She'll flay thy wolvish visage.
Thou shalt find
I'll resume that shape which thou dost think
I have cast off for ever.
Thou shalt, I warrant thee.
Do you mark that, my lord?
I cannot be so partial, Goneril, To the great love I bear you...
Pray you, content. Come, sir, no more. What, Oswald, ho?
You, sir, more knave than fool, after your master.
Nuncle Lear, Nuncle Lear, tarry, and take the Fool with thee.
This man hath had good counsel - a hundred knights!
'Tis politic, and safe, to let him keep
At point a hundred knights!
Yes, that on every dream,
Each buzz, each fancy, each complaint, dislike,
He may enguard his dotage with their powers
And hold our lives in mercy.
Oswald, I say!
Well, you may fear too far.
Safer than trust too far.
Let me still take away the harms I fear,
Not fear still to be taken.
I know his heart -
What he hath uttered I have writ my sister.
If she sustain him and his hundred knights
When I have showed th' unfitness -
How now, Oswald? What, have you writ that letter to my sister?
Take you some company and away to horse.
Inform her full of my particular fears,
And thereto add such reasons of your own
As may compact it more.
Get you gone, And hasten your return.
No, no, my lord,
This milky gentleness and course of yours,
Though I condemn not, yet, under pardon,
You are much more attasked for want of wisdom
Than praised for harmful mildness.
How far your eyes may pierce I cannot tell,
Striving to better, oft we mar what's well.
-Well, well, th' event.
Go you before with these letters.
Acquaint my daughter no further with anything you know
than comes from her demand out of the letter.
If your diligence be not speedy, I'll be there afore you.
I will not sleep, my lord, till I have delivered your letter.
Shalt see thy other daughter will use thee kindly, for though she's as
like this as a crab's like an apple, yet I can tell what I can tell.
Why, what canst thou tell, my boy?
She will taste as like this as a crab does a crab.
Thou canst not tell why one's nose stands i'the middle on's face?
-Why, to keep one's eyes of either side's nose,
that what a man cannot smell out he may spy into.
I did her wrong.
Canst tell why an oyster makes his shell?
Nor I neither.
But I can tell why a snail has a house.
Why, to put his head in, not to give it away to his daughters
and leave his horns without a case.
I will forget my nature.
So kind a father!
Be my horses ready?
Thy asses are gone about 'em.
The reason why the seven stars are no more than seven
-is a pretty reason.
-Because they are not eight.
Yes, indeed - thou wouldst make a good fool.
To take't again perforce...
If thou wert my fool, Nuncle,
I'd have thee beaten for being old before thy time.
Thou shouldst not have been old before thou hadst been wise.
O let me not be mad, not mad, sweet heaven!
I would not be mad.
Keep me in temper, let me not be mad.
How now, are the horses ready?
Ready, my lord.
-Save thee, Curan.
-And you, sir.
I have been with your father and given him notice that the Duke
of Cornwall and Regan his Duchess will be here with him this night.
How comes that?
Nay, I know not.
You have heard of the news abroad?
I mean the whispered ones, for they are yet
but ear-bussing arguments.
Not I. Pray you, what are they?
Have you heard of no likely wars toward
'twixt the two dukes of Cornwall and Albany?
Not a word.
You may do then in time. Fare you well, sir.
The Duke be here tonight? The better - best!
This weaves itself perforce into my business.
Briefness and fortune work!
Brother, a word. Descend, brother, I say.
My father watches -
O sir, fly this place!
Intelligence is given where you are hid.
You have now the good advantage of the night.
Have you not spoken 'gainst the Duke of Cornwall aught?
He's coming hither, now, i' the night, i' the haste,
And Regan with him.
Have you nothing said
Upon his party 'gainst the Duke of Albany?
-I am sure on't, not a word.
I hear my father coming - pardon me.
In cunning I must draw my sword upon you.
Draw, seem to defend yourself -
now quit you well.
Yield, come before my father!
Light, ho, here! Fly, brother, fly!
Some blood drawn on me would beget opinion.
Of my more fierce endeavour
Oh! I have seen drunkards
Do more than this in sport.
Father, father! Stop, no help?
Now, Edmund, where's the villain?
Here stood he in the dark, his sharp sword out,
Mumbling of wicked charms, conjuring the moon
-To stand's auspicious mistress.
-But where is he?
-Look, sir, I bleed.
-Where is the villain, Edmund?
Fled this way, sir. When by no means he could...
Pursue him, ho! Go after!
By no means' what?
Persuade me to the murder of your lordship,
But that I told him the revenging gods
'Gainst parricides did all their thunders bend,
Spoke with how manifold and strong a bond
The child was bound to the father.
But when he saw my best alarumed spirits,
Bold in the quarrel's right, roused to th'encounter,
Or whether ghasted by the noise I made,
Full suddenly he fled. Ow!
Let him fly far -
Not in this land shall he remain uncaught,
And found - dispatch!
The noble Duke, my master,
My worthy arch and patron, comes tonight -
By his authority I will proclaim it,
That he which finds him shall deserve our thanks,
Bringing the murderous coward to the stake.
He that conceals him, death!
When I dissuaded him from his intent,
And found him pight to do it,
with curst speech I threatened to discover him.
He replied, "Thou unpossessing bastard, dost thou think,
"If I would stand against thee, would the reposal
"Of any trust, virtue or worth in thee
"Make thy words faithed?
"No, what I should deny, As this I would, ay,
"though thou didst produce
"My very character, I'd turn it all
"To thy suggestion, plot and damned practise."
O strange and fastened villain,
Would he deny his letter, said he?
I never got him.
Hark, the Duke's trumpets - I know not why he comes.
All ports I'll bar, the villain shall not scape -
The Duke must grant me that.
Besides, his picture I will send far and near,
that all the kingdom
May have the due note of him, and of my land,
Loyal and natural boy, I'll work the means
To make thee capable.
How now, my noble friend?
Since I came hither, I have heard strange news.
If it be true, all vengeance comes too short
Which can pursue th'offender.
How dost, my lord?
O madam, my old heart is cracked, it's cracked.
What, did my father's godson seek your life?
He whom my father named, your Edgar?
O, lady, lady, shame would have it hid.
Was he not companion with the riotous knights
That tend upon my father?
I know not, madam - 'tis too bad, too bad.
Yes, madam, he was of that consort.
No marvel, then, though he were ill affected.
'Tis they have put him on the old man's death,
To have th'expense and waste of his revenues.
I have this present evening from my sister
Been well informed of them, and with such cautions
That if they come to sojourn at my house I'll not be there.
Nor I, assure thee, Regan.
Edmund, I hear that you have shown your father
A child-like office.
It was my duty, sir.
He did bewray his practice, and received
This hurt you see, striving to apprehend him.
Is he pursued?
He is, my good lord.
If he be taken, he shall never more
Be feared of doing harm,
make your own purpose
How in my strength you please.
For you, Edmund,
Whose virtue and obedience doth this instant
So much commend itself, you shall be ours.
Natures of such deep trust we shall much need -
You we first seize on.
Sir, I shall serve you, truly, however else.
For him I thank your grace.
You know not why we came to visit you?
Thus out of season, threading dark-eyed night?
Occasions, noble Gloucester, of some poise
Wherein we must have use of your advice.
Our father he hath writ, so hath our sister,
Of differences, which I least thought it fit
To answer from our home.
The several messengers
From hence attend dispatch.
Our good old friend,
Lay comforts to your bosom, and bestow
Your needful counsel to our business,
Which craves the instant use.
I serve you, madam. Your graces are right welcome.
Good dawning to thee, friend. Art of this house?
Where may we set our horses?
In the mire.
Prithee, if thou lov'st me, tell me.
I love thee not.
Why, then, I care not for thee.
If I had thee in Lipsbury pinfold, I would make thee care for me.
Why dost thou use me thus? I know thee not.
Fellow, I know thee.
What dost thou know me for?
A knave, a rascal, an eater of broken meats.
A base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited, hundred-pound,
filthy, worsted-stocking knave.
A lily-livered, action-taking knave, a whoreson, glass-gazing,
super-serviceable finical rogue.
One trunk-inheriting slave,
one that wouldst be a bawd in way of good service and art nothing
but the composition of a knave, coward, beggar, pander
and the son and heir of a mongrel bitch...
..one whom I would beat into clamorous whining
if thou deniest the least syllable of thy addition.
what a monstrous...
..fellow art thou,
thus to rail on one that is neither known of thee, nor knows thee!
What a brazen-faced varlet art thou to deny thou knowest me?
Was it two days ago since I tripped up thy heels
and beat thee before the King? Hm?
Draw, you rogue, for though it be night, yet the moon shines.
I'll make a sop o' the moonshine of you.
Draw you whoreson cullionly barber-monger! Draw!
-Away, I have nothing to do with thee.
-Draw, you rascal!
You come with letters against the King.
-Help, ho! Murder, help!
-Stand, rogue, stand you neat slave, strike!
What's the matter? Part!
With you, goodman boy, if you please.
Come, I'll flesh ye - come, young master.
Weapons? Arms? What's the matter here?
Keep peace, upon your lives -
He dies that strikes again.
What's the matter?
The messengers from our sister and the King.
What is your difference? Speak.
I am scarce in breath, my lord.
No marvel, you have so bestirred your valour, you cowardly rascal,
nature disclaims in thee - a tailor made thee.
Thou art a strange fellow - a tailor make a man?
Ay, a tailor, sir -
a stone-cutter or painter could not have made him so ill,
though he had been but two years o'the trade.
Speak yet, how grew your quarrel?
This ancient ruffian, sir,
whose life I have spared at suit of his grey beard...
Thou whoreson zed! Thou unnecessary letter!
Spare my grey beard, you wagtail?
You beastly knave, know you no reverence?
Yes, sir, but anger hath a privilege.
Why art thou angry?
That such a slave as this should wear a sword,
Who wears no honesty.
A plague upon your epileptic visage.
Smile you my speeches as I were a fool? Huh?!
Goose, if I had you upon Sarum plain,
I'd drive ye cackling home to Camelot.
What, art thou mad, old fellow?
How fell you out? Say that.
No contraries hold more antipathy
Than I and such a knave.
Why dost thou call him a knave? What is his fault?
His countenance likes me not.
No more perchance does mine, nor his, nor hers.
Sir, it is my occupation to be plain -
I have seen better faces in my time
Than stands on any shoulder that I see
Before me at this instant.
What was th'offence you gave him?
I never gave him any!
It pleased the king his master very late
To strike at me upon his misconstruction,
When he, compact and flattering his displeasure,
Tripped me behind - being down, insulted, railed,
And put upon him such a deal of man
That worthied him, got praises of the King
For him attempting who was self-subdued -
And in the fleshment of this dread exploit
Drew on me here again.
None of these rogues and cowards But Ajax is their fool.
Oh, fetch forth the stocks, ho!
You stubborn, ancient knave, you reverend braggart,
-We'll teach you.
-Sir, I am too old to learn.
Call not your stocks for me. I serve the King -
On whose employment I was sent to you.
You shall do small respect, show too bold malice
Against the grace and person of my master,
Stocking his messenger.
Fetch forth the stocks!
As I have life and honour, there shall he sit till noon.
Till noon? Till night, my lord, and all night too.
Madam, if I were your father's dog...
..You should not use me so.
Sir, being his knave, I will.
This is a fellow of the selfsame colour
-Our sister speaks of.
Come, bring away the stocks.
Let me beseech your grace not to do so.
The King, his master, needs must take it ill
That he, so slightly valued in his servant,
-Should have him thus restrained.
-I'll answer that.
My sister may receive it much more worse
To have her gentleman abused, assaulted,
For following her affairs.
Put in his legs.
Come, my good lord, away.
I am sorry for thee, friend - 'tis the Duke's pleasure,
Whose disposition all the world well knows
Will not be rubbed nor stopped.
I'll entreat for thee.
Pray you do not, sir.
I have watched and travelled hard.
Some time I'll sleep out, the rest I'll whistle.
A good man's fortune may grow out at heels.
Give you good morrow.
The Duke's to blame in this -
'twill be ill taken.
Approach, thou beacon to this underglobe,
That by thy comfortable beams I may
Peruse this letter.
I know 'tis from Cordelia,
Who hath most fortunately been informed
Of my obscured course...
..and "shall find time from this enormous state, seeking to give
"Losses their remedies."
Take vantage, heavy eyes, not to behold
This shameful lodging.
Fortune, good night -
smile once more, turn thy wheel.
RIDING HORN SOUNDS
-Go after him!
-Bringing the murderous coward...
HORNS AND DOGS
He shall not escape!
Go after him.
-Let him fly far.
-Not in this land shall he remain uncaught...
-..And found - dispatch'd.
-You shall not escape!
That he which finds him shall deserve our thanks,
Bringing the murderous coward to the stake.
He that conceals him, death.
You shall not escape!
Poor Tom, poor Tom!
Edgar I nothing am.
'Tis strange they should so depart from home
-And not send back my messenger.
-As I learned,
The night before there was no purpose in them
Of this remove.
Hail to thee, noble master.
Mak'st thou this shame thy pastime?
No, my lord.
Ha, ha, look...
he wears cruel garters.
What's he that so much thy place mistook
To set thee here?
It is both he and she,
Your son and daughter.
No, no, I say.
I say, yea.
No, no, they would not.
Yes, they have.
By Jupiter, I swear, no.
By Juno, I swear, ay.
They durst not do it. They could not, would not do it -
'tis worse than murder
To do upon respect such violent outrage.
Resolve me with all modest haste which way
Thou mightst deserve or they impose this usage,
Coming from us.
My lord, when at their home
I did commend your highness' letters to them,
Ere I was risen from the place that showed
My duty kneeling, came there a reeking post,
Stewed in his haste, half breathless, panting forth
From Goneril, his mistress, salutations -
Delivered letters, spite of intermission,
Which presently they read.
On those contents,
Summoned up their people, straight took horse,
Commanded me to follow and attend
The leisure of their answer, gave me cold looks -
And meeting here the other messenger,
Whose welcome I perceived had poisoned mine,
Being the very fellow that of late
Displayed so saucily against your highness,
Having more man than wit about me, drew.
He raised the house with loud and coward cries.
Your son and daughter found this trespass worth
The shame which here it suffers.
Winter's not gone yet, if the wild geese fly that way.
O, how this mother swells up toward my heart!
Hysterica passio, down, thou climbing sorrow,
Thy element's below.
Where is this daughter?
With the Earl, sir, here within.
Follow me not.
How chance the King comes with so small a number?
If thou hadst been set i'the stocks for that question,
thou had well deserved it.
All who follow their noses are led by their eyes but blind men,
and there's not a nose among 20 but can smell him that's stinking.
Let go thy hold when a great wheel runs down a hill
lest it break thy neck with following it,
but the great one that goes upwards,
let him draw thee after.
When a wise man gives thee better counsel give me mine again -
I'll have none but knaves follow it,
for a fool gives it.
# That sir which serves and seeks for gain
# And follows but for form
# Will pack when it begins to rain
# And leave thee in the storm
# But I will tarry, the fool will stay
# And let the wise man fly
# The knave turns fool that runs away
# The fool no knave perdy. #
Where learned you this, fool?
Not i'the stocks, fool.
Deny to speak with me?
They are sick, they are weary.
They have travelled all night?
Fetch me a better answer.
My dear lord,
You know the fiery quality of the Duke,
How unremoveable and fixed he is In his own course.
Vengeance, plague, death, confusion!
Fiery? What quality?
Why, Gloucester, Gloucester,
I'd speak with the Duke of Cornwall and his wife.
Well, my good lord, I have informed them so.
Dost thou understand me, man?
Ay, my good lord.
The King would speak with Cornwall, the dear father
Would with his daughter speak, commands - tends - service.
Are they informed of this?
My breath and blood!
The fiery Duke, tell the hot Duke that Lear...
No, but not yet...
..maybe he is not well -
Infirmity doth still neglect all office
Whereto our health is bound.
Death on my state! Wherefore Should he sit here?
Give me my servant forth.
Go tell the Duke and's wife I'd speak with them,
Now, presently - bid them come forth and hear me,
Or at their chamber door I'll beat the drum
Till it cry sleep to death.
I would have all well betwixt you.
O me, my heart!
My rising heart!
Cry to it, Nuncle,
as the cockney did to the eels when she put 'em i'the paste alive -
she knapped 'em o'the coxcombs with a stick,
and cried "Down, wantons, down!"
'Twas her brother that in pure kindness to his horse
buttered his hay.
Good morrow to you both.
Hail to your grace!
I am glad to see your highness.
Regan, I think you are.
I know what reason I have to think so.
If thou shouldst not be glad,
I'd divorce me from thy mother's tomb,
Sepulchring an adultress.
O, are you free?
Some other time for that.
Thy sister's naught.
O, Regan, she hath tied
Sharp-toothed unkindness, like a vulture, here.
I can scarce speak to thee -
thou'lt not believe With how depraved a quality...
I pray you, sir, take patience. I have hope
You less know how to value her desert
Than she to scant her duty.
Say, how is that?
I cannot think my sister in the least
Would fail her obligation.
If so, perchance, sir,
She have restrained the riots of your followers,
'Tis on such ground, and to such wholesome end
As clears her from all blame.
My curses on her!
O, sir, you are old -
Nature in you stands on the very verge
Of her confine.
You should be ruled and led
By some discretion that discerns your state
Better than you yourself.
Therefore I pray you
That to our sister you do make return -
Say you have wronged her, sir.
-Ask her forgiveness?
Do you but mark how this becomes the house?
Dear daughter, I confess that I am old.
Age is unnecessary.
On my knees I beg
You'll vouchsafe me raiment, bed and food.
Good sir, no more. These are unsightly tricks.
Return you to my sister.
She hath abated me of half my train,
Looked black upon me, struck me with her tongue
Most serpent-like, upon the very heart.
All the stored vengeances of heaven fall
On her ingrateful top!
Strike her young bones, You taking airs, with lameness!
Fie, sir, fie!
You nimble lightnings, dart your blinding flames
Into her scornful eyes!
Infect her beauty, You fen-sucked fogs,
drawn by the powerful sun To fall and blister!
O, the blest gods!
So will you wish on me when the rash mood is on.
thou shalt never have my curse.
Thy tender-hefted nature will not give
Thee o'er to harshness.
Her eyes are fierce, but thine Do comfort and not burn.
Thou better knowst
The offices of nature, bond of childhood,
Effects of courtesy, dues of gratitude.
Thy half o' the kingdom hast thou not forgot,
Wherein I thee endowed.
Good sir, to the purpose.
Who put my man in the stocks?
RIDING HORN SOUNDS
What trumpet's that?
I know't, my sister's.
This approves her letter That she would soon be here.
Is your lady come?
This is a slave, whose easy borrowed pride
Dwells in the fickle grace of her he follows.
Out, varlet, from my sight!
What means your grace?
Who stocked my servant?!
I have good hope You did not know on't.
Who comes here?
If you do love old men, if your sweet sway
Allow obedience, if you yourselves are old,
Make it your cause.
Send down, and take my part!
Art not ashamed to look upon this beard?
O, Regan, will you take her by the hand?
Why not by the hand, my lord? How have I offended?
All's not offence that indiscretion finds
And dotage terms so.
O sides, you are too tough!
Will you yet hold?
How came my man i'the stocks?
I put him there, sir,
but his own disorders Deserved much less advancement.
You? Did you?!
I pray you, father, being weak, seem so.
If till the expiration of your month
You will return and sojourn with my sister,
Dismissing half your train, come then to me.
I am now from home and out of that provision
Which shall be needful for your entertainment.
Return to her? And 50 men dismissed?
Rather I abjure all roofs and choose
To wage against the enmity o'th' air -
To be a comrade with the wolf and owl -
Necessity's sharp pinch!
Return with her?
Persuade me rather to be slave and sumpter
To this detested groom.
At your choice, sir.
Now I prithee, daughter, do not make me mad -
I will not trouble thee, my child.
We'll no more meet, no more see one another.
Yet thou art my flesh,
my blood, my daughter,
Or rather a disease that's in my flesh,
Which I must needs call mine.
Thou art a boil,
A plague sore, or embossed carbuncle In my corrupted blood.
But I'll not chide thee. Let shame come when it will -
I do not call it, I do not bid the thunder-bearer shoot,
Nor tell tales of thee to high-judging Jove.
Mend when thou canst, be better at thy leisure, I can be patient,
I can stay with Regan, I and my hundred knights.
Not altogether so, sir.
I looked not for you yet, nor am provided
For your fit welcome.
Give ear, sir, to my sister -
For those that mingle reason with your passion
Must be content to think you are old, and so...
But she knows what she does.
-Is this well spoken now?
-I dare avouch it, sir.
What, 50 followers?
Is it not well?
What should you need of more?
Yea, or so many, sith that both charge and danger
Speak 'gainst so great a number?
How in one house
Should many people, under two commands,
Hold amity? 'Tis hard, almost impossible.
Why might not you, my lord, receive attendance
From those that she calls servants or from mine?
Why not, my lord?
If then they chanced to slack ye We could control them.
If you will come to me...
..For now I spy a danger. I do entreat you
To bring but five and twenty - to no more
Will I give place or notice.
I gave you all.
And in good time you gave it.
Made you my guardians, my depositaries,
But kept a reservation to be followed
With such a number.
What, must I come to you With five and twenty?
Regan, said you so?
And speak't again, my lord - no more with me.
What need you five and twenty? Ten? Or five?
To follow in a house where twice so many
Have a command to tend you?
What need one?
O, reason not the need!
Our basest beggars Are in the poorest thing superfluous.
Allow not nature more than nature needs,
Man's life's as cheap as beast's.
Thou art a lady - If only to go warm were gorgeous,
Why, nature needs not what thou gorgeous wear'st,
Which scarcely keeps thee warm.
But for true need -
O, you heavens, give me that patience,
patience I need!
You see me here, you gods, a poor old man,
As full of grief as age, wretched in both.
If it be you that stir these daughters' hearts
Against their father, fool me not so much
To bear it tamely. Touch me with noble anger,
And let not women's weapons, water-drops,
Stain my man's cheeks!
No, you unnatural hags, THUNDER RUMBLES
I will have such revenges on you both
That all the world shall...
I will do such things -
What they are yet I know not, but they will be
The terrors of the earth!
You think I'll weep, No, I'll not weep.
I have full cause of weeping, but this heart
Will break into a hundred thousand flaws
Or e'er I shall weep.
O fool, I shall go mad.
Let us withdraw -
'twill be a storm.
This house is little.
The old man and's people Cannot be well bestowed.
'Tis his own blame - hath put himself from rest
And must needs taste his folly.
For his particular, I'll receive him gladly,
But not one follower.
So am I purposed.
Where is my lord of Gloucester?
The King is in high rage.
Whither is he going?
He calls to horse, but will I know not whither.
'Tis best to give him way - he leads himself.
My lord, entreat him by no means to stay.
Alack, the night comes on, and the high winds
Do sorely ruffle -
for many miles about There's scarce a bush.
O, sir, to wilful men The injuries they themselves procure
Must be their schoolmasters.
Shut up your doors.
Shut up your doors, my lord - 'tis a wild night.
My Regan counsels well - come out o'the storm.
Alack, Edmund, I like not this unnatural dealing.
When I desired their leave that I might pity him,
they took from me the use of mine own house,
charged me on pain of perpetual displeasure
neither to speak of him, entreat for him,
or any way sustain him.
Most savage and unnatural.
Go to, go to. Say you nothing.
There is division between the dukes,
and a worse matter than that.
I have received a letter this night - 'tis dangerous to be spoken -
I have locked the letter in my closet.
These injuries the King now bears will be revenged home.
There is part of a power from France already footed -
we must incline to the King.
I will look him and privily relieve him.
Go you and maintain talk with the Duke,
that my charity be not of him perceived.
If he ask for me, I am ill and gone to bed.
If I die for it - as no less is threatened me -
the King my old master must be relieved.
There is strange things toward, Edmund -
pray you, be careful.
This courtesy, forbid thee, shall the Duke
Instantly know and of that letter too.
This seems a fair deserving and must draw me
That which my father loses, no less than all.
The younger rises when the old doth fall.
Blow winds and crack your cheeks!
You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout
Till you have drenched our steeples, drowned the cocks!
You sulphurous and thought-executing fires,
Vaunt-couriers to oak-cleaving thunderbolts,
Singe my white head!
And thou, all-shaking thunder,
Strike flat the thick rotundity o'the world,
Crack nature's moulds, all germens spill at once
That make ingrateful man!
Court holy-water in a dry house
is better than this rain-water out o'doors.
In, good Nuncle, and beg thy daughters' blessing.
Here's a night pities neither wise men nor fools.
Rumble thy bellyful!
Spit, fire, spout, rain!
Nor rain, wind, thunder, fire are my daughters -
I tax not you, you elements, with unkindness.
I never gave you kingdom, called you children -
You owe me no subscription.
Why then, let fall Your horrible pleasure.
Here I stand, your slave,
A poor, infirm, weak and despised old man.
But yet I call you servile ministers
That will with two pernicious daughters join
Your high-engendered battles against a head
So old and white as this.
-O ho! 'Tis foul.
He that has a house to put his head in has a good headpiece.
# The codpiece that will house Before the head has any
# The head and he will louse So beggars marry many
# The man that makes his toe What he his heart should make
# Shall of a corn cry woe And turn his sleep to wake. #
For there was never yet fair woman
but she would make mouths in a glass.
No, I will be the pattern of all patience,
I will say nothing.
Marry, here's grace and a codpiece - that's a wise man and a fool.
Alas, sir, are you here?
Things that love night Love not such nights as these.
The wrathful skies
Gallow the very wanderers of the dark,
And make them keep their caves.
Man's nature cannot carry Th'affliction, nor the fear.
Let the great gods
That keep this dreadful pudder o'er our heads
Find out their enemies now.
Tremble, thou wretch,
That hast within thee undivulged crimes,
Unwhipped of justice.
Hide thee, thou bloody hand, Thou perjured,
and thou simular of virtue That art incestuous.
Caitiff, to pieces shake,
That under covert and convenient seeming
Hast practised on man's life.
Close pent-up guilts
Rive your concealing continents and cry
These dreadful summoners grace.
I am a man More sinned against than sinning.
Gracious my lord, hard by here is a hovel -
Some friendship will it lend you against the tempest.
Repose you there.
My wits begin to turn.
Come on, my boy.
How dost my boy?
I am cold myself.
Where is this straw, my fellow?
The art of our necessities is strange,
And can make vile things precious.
Poor fool and knave,
I have one part in my heart That is sorry yet for thee.
# He that has and a little tiny wit
# With a heigh-ho, the wind and the rain
# Must make content his fortunes fit
# For the rain it raineth every day. #
True, my good boy.
Come, bring us to this hovel.
Here is the place, my lord. Good my lord, enter.
The tyranny of the open night's too rough
For nature to endure.
-Let me alone.
-Good my lord, enter here.
Wilt break my heart?
I'd rather break mine own. Good my lord, enter.
Thou think'st 'tis much that this contentious storm
Invades us to the skin - so it is to thee.
But where the greater malady is fixed,
The lesser is scarce felt.
Thou'dst shun a bear,
But if thy flight lay toward the roaring sea,
Thou'dst meet the bear in the mouth.
When the mind is free, the body is delicate.
This tempest in my mind
Doth from my senses take all feeling else,
Save what beats there, filial ingratitude.
Is it not as this mouth should tear this hand
For lifting food to it?
But I will punish home.
No, I'll weep no more.
In such a night
To shut me out?
Pour on, I will endure.
In such a night as this?
O, Regan, Goneril,
Thy old, kind father, whose frank heart gave you all.
O, that way madness lies, let me shun that.
-No more of that.
-Good my lord, enter.
Prithee go in thyself, seek thine own ease.
This tempest will not give me leave to ponder
On things would hurt me more.
But I'll go in.
In, boy, go first.
You houseless poverty.
Nay, get thee in.
I'll pray, then I'll sleep.
Poor naked wretches, whereso'er you are,
That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm,
How shall your houseless heads and unfed sides,
Your looped and windowed raggedness, defend you
From seasons such as these?
O, I have ta'en too little care of this.
Take physic, pomp!
Expose thyself to feel what wretches feel,
That thou mayst shake the superflux to them
And show the heavens more just.
Fathom and half, fathom and half. Poor Tom!
Come not in here, Nuncle, there's a spirit.
Help me, help me!
-A spirit, a spirit. He says his name's Poor Tom.
Who art thou that dost grumble there in the straw? Come forth.
Away, the foul fiend follows me.
Through the sharp hawthorn blows the cold wind.
Go to thy cold bed
Didst thou give all to thy two daughters?
And art thou come to this?
Who gives anything to Poor Tom?
Whom the foul fiend hath led through fire and through flame,
through ford and whirlpool, o'er bog and quagmire,
that hath laid knives under his pillow and halters in his pew,
set ratsbane by his porridge...
..made him proud of heart,
to ride on a bay trotting horse over four-inched bridges,
to course his own shadow for a traitor.
Bless thy five wits.
O, Tom's a-cold.
# Do, de, do de, do de... #
Bless thee from whirlwinds, star-blasting, and...
Do Poor Tom some charity, whom the foul fiend vexes.
There could I have him now,
and there, and there again, and there.
Have his daughters brought him to this pass?
Couldst thou save nothing?
Wouldst thou give 'em all?
Nay, he reserved a blanket, else we had been all shamed.
# Eh, eh, eh
# Pillicock sat on Pillicock hill... #
This cold night will turn us all fools or madmen.
Take heed of the foul fiend.
Obey thy parents,
keep thy word justly, swear not,
commit not with man's sworn spouse,
set not thy sweet-heart on proud array.
Oh! Tom's a-cold.
What hast thou been?
proud in heart and mind, that curled my hair,
wore gloves in my cap, served the lust of my mistress' heart
and did the act of darkness with her.
Swore as many oaths as I spake words
..in the sweet face of heaven.
One that slept in the contriving of lust and waked to do it.
Wine loved I deeply, dice dearly,
and, in woman...
..out-paramoured the Turk.
Hog in sloth, fox in stealth,
wolf in greediness,
dog in madness, lion in prey.
Still through the hawthorn blows the cold wind.
my boy, ha-ha!
Let him trot by.
Why, thou wert better in thy grave
than to answer with thy uncovered body this extremity of the skies.
Is man no more than this?
Consider him well.
Thou ow'st the worm no silk, the beast no hide,
the sheep no wool, the cat no perfume.
Here's three on's us are sophisticated -
thou art the thing itself.
Unaccommodated man is no more but such a poor, bare,
forked animal as thou art.
Off, off, you lendings...
Prithee, Nuncle, be contented.
'Tis a naughty night to swim in.
Now a little fire in a wild field were like an old lecher's heart,
a small spark, all rest on body cold.
Look. Look, here comes a walking fire.
Oh, this is the foul fiend Flibbertigibbet.
He begins at curfew, and walks till the first cock,
he gives the web and the pin,
squinies the eye and makes the hare lip,
mildews the white wheat,
and hurts the poor creature of the earth.
-What is't you seek?
-What are you there? Your names?
Poor Tom, that eats the swimming frog, the toad, the tadpole,
the wall-newt and the water,
that in the fury of his heart, when the foul fiend rages,
eats cow-dung for salads.
Beware my follower.
Peace, Smulkin, peace, thou fiend.
-What, hath your grace no better company?
-Poor Tom's a-cold.
Go in with me.
My duty cannot suffer to obey in all your daughters' hard commands.
Though their injunction be to bar my doors
And let this tyrannous night take hold upon you,
Yet have I ventured to come seek you out,
And bring you where both fire and food is ready.
First let me talk with this philosopher.
What is the cause of thunder?
Good my lord, take his offer, go into the house.
I'll talk a word with this same learned Theban.
What is thy study?
How to prevent the fiend and to kill vermin.
Let me ask one word in private.
Importune him to go once more, my lord, his wits begin to unsettle.
What a night is this? I do beseech your grace.
O, cry your mercy, sir.
Noble philosopher, your company.
-In, fellow, there, into the hovel, keep thee warm.
-Come, in all.
-This way, my lord.
With him - I keep still with my philosopher.
Good my lord, soothe him, let him take the fellow.
-Take him you on.
-Come, sirrah, go along with us.
Come, good Athenian.
No words, no words - hush.
I will have my revenge, ere I depart his house.
How, my lord, I may be censured that nature thus gives way to loyalty
something fears me to think of.
I now perceive it was not altogether your brother's evil disposition
that made him seek his father's death,
but a provoking merit
set a-work by a reprovable badness in Gloucester himself.
How malicious is my fortune, that I must repent to be just?
This is the letter which he spoke of,
which approves him an intelligent party to the advantages of France.
O heavens! That this treason were not, or not I the detector.
Go with me to the Duchess.
If the matter of this paper be certain,
you have mighty business in hand.
True or false, it hath made thee Earl of Gloucester.
Seek out where thy father is,
that he may be ready for our apprehension.
I will persever in my course of loyalty,
though the conflict be sore between that and my blood.
I will lay trust upon thee
and thou shalt find a dear father in my love.
Here is better than the open air.
Take it thankfully.
I will piece out the comfort with what addition I can.
I will not be long from you.
All the power of his wits have given way to his impatience.
The gods reward your kindness.
Frateretto calls me,
and tells me Nero is an angler in the lake of darkness.
Pray, innocent, and beware the foul fiend.
Prithee, Nuncle, tell me whether a madman be a gentleman or a yeoman?
A king, a king,
No, he's a yeoman that has a gentleman to his son,
for he's a mad yeoman that sees his son a gentleman before him.
To have a thousand with red burning spits
Come zingin' in upon 'em!
Ow, the foul fiend bites my back!
He's mad that trusts in the tameness of a wolf, a horse's health,
a boy's love, or a whore's oath.
It shall be done, I will arraign them straight.
Come, sit thou here,
most learned justicer.
No, you she-foxes...
How do you, sir?
Stand you not so amazed.
Will you lie down and rest upon the cushions?
I'll see their trial first.
Bring in the evidence.
Thou...robed man of justice, take thy place.
And thou, his yoke-fellow of equity, Bench by his side.
You are o' the commission. Sit you too.
Let us deal justly.
Arraign her first.
Here I take my oath before this honourable assembly -
kicked the poor King her father.
Come hither, mistress, is your name Goneril?
She cannot deny it.
Cry you mercy, I took you for a joint-stool.
And here's another whose warped looks proclaim
What store her heart is made on.
Stop her there! Arms, arms, sword, fire, corruption in the place!
False justicer, why hast thou let her 'scape?
-Bless thy five wits.
Where is the patience now
That you so oft have boasted to retain?
Let them anatomise Regan...
..see what breeds about her heart.
Is there any cause in nature that make these hard hearts?
..I entertain you for one of my hundred.
Only I do not like the fashion of your garments.
You will say they are Persian attire,
but let them be changed.
Now, good my lord, lie down
and rest awhile.
Make no noise.
Make no noise.
Draw the curtains.
I'll go to supper in the morning...
And I'll go to bed at noon.
-Come hither, friend - where is the King my master?
Here, sir, but trouble him not - his wits are gone.
Good friend, I prithee take him in thy arms.
I have o'erheard a plot of death upon him.
There is a litter ready. Lay him in't
And drive towards Dover, friend, where thou shalt meet
Both welcome and protection.
Take up thy master!
If thou shouldst dally half an hour, his life,
With thine and all that offer to defend him,
Stand in assured loss. Take up, take up,
And follow me, that will to some provision
Give thee quick conduct.
Oppressed nature sleeps.
This rest might yet have balmed thy broken sinews,
Which, if convenience will not allow,
Stand in hard cure.
Come, help to bear thy master.
Thou must not stay behind!
Come, come away.
Post speedily to my lord your husband.
Show him this letter - the army of France is landed.
Seek out the villain Gloucester.
-Hang him instantly!
-Pluck out his eyes!
Leave him to my displeasure.
Edmund, keep you our sister company.
The revenges we are bound to take upon your traitorous father
are not fit for your beholding.
Advise the Duke, where you are going to a most festinate preparation -
we are bound to the like.
Our posts shall be swift and intelligent betwixt us.
Farewell, dear sister, my lord of Gloucester.
How now, where's the King?
My lord of Gloucester hath conveyed him hence.
Some five- or six-and-thirty of his knights
Are gone with him towards Dover, where they boast
To have well-armed friends.
-Get horses for your mistress.
-Farewell, sweet lord, and sister.
Go seek the traitor Gloucester.
Pinion him like a thief, bring him before us.
Though well we may not pass upon his life
Without the form of justice...
..yet our power...
..Shall do courtesy
to our wrath...
..which men May blame but not control.
Who's there? The traitor?
Ingrateful fox, 'tis he.
-Bind fast his corky arms.
-What mean your graces?
Good my friends, consider - you are my guests.
Do me no foul play, friends.
Bind him, I say!
Hard, hard. O, filthy traitor!
Unmerciful lady as you are, I'm none.
To this chair bind him.
Villain, thou shalt find...
By the kind gods, 'tis most ignobly done
To pluck me by the beard.
So white, and such a traitor!
These hairs which thou dost ravish from my chin
Will quicken and accuse thee.
I am your host.
With robber's hands my hospitable favours
You should not ruffle thus.
What will you do?
Come, sir, what letters had you late from France?
Be simple answered, for we know the truth.
And what confederacy have you with the traitors,
Late footed in the kingdom?
To whose hands you have sent the lunatic King.
-I have a letter guessingly set down
Which came from one that's of a neutral heart,
-and not from one opposed.
Where hast thou sent the King?
Wherefore to Dover?
-Wast thou not charged at...
-Wherefore to Dover?
Let him first answer that.
Wherefore to Dover, sir?
Because I would not see thy cruel nails
Pluck out his poor old eyes, nor thy fierce sister
In his anointed flesh stick boarish fangs.
See't shalt thou never.
Fellows, hold the chair.
Upon these eyes of thine I'll set my foot.
O cruel! O you gods!
One side will mock another th'other too.
-If you see vengeance...
-Hold your hand, my lord.
I have served you ever since I was a child,
But better service have I never done you
Than now to bid you hold.
How now, you dog!
If you did wear a beard upon your chin, I'd shake it on this quarrel.
What do you mean?
Nay then, come on, and take the chance of anger.
My lord, you have one eye left To see some mischief on him.
Lest it see more, prevent it.
Out, vile jelly.
Where is thy lustre now?
All dark and comfortless? O, where is my son Edmund?
Edmund, enkindle all the sparks of nature
To quit this horrid act.
Out, treacherous villain.
Thou call'st on him that hates thee. It was he
That made the overture of thy treasons to us,
Who is too good to pity thee.
O my follies! Then Edgar was abused?
Kind gods, forgive me that and prosper him.
Go, thrust him out at gates, and let him...
..smell his way to Dover.
How is't my lord? How look you?
I have received a hurt.
Follow me, lady.
Turn out that eyeless villain. Throw this slave upon the dunghill.
Untimely comes this hurt.
Give me thine arm.
I'll never care what wickedness I do If this man comes to good.
If she live long
And in the end meet the old course of death,
Women will all turn monsters.
Go now, and fetch some flax and whites of eggs
To apply to his bleeding face.
Now heaven help him!
O my good lord, I have been your tenant, and your father's tenant.
Away, get thee away, good friend, be gone.
Thy comforts can do me no good at all.
Thee they may hurt.
Alack, sir, you cannot see your way.
I have no way, and therefore want no eyes.
I stumbled when I saw. Full oft 'tis seen
Our means secure us and our mere defects
Prove our commodities.
O dear son Edgar,
The food of thy abused father's wrath,
Might I but live to see thee in my touch,
I'd say I had eyes again.
-How now? Who's there?
'Tis poor mad Tom. Fellow, where goest?
-Is it a beggar-man?
-Madman and beggar too.
He has some reason, else he could not beg.
In the last night's storm I such a fellow saw,
who made me think a man a worm.
My son came then into my mind, and yet my mind
Was then scarce friends with him.
I have heard more since.
As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods,
they kill us for their sport.
Bless thee, master.
Is that the naked fellow?
Ay, my lord.
Then prithee get thee gone. If for my sake
Thou wilt o'ertake us hence a mile or twain
In the way to Dover, do it for ancient love,
And bring some covering for this naked soul,
Which I'll entreat to lead me.
Alack, sir, he is mad.
'Tis the time's plague when madmen lead the blind.
Do as I bid thee, or rather do thy pleasure. Above the rest, be gone.
I'll bring him the best 'pparel that I have,
Come on't what will.
Sirrah, naked fellow.
Poor Tom's a-cold.
Come hither, fellow.
Bless thy sweet eyes, they bleed.
Knowest thou the way to Dover?
Both stile and gate, horseway and footpath.
Poor Tom hath been scared out of his good wits.
Bless thee, goodman's son, from the foul fiend.
Here, take this purse, thou whom the heavens' plagues
Have humbled to all strokes. That I am wretched
Makes thee the happier.
Heavens deal so still!
Let the superfluous and lust-dieted man
That slaves your ordinance, that will not see
Because he doth not feel, feel your power quickly,
So distribution should undo excess and each man have enough.
Dost thou know Dover?
There is a cliff whose high and bending head
Looks fearfully in the confined deep.
Bring me but to the very brim of it,
And I'll repair the misery thou dost bear
With something rich about me.
From that place I shall no leading need.
Give me thy arm.
Poor Tom shall lead thee.
Welcome, my lord.
I marvel our mild husband Not met us on the way.
Now, where's your master?
Madam, within, but never man so changed.
I told him of the army that was landed.
He smiled at it.
I told him you were coming - His answer was "The worse."
Of Gloucester's treachery
And of the loyal service of his son,
When I informed him, then he called me sot,
And told me I had turned the wrong side out.
What most he should dislike seems pleasant to him,
What like, offensive.
Then shall you go no further.
It is the cowish terror of his spirit
That dares not undertake.
He'll not feel wrongs Which tie him to an answer.
Back, Edmund, to my brother.
Hasten his musters and conduct his powers.
I must change names at home and give the distaff
Into my husband's hands. This trusty servant
Shall pass between us.
Ere long you are like to hear -
If you dare venture in your own behalf -
A mistress's command.
Wear this. Spare speech.
This kiss, if it durst speak,
Would stretch your spirit up into the air.
Conceive, and fare thee well.
Yours in the ranks of death.
My most dear Gloucester.
O, the difference of man and man!
To thee a woman's services are due.
-A fool usurps my bed.
-Madam, here comes my lord.
I have been worth the whistling.
O Goneril, you are not worth the dust
Which the rude wind blows in your face.
I fear your disposition.
That nature which contemns its origin
Cannot be bordered certain in itself.
She that herself will sliver and disbranch
From her material sap Perforce must wither,
And come to deadly use.
No more, the text is foolish.
Wisdom and goodness to the vile seem vile,
Filths savour but themselves.
What have you done?
Tigers, not daughters, what have you performed?
Could Cornwall suffer you to do it?
If that the heavens do not their visible spirits
Send quickly down to tame these vile offences, it will come.
Humanity must perforce prey on itself,
Like monsters of the deep.
Milk-livered man, That bear'st a cheek for blows,
a head for wrongs,
That hast not in thy brows an eye discerning
Thine honour from thy suffering.
Where's thy drum?!
France spreads his banners in our noiseless land.
With plumed helm thy state begins to threats,
Whilst thou, a moral fool, sits still and cries,
-"Alack, why does he so?!
-See thyself, devil!
Proper deformity shows not in the fiend
So horrid as in woman.
-O vain fool!
-Thou changed and self-covered thing,
for shame be-monster not thy feature.
Were't my fitness to let these hands obey my blood,
They are apt enough to dislocate and tear thy flesh and bones.
Howe'er thou art a fiend, a woman's shape doth shield thee.
Marry, thy manhood, mew!
-O, my good lord, The Duke of Cornwall's dead,
Slain by his servant, going to put out
The other eye of Gloucester.
A servant that he bred, thrilled with remorse,
Opposed against the act, bending his sword
To his great master, who, thereat enraged,
Flew on him and amongst them felled him dead.
But not without that harmful stroke which since
Hath plucked him after.
This shows you are above,
You justicers, that these our nether crimes
So speedily can venge.
But, O, poor Gloucester, Lost he his other eye?
Both, both, my lord.
This letter, madam, craves a speedy answer. 'Tis from your sister.
I'll read and answer.
Where was his son when they did take his eyes?
Come with my lady hither.
-He is not here.
-No, my good lord, I met him back again.
Knows he the wickedness?
Ay, my good lord, 'twas he informed against him
And quit the house on purpose that their punishment
Might have the freer course.
Gloucester, I live to thank thee for the love thou showd'st the King
And to revenge thine eyes.
Come hither, friend, tell me what more thou know'st.
Alack, 'tis he.
Why, he was met even now As mad as the vexed sea,
Crowned with rank fumiter and furrow-weeds,
With burdock, hemlock, nettles, cuckoo-flowers,
Darnel and all the idle weeds that grow
In our sustaining corn.
A century send forth. Search every acre in the high-grown field
And bring him to our eye.
What can man's wisdom In the restoring his bereaved sense?
He that helps him take all my outward worth.
There are means, madam.
The foster nurse of nature is repose,
The which he lacks, that to provoke in him
Are many simples operative, whose power
Will close the eye of anguish.
All blest secrets.
All you unpublished virtues of the earth,
Spring with my tears.
Be aidant and remediate In the good man's distress.
Seek, seek for him, Lest his ungoverned rage
dissolve the life That wants the means to lead it.
News, madam - the British powers are marching hitherward.
'Tis known before. Our preparation stands
In expectation of them.
O dear father, It is thy business that I go about.
No blown ambition doth our arms incite,
But love, dear love, and our aged father's right.
Soon may I hear and see him.
But are my brother's powers set forth?
-Himself in person there?
Madam, with much ado. Your sister is the better soldier.
Lord Edmund spake not with your lord at home?
-What might import my sister's letters to him?
I know not, lady.
Faith, he is posted hence on serious matter.
It was great ignorance, Gloucester's eyes being out,
To let him live. Where he arrives he moves
All hearts against us.
Edmund, I think, is gone, in pity of his misery to dispatch
His nighted life. Moreover, to descry
The strength of the enemy.
I must needs after him, madam, with my letter.
Stay with us. The ways are dangerous.
I may not, madam. My lady charged my duty in this business.
Why might she write to Edmund?
Might not you transport her purposes by word?
Belike - some things, I know not what...
..I'll love thee much.
-Let me unseal the letter.
-Madam, I had rather...
I know your lady does not love her husband, I am sure of that.
And at her late being here She gave strange glances
and most speaking looks To noble Edmund.
I know you are of her bosom.
-I speak in understanding, you are, I know it.
Therefore I do advise you take this note.
My lord is dead.
Edmund and I have talked,
and more convenient is he for my hand
Than for your lady's.
You may gather more.
If you do find him, pray you give him this.
And when your mistress hears thus much from you,
I pray desire her call her wisdom to her.
So fare you well.
If you do chance to hear of that blind traitor,
Preferment falls on him that cuts him off.
Would I could meet him, madam, I should show
What party I do follow.
Fare thee well.
When... When shall I come to the top of that same hill?
You do climb up it now. Look how we labour.
-Methinks the ground is even.
Hark, do you hear the sea?
Why then, your other senses grow imperfect
By your eyes' anguish.
So might it be indeed.
Methinkest thy voice is altered and thou speak'st
In better phrase and matter than thou didst.
You're much deceived - in nothing am I changed
But in my garments.
-Methinks you're better spoken.
-Come on, sir.
Here's the place.
How fearful and dizzy 'tis to cast one's eyes so low.
The crows and choughs that wing the midway air
Show scarce so gross as beetles. Half-way down
Hangs one that gathers samphire, dreadful trade.
Methinks he seems no bigger than his head.
The fishermen that walk upon the beach
Appear like mice,
and yon tall anchoring barque Diminished to her cock,
her cock a buoy Almost too small for sight.
The murmuring surge
That on th'unnumbered idle pebbles chafes,
Cannot be heard so high.
I'll look no more, Lest my brain turn
and the deficient sight Topple down headlong.
Set me where you stand.
Give me your hand.
You are now within a foot Of the extreme verge.
For all beneath the moon Would I not leap upright.
Let go of my hand.
Here, friend, is another purse.
In it a jewel Well worth a poor man's taking.
Fairies and gods prosper it with thee.
Go thou farther off.
Bid me farewell and let me hear thee going.
Now fare ye well, good sir.
With all my heart.
O ye gods,
This world I do renounce and in your sights
Shake patiently my great affliction off.
If I could bear it longer and not fall
To quarrel with your great opposeless wills,
My snuff and loathsome part of nature
Would burn itself out.
If Edgar live...
..O, bless him!
..fare thee well!
Alive or dead?
Ho, you sir!
Friend, hear you, sir?
What are you, sir?
Away and let me die.
Hadst thou been aught but gossamer, feathers, air,
So many fathom down precipitating,
Thou'dst shivered like an egg.
But thou dost breathe,
Hast heavy substance,
bleed'st not, speak'st, art sound.
Ten masts at each make not the altitude
Which thou hast perpendicularly fell.
Thy life's a miracle.
Speak yet again.
But have I fallen, or no?
From the dread summit of this chalky bourn.
Look up a-height - the shrill-gorged lark so far
Cannot be seen or heard.
Do but look up.
Alack, I have no eyes!
Is wretchedness deprived that benefit
To end itself by death?
'Twas yet some comfort
When misery could beguile the tyrant's rage
And frustrate his proud will.
Give me your arm.
Feel you your legs?
Too well, too well.
This is above all strangeness.
Upon the crown o'the cliff what thing was that
Which parted from you?
A poor unfortunate beggar.
As I stood here below
methought his eyes Were two full moons.
He had a thousand noses,
Horns whelked and waved like the enraged sea.
It was some fiend.
Therefore, thou happy father, Think that the clearest gods,
who make them honours Of men's impossibilities,
have preserved thee.
I do remember now.
Henceforth I'll bear affliction Till it do cry out itself,
"Enough, enough," and die.
That thing you speak of, I took it for a man.
Oft 'twould say, "The fiend, the fiend."
He led me to that place.
Bear free and patient thoughts.
They cannot touch me for coining.
I am the King himself.
O thou side-piercing sight!
Nature's above art in that respect.
There's your press-money.
That fellow handles his bow like a crow-keeper.
Draw me a clothier's yard.
Look, look, a mouse! Peace, peace.
This piece of toasted cheese will do it.
There's my gauntlet, I'll prove it on a giant.
Bring up the brown bills.
O, well flown, bird,
in the clout,
in the clout!
MAKES BUZZING NOISES
Give the word.
I know that voice.
Ha! Goneril with a white beard?
They flattered me like a dog and told me
I had the white hairs in my beard ere the black ones were there
to say "ay" and "no" to everything I said "ay" and "no" to
was no good divinity.
When the rain came to wet me once and the wind to make me chatter,
when the thunder would not peace at my bidding,
there I found 'em, there I smelt 'em out.
Go to, you are not men of your words.
They told me I was everything.
'Tis a lie, I am not ague-proof.
The trick of that voice I do well remember - is't not the King?
Ay, every inch a king.
When I do stare, see how the subject quakes.
I pardon that man's life. What was thy cause?
Adultery? Thou shalt not die -
die for adultery? No!
The wren goes to it, and the small gilded fly
Does lecher in my sight.
Let copulation thrive.
For Gloucester's bastard son
Was kinder to his father than were my daughters
Got 'tween the lawful sheets.
To it, luxury, pell-mell!
For I lack soldiers.
Behold yond simp'ring dame,
Whose face between her forks presages snow,
That minces virtue and does shake the head
To hear of pleasure's name -
The fitchew, nor the soiled horse, goes to it
With a more riotous appetite.
Down from the waist they are centaurs,
Though women all above.
But to the girdle do the gods inherit,
Beneath it's all the fiends' -
there's hell, there's darkness,
There's the sulphurous pit -
Fie, fie, fie! Pah, pah!
Give me an ounce of civet, good apothecary,
To sweeten my imagination.
-There's money for thee.
-O, let me kiss that hand!
Let me wipe it first - it smells of mortality.
O ruined piece of nature, that this great world
Shall so wear out to naught. Dost thou know me?
I remember thine eyes well enough.
Dost thou squiny at me?
No, do thy worst, blind Cupid, I'll not love.
Read thou this challenge, mark but the penning of it.
Were all the letters suns, I could not see one.
-What? With the case of eyes?
Oh-ho, are you there with me?
No eyes in your head, nor no money in your purse?
Your eyes are in a heavy case, your purse in a light,
yet you see how this world goes.
-I see it feelingly.
-What, art mad?
A man may see how this world goes with no eyes.
Look with thine ears.
See how yon justice rails upon yon simple thief.
Hark in thine ear - change places and handy-dandy,
which is the justice, which is the thief?
Thou hast seen a farmer's dog bark at a beggar?
And the creature run from the cur - there thou mightst behold
The great image of authority -
A dog is obeyed in office.
Thou, rascal beadle, hold thy bloody hand.
Why dost thou lash that whore?
Thou hotly lusts to use her in that kind
For which thou whipp'st her.
The usurer hangs the cozener.
Through tattered clothes great vices do appear -
Robes and furred gowns hide all.
Plate sin with gold,
And the strong lance of justice hurtless breaks.
Arm it in rags, a pigmy's straw does pierce it.
None does offend, none, I say none. I'll able 'em -
Take that of me, my friend, who has the power
To seal the accuser's lips.
Get thee glass eyes,
And like a scurvy politician seem To see the things thou dost not.
Now, now, now, now.
If thou wilt weep my fortunes, take my eyes.
I know thee well enough.
Thy name is Gloucester.
Thou must be patient.
We came crying hither.
Thou know'st that when we are born, the first time we smell the air,
We wawl and cry.
-I will preach to thee. Mark me.
-Alack, alack the day!
When we are born, we cry that we have come
To this great stage of fools.
This a good block.
It were a delicate stratagem, to shoe
A troop of horse with felt.
When I have stolen upon these son-in-laws,
Then kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill!
O, here he is. Lay hand upon him.
Sir, your most dear daughter...
What, a prisoner?
I am even a natural fool of fortune.
Use me well,
you shall have ransom.
Let me have surgeons.
I am cut to the brains.
-You shall have anything.
I will die bravely, like a smug bridegroom.
I will be jovial.
Come, come, I am a king, my masters, know you that?
-You are a royal one and we obey you.
Then, there's life in't.
Come and you shall get it.
And you shall get it by...
Sa, sa, sa, sa, sa, sa!
Hail, gentle sir!
Sir, speed you. What's your will?
Do you hear aught, Sir, of a battle toward?
Most sure and vulgar. Everyone hears that
Which can distinguish sound.
But, by your favour, how near's the other army?
Near and on speedy foot. The main descry
Stands on the hourly thought.
I thank you, sir. That's all.
You ever gentle gods, take my breath from me.
Let not my worser spirit tempt me again
To die before you please.
Well pray you, father.
Now, good sir...
..what are you?
A most poor man, made tame to fortune's blows,
Who by the art of known and feeling sorrows,
Am pregnant to good pity.
Give me your hand.
-I'll lead you to some biding.
The bounty and the benison of heaven
A proclaimed prize!
That eyeless head of thine was first framed flesh
To raise my fortunes.
Thou old, unhappy...traitor!
Briefly thyself remember.
The sword is out That must destroy thee.
Now let thy friendly hand Put strength enough to it.
Dar'st thou support a published traitor?!
Lest that the infection of his fortune take like hold on thee.
-Let go his arm.
-'Chill not let go, zir, without vurther 'cagion.
Let go, slave, or thou diest.
Good gentleman, go your gait and let poor folk pass.
Slave, thou hast slain me!
Villain, take my purse.
If ever thou wilt thrive, bury my body
And give the letters which thou find'st about me to Edmund,
Earl of Gloucester.
Seek him out upon the English...party.
I know thee well.
A serviceable villain,
As duteous to the vices of thy mistress
As badness would desire.
What, is he dead?
Sit you down, father. Rest you.
Let's see these pockets.
The letters that he speaks of May be my friends.
"Let our reciprocal vows be remembered.
"You have many opportunities to cut him off.
"If your will want not, time and place will be fruitfully offered.
"There is nothing done if he return the conqueror,
"then am I the prisoner and his bed, my jail,
"from the loathed warmth whereof, deliver me
"and supply the place for your labour.
"Your wife, so I would say.
Oh, the King is mad.
How stiff is my vile sense,
That I stand up and have ingenious feelings
Of my huge sorrows?
Better I were distract...
..So should my thoughts be severed from my griefs
And woes by wrong imaginations lose The knowledge of themselves.
Give me your hand.
Far off, methinks I hear the beaten drum.
Come, father, I'll bestow you with a friend.
How does the King?
Madam, sleeps still.
O, you kind gods! Cure this great breach in his abused nature,
Th'untuned and jarring senses.
O, wind up, Of this child-changed father.
So please your majesty,
That we may wake the King? He hath slept long.
Be governed by your knowledge and proceed
In the sway of your own will.
In the heaviness of sleep, We put fresh garments on him.
Be by, good madam. When we do wake the king,
I doubt not his temperance.
Please you, draw near.
O, my dear father, restoration hang
Thy medicine on my lips and let this kiss
Repair those violent harms that my two sisters
Have in thy reverence made.
Kind and dear princess.
Had you not been their father, these white flakes
Did challenge pity of them. Was this a face
To be opposed against the warring winds?
To stand against the deep dread-bolted thunder,
In the most terrible and nimble stroke
Of quick cross-lightning?
To watch, poor perdu,
With this thin helm? Mine enemy's dog,
Though he had bit me should have stood that night
Against my fire. And wast thou fain, poor father,
To hovel thee with swine and rogues forlorn,
In short and musty straw?
Tis wonder that thy life and wits at once
Had not concluded all.
He wakes. Speak to him.
Madam, do you. 'Tis fittest.
How does my royal lord? How fares your majesty?
You do me wrong... to take me out of the grave.
Thou art a soul in bliss, but I am bound
Upon a wheel of fire that mine own tears
Do scald like molten lead.
Sir, do you know me?
You are a spirit, I know.
Where did you die?
Still, still far wide.
He's scarce awake. Let him alone awhile.
Where have I been?
Where am I? Fair daylight?
I am mightily abused.
I should ev'n die with pity
To see another thus.
I know not what to say.
I will not swear these are my hands - let's see.
I feel this pin prick.
Would I were assured
Of my condition.
O, look upon me, sir,
And hold your hands in benediction!
No, sir, you must not kneel.
Pray do not mock me.
I am a very foolish, fond old man,
Fourscore and upward, not an hour more nor less,
And, to deal plainly, I fear I am not in my perfect mind.
Methinks I should know you and know this man,
Yet I am doubtful, for I am mainly ignorant of
What place this is and all the skill I have
Remembers not these garments.
Nor I know not
Where I did lodge last night.
Do not laugh at me,
For, as I am a man, I think this lady
To be my child Cordelia.
And so I am, I am.
Be your tears wet?
Yes, faith, I pray, weep not.
If you have poison for me, I will drink it.
I know you do not love me, for your sisters
Have, as I remember, done me wrong.
You have some cause, they have not.
No cause, no cause.
Am I in France?
In your own kingdom, sir.
Do not abuse me.
Be comforted, good madam, the great rage
You see is killed in him, and yet there is danger
To make him even o'er the time he has lost.
Desire him to go in. Trouble him no more
Till further settling.
Will't please your highness walk?
You must bear with me.
Pray you now, forget and forgive...
I am old and foolish.
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.
Our sister's man is certainly miscarried.
'Tis to be doubted, madam.
Now, sweet lord,
You know the goodness I intend upon you -
Tell me but truly, but then speak the truth...
Do you not love my sister?
In honoured love.
But have you never found my brother's way
To the forfended place?
That thought abuses you.
I am doubtful that you have been conjunct
And bosomed with her, as far as we call hers.
No, by mine honour, madam.
I never shall endure her.
Dear my lord, Be not familiar with her.
Fear me not -
She and the Duke her husband.
Our very loving sister, well be-met.
Sir, this I heard - the King is come to his daughter,
With others whom the rigour of our state
Forced to cry out.
Why is this reasoned?
Combine together 'gainst the enemy, For these domestic
and particular broils
Are not the question here.
Let's then determine with the ancient of war on our proceeding.
I shall attend you presently at your tent.
-Sister, you'll go with us?
'Tis most convenient - pray you, go with us.
O ho, I know the riddle.
I will go.
If e'er your grace had speech with man so poor,
Hear me one word.
Before you fight the battle, ope this letter.
If you have victory, let the trumpet sound
For him that brought it.
Wretched though I seem,
I can produce a champion that will prove
What is avouched there.
If you miscarry,
Your business of the world hath so an end,
And machination ceases.
Fortune love you.
Stay till I have read the letter.
I was forbid it.
When time shall serve, let but the herald cry
And I'll appear again.
Why, fare thee well. I will o'erlook thy paper.
The enemy's in view; draw up your powers.
Here is the guess of their true strength and forces,
By diligent discovery - but your haste
Is now urged on you.
We will greet the time.
To both these sisters have I sworn my love...
..Each jealous of the other as the stung
Are of the adder.
Which of them shall I take? Both? One? Or neither?
Neither can be enjoyed If both remain alive.
To take the widow
Exasperates, makes mad her sister Goneril.
And hardly shall I carry out my side,
Her husband being alive.
Now, then, we'll use
His countenance for the battle, which being done,
Let her who would be rid of him devise
His speedy taking off.
As for the mercy
Which he intends to Lear and to Cordelia,
The battle done, and they within our power,
Shall never see his pardon -
for my state
Stands on me to defend, not to debate.
Away, old man - give me thy hand, away!
King Lear hath lost, he and his daughter ta'en.
Give me thy hand, come on.
No further, sir, a man may rot even here.
What, in ill thoughts again?
Men must endure
Their going hence even as their coming hither.
Ripeness is all. Come on.
And that's true too.
Some officers take them away - good guard,
Until their greater pleasures first be known
-That are to censure them.
-We are not the first
Who with best meaning have incurred the worst.
For thee, oppressed King, I am cast down -
Myself could else outfrown false fortune's frown.
Shall we not see these daughters and these sisters?
No, no, no, no.
Come, let's away to prison.
We two alone will sing like birds i'the cage.
When thou dost ask me blessing, I'll kneel down
And ask of thee forgiveness.
So we'll live
And pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh
At gilded butterflies, and hear poor rogues
Talk of court news, and we'll talk with them too
Who loses and who wins, who's in, who's out,
And take upon us the mystery of things
As if we were God's spies.
And we'll wear out,
In a walled prison, packs and sects of great ones
That ebb and flow by the moon.
Take them away.
Upon such sacrifices, my Cordelia, The gods themselves throw incense.
Have I caught thee?
He that parts us shall bring a brand from heaven,
And fire us hence like foxes.
Wipe thine eyes. The good years will devour them,
flesh and fell, Ere they shall make us weep!
We'll see 'em starved first - come.
Captain, come hither.
Hark - Take thou this note.
Go, follow them to prison, One step I have advanced thee.
If thou dost
As this instructs thee,
thou dost make thy way
To noble fortunes.
Know thou this, that men
Are as the time is - to be tender-minded
Does not become a sword.
Thy great employment
Shall not bear question.
Either say thou'lt do't, Or thrive by other means.
I'll do't, my lord.
About it and write happy when thou'st done't.
Mark, I say, instantly - and carry it so
As I have set it down.
I cannot draw a cart, nor eat dried oats.
If it be man's work. I'll do't.
Sir, you have shown today your valiant strain
And fortune led you well.
You have the captives
Who were the opposites of this day's strife.
I do require them of you.
Sir, I thought it fit
To send the old and miserable King
To some retention and appointed guard,
Whose age has charms in it, whose title more,
To pluck the common bosom on his side,
An turn our impressed lances in our eyes
Which do command them.
With him I sent the Queen, My reason all the same,
and they are ready
Tomorrow, or at further space, to appear
Where you shall hold your session.
At this time
We sweat and bleed - the friend hath lost his friend
And the best quarrels in the heat are cursed
By those that feel their sharpness.
The question of Cordelia and her father
Requires a fitter place.
Sir, by your patience, I hold you but a subject of this war,
Not as a brother.
That's as we list to grace him.
Methinks our pleasure might have been demanded
Ere you had spoke so far.
He led our powers,
Bore the commission of my place and person,
The which immediacy may well stand up
And call itself your brother.
Not so hot!
In his own grace he doth exalt himself
-More than in your addition.
-In my rights,
By me invested, he compeers the best.
That were the most, if he should husband you.
Jesters do oft prove prophets.
Holla, holla! That eye that told you so looked but asquint.
Lady, I am not well, else I should answer
From a full-flowing stomach. General,
Take thou my soldiers, prisoners, patrimony.
Dispose of them, of me, the walls is thine.
Witness the world, that I create thee here
My lord and master.
Mean you to enjoy him, then?
The let-alone lies not in your good will.
Nor in thine, lord.
Half-blooded fellow, yes.
Let the drum strike and prove my title thine.
Stay yet, hear reason -
Edmund, I arrest thee On capital treason,
and in thine attaint
This gilded serpent
For your claim,
fair sister, I bar it in the interest of my wife.
'Tis she is sub-contracted to this lord
And I her husband contradict your banns.
If you will marry, make your love to me -
My lady is bespoke.
Thou art armed, Gloucester. Let the trumpet sound.
If none appear to prove upon thy person
Thy heinous, manifest and many treasons,
There is my pledge.
I'll make it on thy heart, Ere I taste bread,
thou art in nothing less
Than I have here proclaimed thee.
Sick, O, sick!
If not, I'll ne'er trust poison.
There's my exchange.
What in the world he is
That names me traitor, villain-like he lies.
Call by the trumpet - he that dares approach,
On him, on you - who not?
I will maintain
My truth and honour firmly.
A herald, ho!
Trust to thy single virtue, for thy soldiers,
All levied in my name, have in my name
Took their discharge.
My sickness, my sickness grows upon me.
She is not well - convey her to my tent.
Come hither, herald - let the trumpet sound
And read out this.
"If any man of quality or degree within the lists of the army
"will maintain upon Edmund, supposed Earl of Gloucester,
"that he is a manifold traitor,
"let him appear by the third sound of the trumpet.
"He is bold in his defence."
Ask him his purposes, why he appears Upon this call o' the trumpet.
What are you?
Your name, your quality, and why you answer
This present summons?
Know my name is lost, By treason's tooth bare-gnawn
Yet am I noble as the adversary I come to cope.
Which is that adversary?
What's he that speaks for Edmund, Earl of Gloucester?
Himself. What sayst thou to him?
Draw thy sword,
That if my speech offend a noble heart,
Thy arm may do thee justice.
Here is mine.
Despite thy victor sword thou art a traitor.
False to thy gods, thy brother and thy father,
Conspirant 'gainst this high illustrious prince,
And from th'extremest upward of thy head
To the descent and dust below thy foot,
A most toad-spotted traitor.
Say thou no,
This sword, this arm and my best spirits are bent
To prove upon thy heart, whereto I speak,
Back do I toss these treasons to thy head.
With the hell-hated lie o'erwhelm thy heart,
Which, for they yet glance by and scarcely bruise,
This sword of mine shall give them instant way,
Where they shall rest for ever.
-This is mere practice, Gloucester.
By the laws of war thou wast not bound to answer
An unknown opposite.
GLOUCESTER YELLS AND GASPS
Thou art not vanquished, But cozened and beguiled.
Shut your mouth, dame
Or with this paper shall I stop it.
Thou worse than any name, read thine own evil.
No tearing, lady - I perceive you know it.
Say if I do, the laws are mine, not thine.
Who can arraign me for't?
Most monstrous! O! Know'st thou this paper?
Ask me not what I know.
Go after her - she's desperate, govern her.
What you have charged me with, that have I done,
And more, much more - the time will bring it out.
'Tis past, and so am I.
But what art thou
That hast this fortune on me?
If thou art noble, I do forgive thee.
Let's exchange charity.
I am no less in blood than thou art, Edmund.
If more, the more thou'st wronged me.
My name is Edgar and thy father's son.
The gods are just and of our pleasant vices
Make instruments to plague us.
The dark and vicious place where thee he got
Cost him his eyes.
Thou'st spoken right, 'tis true.
The wheel is come full circle, I am here.
Methought thy very gait did prophesy
A royal nobleness.
I must embrace thee.
Let sorrow split my heart if ever I
Did hate thee or thy father.
Worthy prince, I know it.
How have you known the miseries of your father?
By nursing them, my lord.
I met my father with his bleeding rings,
Their precious stones new lost, became his guide,
Led him, begged for him, saved him from despair.
Never - O fault! revealed myself unto him
Until some half-hour past,
when I was armed,
Not sure, though hoping of this good success,
I asked his blessing and from first to last
Told him my pilgrimage.
But his flawed heart,
Alack, too weak the conflict to support,
'Twixt two extremes of passion, joy and grief...
Help, help, O, help!
What means this bloody knife?
'Tis hot, it smokes,
It came even from the heart of...
O, she's dead!
Who dead? Speak.
Your lady, sir, your lady. And her sister
By her is poisoned, she confesses it.
I was contracted to them both.
Now all three marry in an instant.
Here comes the banished Kent, who in disguise
Followed his enemy king and did him service
-Improper for a slave.
-I am come
To bid my King and master good night.
Is he not here?
Speak, Edmund, where's the King? And where's Cordelia?
I pant for life.
Some good I mean to do, Despite of mine own nature.
Quickly send -
Be brief in it - to the castle, for my writ
Is on the life of Lear and on Cordelia.
Nay, send in time.
Run, run, O, run.
To who, my lord? Who hath the office?
Send thy token of reprieve.
Well thought on, my sword - the captain,
Give it the captain.
Haste thee, for thy life.
He hath commission from thy wife and me
To hang Cordelia in the prison and
To lay the blame upon her own despair
That she fordid herself.
The gods defend her. Bear him hence awhile.
O, you are men of stones!
Had I your tongues and eyes, I'd use them so
That heaven's vault would crack.
She's gone for ever.
I know when one is dead and when one lives.
She's dead as earth.
Lend me a looking-glass.
If that her breath will mist or stain the stone,
Why then she lives.
Is this the promised end?
Or image of that horror?
Fall, and cease.
This feather stirs, she lives. If it be so...
..It is a chance which does redeem all sorrows
That ever I have felt.
-O, my good master!
'Tis noble Kent, your friend.
A plague upon you murderers, traitors all.
I might have saved her, now she's gone for ever.
..stay a little.
Ha? What is't thou say'st?
Her voice was ever soft,
Gentle and low, an excellent thing in woman.
I killed the slave that was a-hanging thee.
'Tis true, my lords, he did.
Did I not, fellow?
I have seen the day, with my good biting falchion I would have
made them skip. I am old now And these same crosses spoil me.
Who are you?
Mine eyes are not o'the best, I'll tell you straight.
If Fortune brag of two she loved and hated,
One of them we behold.
This is a dull sight - are you not Kent?
Your servant Kent.
Where is your servant Caius?
He's a good fellow, I'll tell you that.
He'll strike, and quickly too.
He's dead and rotten.
No, my good lord, I am the very man.
I'll see that straight.
That from your first of difference and decay,
Have followed your sad steps.
You are welcome hither.
Nor no man else.
All's cheerless, dark and deadly.
Your eldest daughters have fordone themselves
-And desperately are dead.
-Ay, so I think.
-He knows not what he says and vain is it
That we present us to him.
OFFICER: Edmund is dead, my lord.
That's but a trifle here.
You lords and noble friends, know our intent.
What comfort to this great decay may come
Shall be applied.
For us, we will resign During the life of this old majesty,
To him our absolute power. You, to your rights,
With boot and such addition as your honours
Have more than merited.
All friends shall taste The wages of their virtue
and all foes
The cup of their deservings.
O, see, see!
And my poor fool is hanged.
No, no, no life!
Why should a dog, a horse, a rat have life
And thou no breath at all?
O, thou'lt come no more.
..never, never, never.
Pray you, undo this button.
Thank you, sir.
Do you see this?
Look on her.
Look, her lips...
He faints. My lord, my lord!
Break, heart, I prithee break.
Look up, my lord.
Vex not his ghost.
O, let him pass.
He hates him
That would upon the rack of this tough world
-Stretch him out longer.
-O he is gone indeed.
The wonder is he hath endured so long.
He but usurped his life.
-Bear them from hence.
Our present business
Is to general woe.
Friends of my soul, you twain,
Rule in this realm
and the gored state sustain.
I have a journey, sir, shortly to go.
My master calls me, I must not say no.
The weight of this sad time we must obey.
Speak what we feel,
not what we ought to say.
The oldest hath borne most. We that are young...
..Shall never see so much, nor live so long.
A stage-to-screen film of the epic sell-out production of King Lear starring Don Warrington. This Talawa-Royal Exchange Theatre co-production was filmed in the round in Manchester, in front of an audience. The original theatrical stage production played to sell-out crowds during its run, winning 4- and 5-star reviews across the board and was described by the Guardian as 'as close to definitive as can be'.
King Lear is a brutal portrait of a man unravelling - pitted against his daughters, against nature and against the universe itself. In an ancient Britain bound by loyalty to the clan and the power of the sword, King Lear decides to give up his crown. As he divides the kingdom between his daughters, family ties disintegrate, order disappears and the land slides into chaos.
Award-winning actor Don Warrington has been highly praised for his brutal and powerful portrayal of King Lear, which resonates particularly as the UK's awareness of the impact of dementia on family bonds and decision-making grows.
Meanwhile, the casting of King Lear's family as black reminds us that the presence and influence of black people is potentially undocumented in our ancient history.
The 'in the round' recording commissioned by The Space brings the audience even closer to the family feuds, elemental attacks and epic battles of King Lear, and serves to extend the audience of an already dynamic and widely attended production.