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King Lear
by William Shakespeare

Act 2, Scene 3 Easiest-to-Read Edition

A wood

 

 

 

 



King Lear Act 2, Scene 3


 

King Lear Act 2 Scene 3

Enter EDGAR

Enter EDGAR

EDGAR

I heard myself proclaimed [an outlaw],

And by the happy hollow of a tree

Escaped the hunt. No port is free, no place

That guard and most unusual vigilance

Does not attend my taking. Whiles I may ’scape,

I will preserve myself, and am bethought

bethought=disposed

To take the basest and most poorest shape

That ever penury in contempt of man

Brought near to beast. My face I’ll grime with filth,

Blanket my loins, elf all my hair in knots,

elf=tangle

And with presented nakedness outface

presented nakedness outface=public sparsity of covering face down

The winds and persecutions of the sky.

The country gives me proof and precedent

country=countryside

Of Bedlam beggars, who with roaring voices

Bedlam=London insane asylum

Strike in their numbed and mortified bare arms

numbed and mortified=unfeeling

Pins, wooden pricks, nails, sprigs of rosemary,

And with this horrible object from low farms,

object=display

Poor pelting villages, sheepcotes, and mills,

pelting=worthless

sheepcotes=sheds for sheep

Sometime with lunatic bans, sometime with prayers,

bans=curses

Enforce their charity. “Poor Turlygod!” “Poor Tom!”—

enforce their charity=force people to donate

That’s something yet. Edgar I nothing am.

 

EDGAR

I heard myself proclaimed,

And by the happy hollow of a tree

Escaped the hunt. No port is free, no place

That guard and most unusual vigilance

Does not attend my taking. Whiles I may ’scape,

I will preserve myself, and am bethought

To take the basest and most poorest shape

That ever penury in contempt of man

Brought near to beast. My face I’ll grime with filth,

Blanket my loins, elf all my hair in knots,

And with presented nakedness outface

The winds and persecutions of the sky.

The country gives me proof and precedent

Of Bedlam beggars, who with roaring voices

Strike in their numbed and mortified bare arms

Pins, wooden pricks, nails, sprigs of rosemary,

And with this horrible object from low farms,

Poor pelting villages, sheepcotes, and mills,

Sometime with lunatic bans, sometime with prayers,

Enforce their charity. “Poor Turlygod!” “Poor Tom!”—

That’s something yet. Edgar I nothing am.

 

 

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