Contents

Previous Next  

 

King Lear
by William Shakespeare

Act 3, Scene 1 Easiest-to-Read Edition

A heath

 

 

 

 



King Lear Act 3, Scene 1


 

King Lear Act 3 Scene 1

Storm still

 Enter KENT disguised and GENTLEMAN, severally

Storm still

 Enter KENT disguised and GENTLEMAN, severally

KENT

Who’s there, besides foul weather?

 

KENT

Who’s there, besides foul weather?

 

GENTLEMAN

One minded like the weather, most unquietly.

 

GENTLEMAN

One minded like the weather, most unquietly.

 

KENT

I know you. Where’s the king?

 

KENT

I know you. Where’s the king?

 

GENTLEMAN

Contending with the fretful elements.

Bids the winds blow the earth into the sea

Or swell the curlèd water 'bove the main,

main=mainland

That things might change or cease. Tears his white hair,

tears=tears out

Which the impetuous blasts, with eyeless rage,

Catch in their fury and make nothing of.

Strives in his little world of man to outscorn

outscorn=face up to

The to-and-fro–conflicting wind and rain.

This night—wherein the cub-drawn bear would couch,

cub-drawn=drained of milk but unwilling to leave her lair in search of food and water (?)

The lion and the belly-pinchèd wolf

Keep their fur dry—unbonneted he runs,

unbonneted=hatless

And bids what will take all.

(seeks the end of everything)

 

GENTLEMAN

Contending with the fretful elements.

Bids the winds blow the earth into the sea

Or swell the curlèd water 'bove the main,

That things might change or cease. Tears his white hair,

Which the impetuous blasts, with eyeless rage,

Catch in their fury and make nothing of.

Strives in his little world of man to outscorn

The to-and-fro–conflicting wind and rain.

This night—wherein the cub-drawn bear would couch,

The lion and the belly-pinchèd wolf

Keep their fur dry—unbonneted he runs,

And bids what will take all.

 

KENT

   But who is with him?

 

KENT

   But who is with him?

 

GENTLEMAN

None but the fool, who labors to outjest

His heart-struck injuries.

 

GENTLEMAN

None but the fool, who labors to outjest

His heart-struck injuries.

 

KENT

   Sir, I do know you,

And dare upon the warrant of my note

warrant of my note=assurance of my observation (of you)

Commend a dear thing to you. There is division,

Although as yet the face of it be covered

With mutual cunning, ’twixt Albany and Cornwall,

Who have—as who have not that their [whose] great stars

[have been] Throned and set high?—servants, who seem no less,

Which are to France the spies and speculations

Intelligent of our state. What hath been seen,

Either in snuffs and packings of the dukes,

snuffs and packings=dislikes and intrigues

Or the hard rein which both of them hath borne

hard rein=hard line

Against the old kind king, or something deeper,

Whereof perchance these are but furnishings—

furnishings=outward appearances

But true it is. From France there comes a power

Into this scattered kingdom, who already,

Wise in our negligence, have secret feet

In some of our best ports and are at point

To show their open banner. Now to you.

open banner=sign of war

If on my credit you dare build so far

build so far to make=construct a plan as to make

To make your speed to Dover, you shall find

Some that will thank you, making just report

making=for making

Of how unnatural and bemadding sorrow

bemadding=making insane

The king hath cause to plain.

plain=complain of

I am a gentleman of blood and breeding,

And from some knowledge and assurance offer

This office to you.

office=official business

 

KENT

   Sir, I do know you,

And dare upon the warrant of my note

Commend a dear thing to you. There is division,

Although as yet the face of it be covered

With mutual cunning, ’twixt Albany and Cornwall,

Who have—as who have not that their great stars

Throned and set high?—servants, who seem no less,

Which are to France the spies and speculations

Intelligent of our state. What hath been seen,

Either in snuffs and packings of the dukes,

Or the hard rein which both of them hath borne

Against the old kind king, or something deeper,

Whereof perchance these are but furnishings—

But true it is. From France there comes a power

Into this scattered kingdom, who already,

Wise in our negligence, have secret feet

In some of our best ports and are at point

To show their open banner. Now to you.

If on my credit you dare build so far

To make your speed to Dover, you shall find

Some that will thank you, making just report

Of how unnatural and bemadding sorrow

The king hath cause to plain.

I am a gentleman of blood and breeding,

And from some knowledge and assurance offer

This office to you.

 

GENTLEMAN

I will talk further with you.

 

GENTLEMAN

I will talk further with you.

 

KENT

(giving GENTLEMAN a purse and a ring)

     No, do not.

For confirmation that I am much more

Than my outwall, open this purse and take

outwall=outward appearance

What it contains. If you shall see Cordelia

As fear not but you shall—show her this ring.

And she will tell you who that fellow is

That yet you do not know. Fie on this storm!

I will go seek the king.

 

KENT

(giving GENTLEMAN a purse and a ring)

     No, do not.

For confirmation that I am much more

Than my outwall, open this purse and take

What it contains. If you shall see Cordelia

As fear not but you shall—show her this ring.

And she will tell you who that fellow is

That yet you do not know. Fie on this storm!

I will go seek the king.

 

GENTLEMAN

Give me your hand. Have you no more to say?

 

GENTLEMAN

Give me your hand. Have you no more to say?

 

KENT

Few words, but to effect more than all yet:

few words=a few words

all yet=all words already said

That when we have found the king—in which your pain

pain=effort

That way, I’ll this—he that first lights on him

Holla the other.

 

KENT

Few words, but to effect more than all yet:

That when we have found the king—in which your pain

That way, I’ll this—he that first lights on him

Holla the other.

 

Exeunt severally

Exeunt severally

 

Next