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King Lear
by William Shakespeare

Act 5, Scene 1 Easiest-to-Read Edition

The British camp, near Dover

 

 

 

 



King Lear Act 5, Scene 1


 

King Lear Act 5 Scene 1

Enter with drum and colors EDMUND, REGAN, gentlemen, and soldiers

Enter with drum and colors EDMUND, REGAN, gentlemen, and soldiers

EDMUND

(to a gentleman) Know of the duke if his last purpose hold,

know of=find out from

Or whether, since, he is advised by aught

aught=anything

To change the course. He’s full of alteration

And self-reproving. Bring his constant pleasure.

constant pleasure=firm choice

 

EDMUND

(to a gentleman) 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.

 

Exit gentleman

Exit gentleman

REGAN

Our sister’s man is certainly miscarried.

sister’s man=Oswald

miscarried=gone astray

 

REGAN

Our sister’s man is certainly miscarried.

 

EDMUND

'Tis to be doubted, madam.

doubted=feared

 

EDMUND

'Tis to be doubted, madam.

 

REGAN

     Now, sweet lord,

You know the goodness I intend upon you.

goodness=benefit

Tell me but truly—but then speak the truth—

Do you not love my sister?

 

REGAN

     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?

 

EDMUND

     In honored love.

 

EDMUND

     In honored love.

 

REGAN

But have you never found my brother’s way

To the forfended place?

forfended=forbidden

 

REGAN

But have you never found my brother’s way

To the forfended place?

 

EDMUND

That thought abuses you.

abuses=imposes on

 

EDMUND

That thought abuses you.

 

REGAN

I am doubtful that you have been conjunct

doubtful=worried

And bosomed with her as far as we call hers.

 

REGAN

I am doubtful that you have been conjunct

And bosomed with her as far as we call hers.

 

EDMUND

No, by mine honor, madam.

 

EDMUND

No, by mine honor, madam.

 

REGAN

I never shall endure her. Dear my lord,

Be not familiar with her.

 

REGAN

I never shall endure her. Dear my lord,

Be not familiar with her.

 

EDMUND

   Fear me not.—

fear me not=fear not

She and the duke her husband!

 

EDMUND

   Fear me not.—

She and the duke her husband!

 

Enter with drum and colors ALBANY and GONERIL, with troops

Enter with drum and colors ALBANY and GONERIL, with troops

GONERIL

(aside) I had rather lose the battle than that sister

Should loosen him and me.

loosen=separate

him=Edmund

 

GONERIL

(aside) I had rather lose the battle than that sister

Should loosen him and me.

 

ALBANY

Our very loving sister, well bemet.—

well bemet=be well met (welcomed)

(to Edmund) Sir, this I hear: the king is come to his daughter,

With others whom the rigor of our state

rigor=severity

Forced to cry out. Where I could not be honest

I never yet was valiant. For this business,

It touches us as France invades our land,

Not bolds the king, with others whom I fear

not bolds the king=not because France supports Lear

Most just and heavy causes make oppose.

oppose=oppose us

 

ALBANY

Our very loving sister, well bemet.—

Sir, this I hear: the king is come to his daughter,

With others whom the rigor of our state

Forced to cry out. Where I could not be honest

I never yet was valiant. For this business,

It touches us as France invades our land,

Not bolds the king, with others whom I fear

Most just and heavy causes make oppose.

 

EDMUND

Sir, you speak nobly.

 

EDMUND

Sir, you speak nobly.

 

REGAN

   Why is this reasoned?

 

REGAN

   Why is this reasoned?

 

GONERIL

(to Albany) Combine together 'gainst the enemy,

For these domestic and particular broils

Are not the question here.

 

GONERIL

Combine together 'gainst the enemy,

For these domestic and particular broils

Are not the question here.

 

ALBANY

Let’s then determine with the ancient of war

ancient of war=those with more military experience (plural)

On our proceedings.

 

ALBANY

Let’s then determine with the ancient of war

On our proceedings.

 

EDMUND

I shall attend you presently at your tent.

presently=right away

 

EDMUND

I shall attend you presently at your tent.

 

REGAN

Sister, you’ll go with us?

 

REGAN

Sister, you’ll go with us?

 

GONERIL

No.

 

GONERIL

No.

 

REGAN

'Tis most convenient. Pray you, go with us.

convenient=appropriate

 

REGAN

'Tis most convenient. Pray you, go with us.

 

GONERIL

(aside) Oh ho, I know the riddle.—I will go.

riddle – both sisters want Edmund

 

GONERIL

(aside) Oh ho, I know the riddle.—I will go.

 

Enter EDGAR disguised

Enter EDGAR disguised

EDGAR

(to ALBANY) If e'er your grace had speech with man so poor,

Hear me one word.

 

EDGAR

(to ALBANY) If e'er your grace had speech with man so poor,

Hear me one word.

 

ALBANY

(to EDMUND, REGAN, and GONERIL)

   I’ll overtake you.—

 

ALBANY

(to EDMUND, REGAN, and GONERIL)

   I’ll overtake you.—

 

Exeunt all but ALBANY and EDGAR

Exeunt all but ALBANY and EDGAR

Speak.

Speak.

EDGAR

(giving ALBANY a letter)

Before you fight the battle, ope this letter.

letter=letter Oswald was carrying from Goneril to Edmund

If you have victory, let the trumpet sound

For him that brought it. Wretched though I seem,

for him that brought it (the letter)=to summon Edgar himself

I can produce a champion that will prove

champion=Edgar himself

prove=put to trial by combat

What is avouchèd there. If you miscarry,

miscarry=fail (i.e., die)

Your business of the world hath so an end,

so=thus

And machination ceases. Fortune love you.

machination=scheming

 

EDGAR

(giving ALBANY a letter)

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 avouchèd there. If you miscarry,

Your business of the world hath so an end,

And machination ceases. Fortune love you.

 

ALBANY

Stay till I have read the letter.

 

ALBANY

Stay till I have read the letter.

 

EDGAR

I was forbid it.

When time shall serve, let but the herald cry,

And I’ll appear again.

 

EDGAR

I was forbid it.

When time shall serve, let but the herald cry,

And I’ll appear again.

 

ALBANY

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

o’erlook=look over

 

ALBANY

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

 

Exit EDGAR

Exit EDGAR

Enter EDMUND

Enter EDMUND

EDMUND

The enemy’s in view. Draw up your powers.

(gives ALBANY a document)

Here is the guess of their true strength and forces

By diligent discovery, but your haste

Is now urged on you.

 

EDMUND

The enemy’s in view. Draw up your powers.

(gives ALBANY a document)

Here is the guess of their true strength and forces

By diligent discovery, but your haste

Is now urged on you.

 

ALBANY

   We will greet the time.

 

ALBANY

   We will greet the time.

 

Exit ALBANY

Exit ALBANY

EDMUND

To both these sisters have I sworn my love,

Each jealous of the other as the stung

jealous of=furious at

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,

exasperates, makes mad=embitters and makes furious

And hardly shall I carry out my side,

hardly=uneasily

Her husband being alive. Now, then, we’ll use

His countenance for the battle, which being done,

countenance=support

Let her who would be rid of him devise

His speedy taking off. As for the mercy

his speedy taking off=Albany’s death

Which he intends to Lear and to Cordelia,

The battle done and they within our power,

Shall never see his pardon, for my state

shall never see his pardon=Lear and Cordelia won’t live to see Albany’s pardon

Stands on me to defend, not to debate.

 

EDMUND

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.

 

Exit

Exit

 

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