King Lear

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

KENT in the stocks Enter LEAR, FOOL, and GENTLEMAN
KENT is in the stocks. LEAR enters with the FOOL and the GENTLEMAN.

LEAR

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

LEAR

It’s strange that Regan and her husband left their house without sending back my messenger.

GENTLEMAN

     As I learned,
The night before there was no purpose in them
Of this remove.

GENTLEMAN

According to what I heard, they had no travel plans as of last night.

KENT

5 (to LEAR)    Hail to thee, noble master!

KENT

(to LEAR) Hail, noble master!

LEAR

Ha! Makest thou this shame thy pastime?

LEAR

What’s this? Are you sitting around in this humiliation to amuse yourself?

KENT

     No, my lord.

KENT

No, my lord.

FOOL

Ha, ha! Look, he wears cruel garters. Horses are tied by the heads, dogs and bears by the neck, monkeys by the loins, and men by the legs. When a man’s overlusty at legs, then he wears wooden nether-stocks.

FOOL

Ha, ha! That’s a nasty garter belt. You tie up horses by their heads, dogs and bears by their necks, monkeys by their waists, and humans by their legs. When a person’s prone to wanderlust, he has to wear wooden socks, like a chastity belt around his ankles.

LEAR

(to KENT) What’s he that hath so much thy place mistook
To set thee here?

LEAR

(to KENT) Who could have misunderstood your assigment so completely as to lock you up like this?

KENT

   It is both he and she:
Your son and daughter.

KENT

Your daughter and son-in-law.

LEAR

   No.

LEAR

No.

KENT

     Yes.

KENT

Yes.

LEAR

     No, I say.

LEAR

I’m telling you “No.”

KENT

I say “Yea.”

KENT

And I’m telling you “Yes.”