King Lear

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

Enter GLOUCESTER, and EDGAR disguised in peasant clothing
GLOUCESTER enters with EDGAR, who is dressed as a peasant.

GLOUCESTER

When shall we come to th' top of that same hill?

GLOUCESTER

When will we get to the top of that cliff?

EDGAR

You do climb up it now. Look how we labor.

EDGAR

We’re walking up to the top right now. See how hard it is to climb?

GLOUCESTER

Methinks the ground is even.

GLOUCESTER

The ground feels flat to me.

EDGAR

     Horrible steep.
Hark, do you hear the sea?

EDGAR

No, it’s dreadfully steep. Listen. Do you hear the sea?

GLOUCESTER

   No, truly.

GLOUCESTER

No, really, I don’t.

EDGAR

5Why then, your other senses grow imperfect
By your eyes' anguish.

EDGAR

Then your other senses must be getting worse because of the trauma of blindness.

GLOUCESTER

   So may it be indeed.
Methinks thy voice is altered, and thou speak’st
In better phrase and matter than thou didst.

GLOUCESTER

It may be so. It seems to me that your voice has changed, and that your speech is more elegant than it used to be.

EDGAR

You’re much deceived. In nothing am I changed
10But in my garments.

EDGAR

You’re mistaken about all that. The only thing different about me is my clothes.

GLOUCESTER

   Methinks you’re better spoken.

GLOUCESTER

I think you’re more articulate.

EDGAR

Come on, sir. Here’s the place. Stand still. 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. Halfway down
15Hangs 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 bark,

EDGAR

Come on, sir. This is the place. Stand still. It’s so scary to look down! It makes me dizzy. The crows flying down below look as small as ants. Halfway down the cliff there’s somebody clinging to the rock and gathering wild herbs—a risky business! He looks like a dot to me. The fishermen walking along the beach are as small as mice. That big ship over there looks no bigger