King Lear

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

Storm still Enter KENT disguised and GENTLEMAN, severally
The storm continues to rage. KENT enters in disguise. The GENTLEMAN enters from a different direction.

KENT

Who’s there, besides foul weather?

KENT

Who’s there, aside from this foul weather?

GENTLEMAN

One minded like the weather, most unquietly.

GENTLEMAN

Someone whose mood is as foul as the weather, very troubled.

KENT

I know you. Where’s the king?

KENT

I know you. Where’s the king?

GENTLEMAN

Contending with the fretful elements.
5Bids 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.
10Strives 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,
15And bids what will take all.

GENTLEMAN

Struggling with the wind and rain. He’s shouting at the wind to blow the earth into the sea, or make the sea flood the earth—he wants to see the world return to primal chaos. He keeps tearing out his white hair, which the blindly raging winds catch up and blow away into nothingness. Small but brave in his surroundings, he’s trying to stand up against the wind and rain blowing back and forth. He’s running bareheaded, calling for the end of the world, out there on a night like this, when even savage animals ravenous with hunger crawl under cover and hide.

KENT

   But who is with him?

KENT

But who’s with him?

GENTLEMAN

None but the fool, who labors to outjest
His heart-struck injuries.

GENTLEMAN

Nobody but the fool, who’s trying to soothe the wounds in the king’s heart with jokes.