King Lear

by: William Shakespeare

Act 3 Scene 5

page Act 3 Scene 5 Page 1

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Enter CORNWALL and EDMUND
CORNWALL enters with EDMUND.

CORNWALL

I will have my revenge ere I depart his house.

CORNWALL

I’ll get my revenge before I leave this house.

EDMUND

How, my lord, I may be censured, that nature thus gives way to loyalty, something fears me to think of.

EDMUND

I’m afraid to think how I’ll be criticized for letting my natural affection for my father give way to my loyalty to you.

CORNWALL

I now perceive it was not altogether your brother’s evil disposition made him seek his death, but a provoking merit set awork by a reprovable badness in himself.

CORNWALL

Now I realize your brother tried to kill your father not just because your brother is an evil man, but because your father deserved it by being wicked himself.

EDMUND

How malicious is my fortune, that I must repent to be just! (giving CORNWALL a letter) This is the letter which he spoke of, which approves him an intelligent party to the advantages of France. O heavens, that this treason were not, or not I the detector!

EDMUND

How unlucky am I, having to apologize for doing the right thing! (giving CORNWALL a letter) This is the letter he was talking about, and it confirms he was a spy for France. Oh God, I wish he had never betrayed us, or that I hadn’t been the one to discover his treason.

CORNWALL

Go with me to the duchess.

CORNWALL

Come with me to see the duchess.

EDMUND

If the matter of this paper be certain, you have mighty business in hand.

EDMUND

If this letter’s right, you’ve got a lot to deal with.

CORNWALL

15True or false, it hath made thee Earl of Gloucester. Seek out where thy father is, that he may be ready for our apprehension.

CORNWALL

Right or not, it’s made you the Earl of Gloucester. Go find your father and let him know we’re going to arrest him.

EDMUND

(aside) If I find him comforting the king, it will stuff his suspicion more fully.(to CORNWALL) I will persevere in my course of loyalty, though the conflict be sore between that and my blood.

EDMUND

(to himself) If I catch my father helping the king, he’ll seem even more guily. (to CORNWALL) I’ll do what I must loyally, even though it pains me to take action against my father.

CORNWALL

I will lay trust upon thee, and thou shalt find a dearer father in my love.

CORNWALL

I put my trust in you. You’ll see that I’m a better father to you than Gloucester.
Exeunt
They exit.