Original Text

Modern Text

DOCTOR

Madam, do you. 'Tis fittest.

DOCTOR

You talk to him, ma'am. That’s most appropriate.

CORDELIA

How does my royal lord? How fares your majesty?

CORDELIA

How are you, my royal lord? How is your majesty doing?

LEAR

You do me wrong to take me out o' th' grave.
Thou art a soul in bliss, but I am bound
45Upon a wheel of fire, that mine own tears
Do scald like molten lead.

LEAR

You do me wrong by taking me out of the grave. You’re a soul in heaven, but I’m tied to the fiery wheel of a torture machine in hell. Even my tears burn me like molten lead.

CORDELIA

   Sir, do you know me?

CORDELIA

Sir, do you know who I am?

LEAR

You are a spirit, I know. Where did you die?

LEAR

You’re a spirit, I know. Where did you die?

CORDELIA

(aside to DOCTOR) Still, still far wide!

CORDELIA

(whispering to the DOCTOR) He’s still in outer space.

DOCTOR

He’s scarce awake. Let him alone awhile.

DOCTOR

He’s still half asleep. Let him be for a bit.

LEAR

50Where have I been? Where am I? Fair daylight?
I am mightily abused. I should ev'n die with pity
To see another thus. I know not what to say.
I will not swear these are my hands. Let’s see.
I feel this pinprick. Would I were assured
55Of my condition.

LEAR

Where have I been? Where am I? Is it daytime? I’ve been tricked. I would die of pity to see someone else in my condition. I don’t know what to say. I can’t even be sure these are my hands. Let’s see. I feel this pinprick. I wish I knew what is happening.

CORDELIA

(kneels)
   O, look upon me, sir,
And hold your hands in benediction o'er me.
No, sir, you must not kneel.

CORDELIA

(kneeling) Look at me, sir, and give me your blessing. No, sir, don’t kneel.

LEAR

     Pray, do not mock me.
I am a very foolish fond old man,
60Fourscore and upward, not an hour more nor less.
And to deal plainly
I fear I am not in my perfect mind.
Methinks I should know you, and know this man.

LEAR

Please don’t make fun of me. I’m a foolish, senile old man, eighty-something years old, not an hour more or less. To put it plainly, I’m afraid I’m not quite sane. I feel I should recognize you and that man (he points to KENT),