King Lear

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

315 (to EDGAR and KENT)
   You, to your rights
With boot, and such addition as your honors
Have more than merited.—All friends shall taste
The wages of their virtue, and all foes
The cup of their deservings. O, see, see!
(to EDGAR and KENT) You will get back your rightful property and titles, along with new honors that you have more than deserved.—My friends and allies will be rewarded for their support, and my enemies will get what they deserve. Look, look!
320And my poor fool is hanged.—No, no, no life?
Why should a dog, a horse, a rat have life,
And thou no breath at all? Oh, thou'lt come no more,
Never, never, never, never, never.—
Pray you, undo this button. Thank you, sir.
325Do you see this? Look on her. Look, her lips.
Look there, look there. O, O, O, O.
And my poor


Lear seems to be talking about Cordelia, using the word “fool” as an endearment.

was hanged.— No, no, no life left? Why should a dog or horse or rat have life, but not you? You’ll never come to me again, never, never, never, never, never.—Please help me undo this button. Thank you, sir. Do you see that? Look at her. Look, her lips. Look there, look there. Oh, oh, oh, oh. (he dies)
He faints!—My lord, my lord!
He’s fainted.—My lord, my lord!
Break, heart. I prithee, break!
My heart will break, break.
330 (to LEAR) Look up, my lord.
(to LEAR) Look at me, my lord.
Vex not his ghost. O, let him pass. He hates him
That would upon the rack of this tough world
Stretch him out longer.
Don’t disturb his soul. Let it go up to heaven. His soul would be angry at anyone who tried to keep him in the torture chamber of this life any longer.
   Oh, he is gone indeed.
Oh, he’s really gone.
The wonder is he hath endured so long.
335He but usurped his life.
What’s amazing is how long he lasted. He was living on borrowed time at the end.
Bear them from hence. Our present business
Is to general woe.
(to KENT and EDGAR) Friends of my soul, you twain
Rule in this realm, and the gored state sustain.
Carry them away. Our business now is mourning and grief. (to KENT and EDGAR) My friends and soulmates, you two will reign over this kingdom and keep the wounded country alive.