No Fear Act 1 Scene 2
No Fear Act 1 Scene 2 Page 5

Original Text

Modern Text

mutinies, in countries discord, in palaces treason, and the bond cracked ’twixt son and father. This villain of mine comes under the prediction—there’s son against father. The king falls from bias of nature—there’s father against child. We have seen the best of our time. Machinations, hollowness, treachery, and all ruinous disorders follow us disquietly to our graves. Find out this villain, Edmund. It shall lose thee nothing. Do it carefully.—And the noble and true-hearted Kent banished, his offense honesty! 'Tis strange, strange.
break out, civil war erupts, kings are betrayed, and the bond between father and son snaps. This wicked son of mine confirms the prediction —son against father. The king acts unnaturally—father against child. We’ve seen the best our age has to offer. Conspiracies, fakery, betrayal, and disorder are all that’s left until we die. Find out what this villainous Edgar is thinking, Edmund. You won’t lose any respect. Just do it carefully.—And to think that the noble and loyal Kent has been banished, for the crime of telling the truth! It’s strange, strange.


This is the excellent foppery of the world that when we are sick in fortune—often the surfeit of our own behavior—we make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars, as if we were villains by necessity, fools by heavenly compulsion, knaves, thieves, and treachers by spherical predominance, drunkards, liars, and adulterers by an enforced obedience of planetary influence, and all that we are evil in by a divine thrusting-on. An admirable evasion of whoremaster man, to lay his goatish disposition to the charge of a star! My father compounded with my mother under the dragon’s tail and my nativity was under Ursa Major, so that it follows I am rough and lecherous. Fut, I should have been that I am, had the maidenliest star in the firmament twinkled on my bastardizing. Edgar—


This is a classic example of the idiocy of the world: when we’re down and out—often because of our own excesses —we put all the blame on the sun, the moon, and the stars, as if they forced us to be bad, or the heavens compelled us to be villainous or stupid. As if we become thieves and traitors according to astrological signs or obey planetary influences to become drunks, liars, and adulterers! As if some universal power pushed us into evil deeds! What a sneaky trick it is for lustful mankind to blame our horniness on some star! My father and mother coupled when the demonic moon was descending, and I was born under the Big Dipper, so it’s inevitable that I’m rude and oversexed. Christ! I would have been what I am even if the most virginal star in the heavens had twinkled at my conception. Edgar—
EDGAR enters.
and pat on ’s cue he comes like the catastrophe of the old comedy. My cue is villainous melancholy, with a sigh like Tom o' Bedlam. Oh, these eclipses do portend these divisions! Fa, sol, la, mi.
and, speak of the devil, here he comes, right on cue. I’ve got to play the role and sigh like a poor beggar.—Oh, these eclipses predict such disorder. Fa, sol, la, mi.