King Lear

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 1 Scene 1

page Act 1 Scene 1 Page 2

Original Text

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EDMUND

No, my lord.

EDMUND

No, I don’t, my lord.

GLOUCESTER

25 (to EDMUND) My lord of Kent. Remember him hereafter as my honorable friend.

GLOUCESTER

(to EDMUND) This is Lord Kent. Remember him as my friend and an honorable man.

EDMUND

My services to your lordship.

EDMUND

Very pleased to meet you, my lord.

KENT

I must love you and sue to know you better.

KENT

I look forward to getting to know you better.

EDMUND

Sir, I shall study deserving.

EDMUND

I’ll try to make myself worth your knowledge.

GLOUCESTER

30He hath been out nine years, and away he shall again.

GLOUCESTER

He’s been gone for nine years and he’s leaving again soon.
Sennet.
Trumpets announce the arrival of King LEAR.
The king is coming.
The king is coming.
Enter one bearing a coronet, then King LEAR, then the Dukes of CORNWALL and ALBANY, next GONERIL, REGAN, CORDELIA, and attendants
A man bearing a crown enters, followed by KING LEAR, the Dukes of CORNWALL and ALBANY, then GONERIL, REGAN, CORDELIA, and attendants.

LEAR

Attend the lords of France and Burgundy, Gloucester.

LEAR

Go escort the lords of France and Burgundy, Gloucester.

GLOUCESTER

I shall, my lord.

GLOUCESTER

Yes, my lord.
Exit GLOUCESTERLEAR
GLOUCESTER exits.

LEAR

Meantime we shall express our darker purpose.—
35Give me the map there.—Know that we have divided
In three our kingdom, and ’tis our fast intent
To shake all cares and business from our age,
Conferring them on younger strengths while we
Unburdened crawl toward death.—Our son of Cornwall,
40And you, our no less loving son of Albany,
We have this hour a constant will to publish

LEAR

In the meantime I’ll get down to my real business.—Hand me that map over there.—I hereby announce that I’ve divided my kingdom into three parts, which I’m handing over to the younger generation so I can enjoy a little rest and peace of mind in my old age.—Cornwall and Albany, my loving sons-in-law, I now want to announce publicly what each of my daughters will inherit, to avoid hostilities after I die. The two