List iconKing Lear:
Act 3, scene 7
List icon

King Lear
Act 3, scene 7



Characters in the Play

Entire Play

King Lear dramatizes the story of an aged king of ancient Britain, whose plan to divide his kingdom among his three…

Act 1, scene 1

King Lear, intending to divide his power and kingdom among his three daughters, demands public professions of their love. His…

Act 1, scene 2

Edmund, the earl of Gloucester’s illegitimate son, plots to displace his legitimate brother, Edgar, as Gloucester’s heir by turning Gloucester…

Act 1, scene 3

Goneril, with whom Lear has gone to live, expresses her anger at Lear and his knights. She orders her steward,…

Act 1, scene 4

The earl of Kent returns in disguise, offers his services to Lear, and is accepted as one of Lear’s followers….

Act 1, scene 5

Lear, setting out for Regan’s with his Fool, sends the disguised Kent ahead with a letter to Regan.

Act 2, scene 1

Edmund tricks Edgar into fleeing from Gloucester’s castle. After more of Edmund’s lies, Gloucester condemns Edgar to death and makes…

Act 2, scene 2

Kent meets Oswald at Gloucester’s castle (where both await answers to the letters they have brought Regan) and challenges Oswald…

Act 2, scene 3

Edgar disguises himself as a madman-beggar to escape his death sentence. (Although Kent remains onstage, a new scene begins because…

Act 2, scene 4

At Gloucester’s castle, Lear is angered that his messenger has been stocked and further angered that Regan and Cornwall refuse…

Act 3, scene 1

Kent, searching for Lear, meets a Gentleman and learns that Lear and the Fool are alone in the storm. Kent…

Act 3, scene 2

Lear rages against the elements while the Fool begs him to return to his daughters for shelter; when Kent finds…

Act 3, scene 3

Gloucester tells Edmund that he has decided to go to Lear’s aid; he also tells him about an incriminating letter…

Act 3, scene 4

Lear, Kent, and the Fool reach the hovel, where they find Edgar disguised as Poor Tom, a madman-beggar. When Gloucester…

Act 3, scene 5

Edmund tells Cornwall about Gloucester’s decision to help Lear and about the incriminating letter from France; in return, Cornwall makes…

Act 3, scene 6

Lear, in his madness, imagines that Goneril and Regan are on trial before a tribunal made up of Edgar, the…

Act 3, scene 7

Cornwall dispatches men to capture Gloucester, whom he calls a traitor. Sending Edmund and Goneril to tell Albany about the…

Act 4, scene 1

Edgar, still in disguise as Poor Tom, meets the blinded Gloucester and agrees to lead him to Dover.

Act 4, scene 2

Goneril and Edmund arrive at Albany and Goneril’s castle. After Goneril has sent Edmund back to Cornwall, Albany enters and…

Act 4, scene 3

In the French camp Kent and a Gentleman discuss Cordelia’s love of Lear, which has brought her back to Britain…

Act 4, scene 4

In the French camp Cordelia orders out a search party for Lear.

Act 4, scene 5

Regan questions Oswald about Goneril and Edmund, states her intention to marry Edmund, and asks Oswald to dissuade Goneril from…

Act 4, scene 6

To cure Gloucester of despair, Edgar pretends to aid him in a suicide attempt, a fall from Dover Cliff to…

Act 4, scene 7

In the French camp, Lear is waked by the doctor treating him and is reunited with Cordelia.

Act 5, scene 1

Albany joins his forces with Regan’s (led by Edmund) to oppose the French invasion. Edgar, still in disguise, approaches Albany…

Act 5, scene 2

Cordelia’s French army is defeated.

Act 5, scene 3

Edmund sends Lear and Cordelia to prison and secretly commissions their assassination. Albany confronts Edmund and Goneril with their intended…

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Scene 7
Enter Cornwall, Regan, Goneril, Edmund, the Bastard,
and Servants.

CORNWALL, to Goneril Post speedily to my lord your
 husband. Show him this letter. He gives her a
The army of France is landed.—Seek out
 the traitor Gloucester.Some Servants exit.

King Lear
ACT 3. SC. 7

REGAN 5Hang him instantly.
GONERIL Pluck out his eyes.
CORNWALL Leave him to my displeasure.—Edmund,
 keep you our sister company. The revenges we are
 bound to take upon your traitorous father are not
10 fit for your beholding. Advise the Duke, where you
 are going, to a most festinate preparation; we are
 bound to the like. Our posts shall be swift and
 intelligent betwixt us.—Farewell, dear sister.—
 Farewell, my lord of Gloucester.

Enter Oswald, the Steward.

15 How now? Where’s the King?
 My lord of Gloucester hath conveyed him hence.
 Some five- or six-and-thirty of his knights,
 Hot questrists after him, met him at gate,
 Who, with some other of the lord’s dependents,
20 Are gone with him toward Dover, where they boast
 To have well-armèd friends.
CORNWALL Get horses for your mistress.
Oswald exits.
GONERIL Farewell, sweet lord, and sister.
 Edmund, farewell.Goneril and Edmund exit.
25 Go seek the traitor Gloucester.
 Pinion him like a thief; bring him before us.
Some Servants exit.
 Though well we may not pass upon his life
 Without the form of justice, yet our power
 Shall do a court’sy to our wrath, which men
30 May blame but not control.

Enter Gloucester and Servants.

 Who’s there? The

King Lear
ACT 3. SC. 7

REGAN Ingrateful fox! ’Tis he.
CORNWALL Bind fast his corky arms.
35 What means your Graces? Good my friends,
 You are my guests; do me no foul play, friends.
 Bind him, I say.
REGAN  Hard, hard. O filthy traitor!
40 Unmerciful lady as you are, I’m none.
 To this chair bind him.Servants bind Gloucester.
 Villain, thou shalt find—
Regan plucks Gloucester’s beard.
 By the kind gods, ’tis most ignobly done
 To pluck me by the beard.
45 So white, and such a traitor?
GLOUCESTER  Naughty lady,
 These hairs which thou dost ravish from my chin
 Will quicken and accuse thee. I am your host;
 With robber’s hands my hospitable favors
50 You should not ruffle thus. What will you do?
 Come, sir, what letters had you late from France?
 Be simple-answered, for we know the truth.
 And what confederacy have you with the traitors
 Late footed in the kingdom?
REGAN 55 To whose hands
 You have sent the lunatic king. Speak.
 I have a letter guessingly set down

King Lear
ACT 3. SC. 7

 Which came from one that’s of a neutral heart,
 And not from one opposed.
CORNWALL 60Cunning.
REGAN And false.
CORNWALL Where hast thou sent the King?
 Wherefore to Dover? Wast thou not charged at
65 peril—
 Wherefore to Dover? Let him answer that.
 I am tied to th’ stake, and I must stand the course.
REGAN Wherefore to Dover?
 Because I would not see thy cruel nails
70 Pluck out his poor old eyes, nor thy fierce sister
 In his anointed flesh stick boarish fangs.
 The sea, with such a storm as his bare head
 In hell-black night endured, would have buoyed up
 And quenched the stellèd fires;
75 Yet, poor old heart, he holp the heavens to rain.
 If wolves had at thy gate howled that stern time,
 Thou shouldst have said “Good porter, turn the
 All cruels else subscribe. But I shall see
80 The wingèd vengeance overtake such children.
 See ’t shalt thou never.—Fellows, hold the chair.—
 Upon these eyes of thine I’ll set my foot.
 He that will think to live till he be old,
 Give me some help!
As Servants hold the chair, Cornwall forces out
one of Gloucester’s eyes.

85 O cruel! O you gods!

King Lear
ACT 3. SC. 7

 One side will mock another. Th’ other too.
 If you see vengeance—
FIRST SERVANT  Hold your hand,
 my lord.
90 I have served you ever since I was a child,
 But better service have I never done you
 Than now to bid you hold.
REGAN  How now, you dog?
 If you did wear a beard upon your chin,
95 I’d shake it on this quarrel. What do you mean?
CORNWALL My villain?Draw and fight.
 Nay, then, come on, and take the chance of anger.
REGAN, to an Attendant 
 Give me thy sword. A peasant stand up thus?
She takes a sword and runs
at him behind; kills him.

 O, I am slain! My lord, you have one eye left
100 To see some mischief on him. O!He dies.
 Lest it see more, prevent it. Out, vile jelly!
Forcing out Gloucester’s other eye.
 Where is thy luster now?
 All dark and comfortless! Where’s my son
105 Edmund, enkindle all the sparks of nature
 To quit this horrid act.
REGAN  Out, treacherous villain!
 Thou call’st on him that hates thee. It was he
 That made the overture of thy treasons to us,
110 Who is too good to pity thee.

King Lear
ACT 3. SC. 7

 O my follies! Then Edgar was abused.
 Kind gods, forgive me that, and prosper him.
 Go thrust him out at gates, and let him smell
 His way to Dover.
Some Servants exit with Gloucester.
115 How is ’t, my lord? How look you?
 I have received a hurt. Follow me, lady.—
 Turn out that eyeless villain. Throw this slave
 Upon the dunghill.—Regan, I bleed apace.
 Untimely comes this hurt. Give me your arm.
Cornwall and Regan exit.
120 I’ll never care what wickedness I do
 If this man come to good.
THIRD SERVANT  If she live long
 And in the end meet the old course of death,
 Women will all turn monsters.
125 Let’s follow the old earl and get the Bedlam
 To lead him where he would. His roguish madness
 Allows itself to anything.
 Go thou. I’ll fetch some flax and whites of eggs
 To apply to his bleeding face. Now heaven help him!
They exit.