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King Lear
Act 4, scene 7

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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 Cordelia, Kent in disguise, Doctor, and
Gentleman.


CORDELIA 
 O, thou good Kent, how shall I live and work
 To match thy goodness? My life will be too short,
 And every measure fail me.
KENT 
 To be acknowledged, madam, is o’erpaid.

217
King Lear
ACT 4. SC. 7

5 All my reports go with the modest truth,
 Nor more, nor clipped, but so.
CORDELIA  Be better suited.
 These weeds are memories of those worser hours.
 I prithee put them off.
KENT 10 Pardon, dear madam.
 Yet to be known shortens my made intent.
 My boon I make it that you know me not
 Till time and I think meet.
CORDELIA 
 Then be ’t so, my good lord.—How does the King?
DOCTOR 15Madam, sleeps still.
CORDELIA O, you kind gods,
 Cure this great breach in his abusèd nature!
 Th’ untuned and jarring senses, O, wind up,
 Of this child-changèd father!
DOCTOR 20 So please your Majesty
 That we may wake the King? He hath slept
 long.
CORDELIA 
 Be governed by your knowledge, and proceed
 I’ th’ sway of your own will. Is he arrayed?

Enter Lear in a chair carried by Servants.

GENTLEMAN 
25 Ay, madam. In the heaviness of sleep,
 We put fresh garments on him.
DOCTOR 
 Be by, good madam, when we do awake him.
 I doubt not of his temperance.
CORDELIA  Very well.
Music.
DOCTOR 
30 Please you, draw near.—Louder the music there.
CORDELIA, kissing Lear 
 O, my dear father, restoration hang

219
King Lear
ACT 4. SC. 7

 Thy medicine on my lips, and let this kiss
 Repair those violent harms that my two sisters
 Have in thy reverence made.
KENT 35 Kind and dear princess.
CORDELIA 
 Had you not been their father, these white flakes
 Did challenge pity of them. Was this a face
 To be opposed against the jarring winds?
 To stand against the deep dread-bolted thunder,
40 In the most terrible and nimble stroke
 Of quick cross-lightning? To watch, poor perdu,
 With this thin helm? Mine enemy’s dog,
 Though he had bit me, should have stood that night
 Against my fire. And wast thou fain, poor father,
45 To hovel thee with swine and rogues forlorn
 In short and musty straw? Alack, alack,
 ’Tis wonder that thy life and wits at once
 Had not concluded all.—He wakes. Speak to him.
DOCTOR Madam, do you; ’tis fittest.
CORDELIA 
50 How does my royal lord? How fares your Majesty?
LEAR 
 You do me wrong to take me out o’ th’ grave.
 Thou art a soul in bliss, but I am bound
 Upon a wheel of fire, that mine own tears
 Do scald like molten lead.
CORDELIA 55 Sir, do you know me?
LEAR 
 You are a spirit, I know. Where did you die?
CORDELIA Still, still, far wide.
DOCTOR 
 He’s scarce awake. Let him alone awhile.
LEAR 
 Where have I been? Where am I? Fair daylight?
60 I am mightily abused; I should e’en die with pity

221
King Lear
ACT 4. SC. 7

 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
 Of my condition!
CORDELIA 65 O, look upon me, sir,
 And hold your hand in benediction o’er me.
 No, sir, you must not kneel.
LEAR  Pray do not mock:
 I am a very foolish fond old man,
70 Fourscore 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,
 Yet I am doubtful, for I am mainly ignorant
75 What place this is, and all the skill I have
 Remembers not these garments; nor I know not
 Where I did lodge last night. Do not laugh at me,
 For, as I am a man, I think this lady
 To be my child Cordelia.
CORDELIA, weeping 80And so I am; I am.
LEAR 
 Be your tears wet? Yes, faith. I pray, weep not.
 If you have poison for me, I will drink it.
 I know you do not love me, for your sisters
 Have, as I do remember, done me wrong.
85 You have some cause; they have not.
CORDELIA  No cause, no
 cause.
LEAR Am I in France?
KENT In your own kingdom, sir.
LEAR 90Do not abuse me.
DOCTOR 
 Be comforted, good madam. The great rage,
 You see, is killed in him, and yet it is danger
 To make him even o’er the time he has lost.

223
King Lear
ACT 4. SC. 7

 Desire him to go in. Trouble him no more
95 Till further settling.
CORDELIA Will ’t please your Highness walk?
LEAR You must bear with me.
 Pray you now, forget, and forgive. I am old and
 foolish.They exit. Kent and Gentleman remain.
GENTLEMAN 100Holds it true, sir, that the Duke of Cornwall
 was so slain?
KENT Most certain, sir.
GENTLEMAN Who is conductor of his people?
KENT As ’tis said, the bastard son of Gloucester.
GENTLEMAN 105They say Edgar, his banished son, is with
 the Earl of Kent in Germany.
KENT Report is changeable. ’Tis time to look about.
 The powers of the kingdom approach apace.
GENTLEMAN The arbitrament is like to be bloody. Fare
110 you well, sir.He exits.
KENT 
 My point and period will be throughly wrought,
 Or well, or ill, as this day’s battle’s fought.
He exits.