King Lear

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter Edgar
contemned (adj.) 1 despised, contemptible, despicable


Yet better thus, and known to be contemned,

Than still contemned and flattered. To be worst,
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

The lowest and most dejected thing of fortune,
dejected (adj.) cast down, abased, humbled

Stands still in esperance, lives not in fear.
esperance (n.) hope, expectation, optimism

The lamentable change is from the best;

The worst returns to laughter. Welcome, then,

Thou unsubstantial air that I embrace!
unsubstantial (adj.) lacking in material substance, intangible

The wretch that thou hast blown unto the worst

Owes nothing to thy blasts.

Enter Gloucester, led by an Old Man

                         But who comes here?

My father, parti-eyed! World, world, O world!
parti-eyed (adj.) [unclear meaning] with eyes of mixed colours; bleeding

But that thy strange mutations make us hate thee

Life would not yield to age.


                         O my good lord,

I have been your tenant, and your father's tenant

These fourscore years!


Away! Get thee away! Good friend, be gone.

Thy comforts can do me no good at all;
comfort (n.) 1 encouragement, support, hope

Thee they may hurt.


                         You cannot see your way.


I have no way and therefore want no eyes;
want (v.) 4 require, demand, need

I stumbled when I saw. Full oft 'tis seen
oft (adv.) often See Topics: Frequency count

Our means secure us, and our mere defects
mean (n.) 4 (plural) resources, wherewithal, wealth
mere (adj.) 2 sole, personal, particular
secure (v.) 2 make over-confident, keep unsuspecting

Prove our commodities. O dear son Edgar,
commodity (n.) 2 asset, advantage, benefit

The food of thy abused father's wrath!
abused (adj.) 1 deceived, misled, fooled, cheated

Might I but live to see thee in my touch

I'd say I had eyes again.


                         How now? Who's there?



O gods! Who is't can say ‘ I am at the worst ’?

I am worse than e'er I was.


                         'Tis poor mad Tom.



And worse I may be yet. The worst is not,

So long as we can say ‘ This is the worst.’


Fellow, where goest?


                         Is it a beggar-man?


Madman and beggar too.


He has some reason, else he could not beg.

I'the last night's storm I such a fellow saw

Which made me think a man a worm. My son

Came then into my mind, and yet my mind

Was then scarce friends with him. I have heard more since.

As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods;
wanton (adj.) 8 cruelly irresponsible, badly behaved

They kill us for their sport.


sport (n.) 1 recreation, amusement, entertainment See Topics: Frequency count

                         How should this be?

Bad is the trade that must play fool to sorrow,
trade (n.) 4 course of action, practice

Angering itself and others. (Aloud) Bless thee, master!


Is that the naked fellow?


                         Ay, my lord.


Then prithee get thee away. If for my sake

Thou wilt o'ertake us hence a mile or twain,
overtake (v.) 2 catch up to, come up with

I'the way toward Dover, do it for ancient love,
ancient, aunchient (adj.) 2 former, earlier, past

And bring some covering for this naked soul,

Who I'll entreat to lead me.


                         Alack, sir, he is mad.


'Tis the time's plague when madmen lead the blind.
plague (n.) calamity, affliction, scourge

Do as I bid thee, or rather do thy pleasure.

Above the rest, begone.


I'll bring him the best 'parel that I have.

Come on't what will.



                         Sirrah naked fellow!


Poor Tom's a-cold. (Aside) I cannot daub it further.
daub (v.) 2 pretend, fake, pass off


Come hither, fellow.



And yet I must. (Aloud) Bless thy sweet eyes, they bleed.


Knowest thou the way to Dover?


Both stile and gate, horse-way and footpath, Poor

Tom hath been scared out of his good wits. Bless thee,
wits, also five wits faculties of the mind (common wit, imagination, fantasy, estimation, memory) or body (the five senses)

good man's son, from the foul fiend. Five fiends have
goodman (adj.) 1 title for a person under the rank of gentleman, yeoman See Topics: Address forms

been in Poor Tom at once: of lust, as Obidicut; Hobbididence,

prince of dumbness; Mahu, of stealing;

Modo, of murder; Flibberdigibbet, of mopping and
mopping (n.) grimacing, making faces

mowing, who since possesses chambermaids and
mowing (n.) grimacing, making mouths

waiting-women. So bless thee, master!


Here, take this purse, thou whom the heavens' plagues
plague (n.) calamity, affliction, scourge

Have humbled to all strokes:. That I am wretched
stroke (n.) 3 affliction, blow, misery

Makes thee the happier. Heavens deal so still!
deal (v.) 4 bestow, apportion, grant
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

Let the superfluous and lust-dieted man
lust-dieted (adj.) pleasure-gorged, self-indulgent
superfluous (adj.) 2 having too much, over-supplied, overflowing

That slaves your ordinance, that will not see
ordinance (n.) 3 decree, divine rule, injunction
slave (v.) enslave, bring into subjection

Because he does not feel, feel your power quickly!

So distribution should undo excess
undo (v.) 4 eliminate, abolish, do away with

And each man have enough. Dost thou know Dover?


Ay, master.


There is a cliff whose high and bending head
bending (adj.) 1 overhanging, jutting, curved

Looks fearfully in the confined deep;
confined (adj.) bounded, enclosed, rimmed
fearfully (adv.) frighteningly, terrifyingly

Bring me but to the very brim of it

And I'll repair the misery thou dost bear

With something rich about me. From that place

I shall no leading need.


                         Give me thy arm;

Poor Tom shall lead thee.


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