King Lear

First folio
Modern text

Definitions

Key line

Enter Gonerill, Bastard, and Steward.Enter Gonerill and Edmund KL IV.ii.1.1
Gon. GONERILL 
Welcome my Lord. I meruell our mild husbandWelcome, my lord. I marvel our mild husbandmarvel (v.)
wonder, be curious
KL IV.ii.1
Not met vs on the way.Not met us on the way. KL IV.ii.2.1
Enter Oswald KL IV.ii.2
Now, where's your Master?Now, where's your master'? KL IV.ii.2.2
Stew. OSWALD 
Madam within, but neuer man so chang'd:Madam, within; but never man so changed. KL IV.ii.3
I told him of the Army that was Landed:I told him of the army that was landed. KL IV.ii.4
He smil'd at it. I told him you were comming,He smiled at it. I told him you were coming. KL IV.ii.5
His answer was, the worse. Of Glosters Treachery,His answer was ‘The worse.' Of Gloucester's treachery KL IV.ii.6
And of the loyall Seruice of his SonneAnd of the loyal service of his son KL IV.ii.7
When I inform'd him, then he call'd me Sot,When I informed him, then he called me sotsot (n.)
blockhead, idiot, dolt
KL IV.ii.8
And told me I had turn'd the wrong side out:And told me I had turned the wrong side out. KL IV.ii.9
What most he should dislike, seemes pleasant to him;What most he should dislike seems pleasant to him; KL IV.ii.10
What like, offensiue.What like, offensive. KL IV.ii.11.1
Gon. GONERILL  
(to Edmund) KL IV.ii.11
Then shall you go no further.Then shall you go no further. KL IV.ii.11.2
It is the Cowish terror of his spiritIt is the cowish terror of his spiritcowish (adj.)
cowardly, irresolute, timorous
KL IV.ii.12
That dares not vndertake: Hee'l not feele wrongsThat dares not undertake. He'll not feel wrongswrong (n.)
insult, offence, slight
KL IV.ii.13
feel (v.)

old form: feele
react to, be affected by
undertake (v.)

old form: vndertake
take responsibility, commit oneself to an enterprise
Which tye him to an answer: our wishes on the wayWhich tie him to an answer. Our wishes on the wayanswer (n.)
retaliation, armed response
KL IV.ii.14
May proue effects. Backe Edmond to my Brother,May prove effects. Back, Edmund, to my brother!effect (n.)
result, end, outcome, fulfilment
KL IV.ii.15
Hasten his Musters, and conduct his powres.Hasten his musters and conduct his powers:muster (n.)
(plural) enlistment of soldiers, mobilizing of troops
KL IV.ii.16
power (n.)

old form: powres
armed force, troops, host, army
I must change names at home, and giue the DistaffeI must change arms at home and give the distaffdistaff (n.)

old form: Distaffe
device for weaving, spindle
KL IV.ii.17
arms (n.)
weapons, armaments
Into my Husbands hands. This trustie SeruantInto my husband's hands. This trusty servant KL IV.ii.18
Shall passe betweene vs: ere long you are like to heareShall pass between us; ere long you are like to hear, KL IV.ii.19
(If you dare venture in your owne behalfe)If you dare venture in your own behalf,venture, venter (v.)
run a risk, take a chance, dare to act
KL IV.ii.20
A Mistresses command. Weare this; spare speech,A mistress's command. Wear this; (giving a favour) spare speech.spare (v.)
omit, avoid, refrain [from]
KL IV.ii.21
favour (n.)
mark of favour, gift, token [often a love-token]
Decline your head. This kisse, if it durst speakeDecline your head; this kiss, if it durst speak,decline (v.)
incline, lean, bend
KL IV.ii.22
Would stretch thy Spirits vp into the ayre:Would stretch thy spirits up into the air. KL IV.ii.23
Conceiue, and fare thee well.Conceive; and fare thee well.fare ... well (int.)
goodbye [to an individual]
KL IV.ii.24
conceive (v.)

old form: Conceiue
understand, comprehend, follow
Bast. EDMUND 
Yours in the rankes of death. Yours in the ranks of death. KL IV.ii.25.1
Gon. GONERILL 
My most deere Gloster.My most dear Gloucester! KL IV.ii.25.2
Exit.Exit Edmund KL IV.ii.25
Oh, the difference of man, and man,O, the difference of man and man! KL IV.ii.26
To thee a Womans seruices are due,To thee a woman's services are due; KL IV.ii.27
My Foole vsurpes my body.A fool usurps my bed.usurp (v.)
take wrongful possession of, misappropriate
KL IV.ii.28.1
Stew. OSWALD 
Madam, here come's my Lord.Madam, here comes my lord. KL IV.ii.28.2
Exit KL IV.ii.28
Enter Albany.Enter Albany KL IV.ii.29
Gon. GONERILL 
I haue beene worth the whistle.I have been worth the whistling.whistling (n.)
calling, watching out for
KL IV.ii.29.1
Alb. ALBANY 
Oh Gonerill,O Gonerill, KL IV.ii.29.2
You are not worth the dust which the rude windeYou are not worth the dust which the rude windrude (adj.)
[of wind or water] stormy, turbulent, harsh
KL IV.ii.30
Blowes in your face.Blows in your face. I fear your disposition:disposition (n.)
inclination, mood, frame of mind
KL IV.ii.31
That nature which contemns its originnature (n.)
human nature
KL IV.ii.32
contemn (v.)
despise, scorn, treat with contempt
Cannot be bordered certain in itself.border (v.)
keep within bounds, contain, confine
KL IV.ii.33
She that herself will sliver and disbranchsliver (v.)
cut off [a piece], split off, tear away
KL IV.ii.34
disbranch (v.)
remove a branch, cut off, sever
From her material sap perforce must witherperforce (adv.)
of necessity, with no choice in the matter
KL IV.ii.35
material (adj.)
full of matter, containing substance
And come to deadly use.use (n.)
end, outcome, resolution
KL IV.ii.36
deadly (adj.)
deathly, death-like
GONERILL 
No more; the text is foolish.text (n.)
theme, subject, topic
KL IV.ii.37
ALBANY 
Wisdom and goodness to the vile seem vile; KL IV.ii.38
Filths savour but themselves. What have you done,savour (v.)
relish, enjoy, delight [in]
KL IV.ii.39
filth (n.)
vile creature, foul animal
Tigers not daughters, what have you performed? KL IV.ii.40
A father, and a gracious aged man, KL IV.ii.41
Whose reverence even the head-lugged bear would lick,reverence (n.)
respected state, venerable condition
KL IV.ii.42
head-lugged (adj.)
pulled along by the ears; or: baited, tormented
Most barbarous, most degenerate, have you madded.mad (v.)
madden, exasperate, infuriate
KL IV.ii.43
Could my good brother suffer you to do it?suffer (v.)
allow, permit, let
KL IV.ii.44
A man, a prince, by him so benefited? KL IV.ii.45
If that the heavens do not their visible spirits KL IV.ii.46
Send quickly down to tame these vile offences, KL IV.ii.47
It will come –  KL IV.ii.48
Humanity must perforce prey on itselfperforce (adv.)
of necessity, with no choice in the matter
KL IV.ii.49
Like monsters of the deep. KL IV.ii.50.1
Gon. GONERILL 
Milke-Liuer'd man,Milk-livered man!milk-livered (adj.)
chicken-hearted, cowardly
KL IV.ii.50.2
That bear'st a cheeke for blowes, a head for wrongs,That bear'st a cheek for blows, a head for wrongs!wrong (n.)
insult, offence, slight
KL IV.ii.51
Who hast not in thy browes an eye-discerningWho hast not in thy brows an eye discerningdiscern (v.)
distinguish, make a difference between
KL IV.ii.52
brow (n.)

old form: browes
forehead [often plural, referring to the two prominences of the forehead]
Thine Honor, from thy suffering.Thine honour from thy suffering, that not knowest KL IV.ii.53
Fools do those villains pity who are punished KL IV.ii.54
Ere they have done their mischief. Where's thy drum? KL IV.ii.55
France spreads his banners in our noiseless land,noiseless (adj.)
peaceful, tranquil, quiet
KL IV.ii.56
With plumed helm thy state begins to threat,threat (v.)
threaten
KL IV.ii.57
helm (n.)
helmet
Whilst thou, a moral fool, sits still and criesmoral (adj.)
full of moral sentiments, arguing the pros and cons
KL IV.ii.58
‘ Alack, why does he so?’ KL IV.ii.59.1
Alb. ALBANY 
See thy selfe diuell:See thyself, devil! KL IV.ii.59.2
Proper deformitie seemes not in the FiendProper deformity shows not in the fiendproper (adj.)
characteristic, typical, normal
KL IV.ii.60
So horrid as in woman.So horrid as in woman. KL IV.ii.61.1
Gon. GONERILL 
Oh vaine Foole.O vain fool!vain (adj.)
foolish, silly, stupid
KL IV.ii.61.2
ALBANY 
Thou changed and self-covered thing, for shame,self-covered (adj.)
self-concealing, with the self covered over
KL IV.ii.62
Be-monster not thy feature. Were't my fitnessfitness (n.)
proper behaviour, appropriate conduct
KL IV.ii.63
bemonster, be-monster (v.)
make monstrous, deform, pervert
To let these hands obey my blood,blood (n.)
passion, feeling, strong emotion [especially sexual]
KL IV.ii.64
They are apt enough to dislocate and tearapt (adj.)
fit, ready, prepared
KL IV.ii.65
Thy flesh and bones. Howe'er thou art a fiend, KL IV.ii.66
A woman's shape doth shield thee. KL IV.ii.67
GONERILL 
Marry, your manhood! Mew!marry (int.)
[exclamation] by Mary
KL IV.ii.68
Enter a Messenger.Enter a Messenger KL IV.ii.69
ALBANY 
What news? KL IV.ii.69
Mes. MESSENGER 
Oh my good Lord,the Duke of Cornwals dead,O, my good lord, the Duke of Cornwall's dead, KL IV.ii.70
Slaine by his Seruant, going to put outSlain by his servant, going to put out KL IV.ii.71
The other eye of Glouster.The other eye of Gloucester. KL IV.ii.72.1
Alb. ALBANY 
Glousters eyes.Gloucester's eyes? KL IV.ii.72.2
Mes. MESSENGER 
A Seruant that he bred, thrill'd with remorse,A servant that he bred, thrilled with remorse,thrilled (adj.)

old form: thrill'd
pierced, deeply affected
KL IV.ii.73
breed (v.), past form bred
raise, bring up, support
Oppos'd against the act: bending his SwordOpposed against the act, bending his swordbend (v.)
aim, direct, level, turn
KL IV.ii.74
To his great Master, who, threat-enrag'dTo his great master; who, thereat enraged, KL IV.ii.75
Flew on him, and among'st them fell'd him dead,Flew on him and amongst them felled him dead, KL IV.ii.76
But not without that harmefull stroke, which sinceBut not without that harmful stroke which since KL IV.ii.77
Hath pluckt him after.Hath plucked him after. KL IV.ii.78.1
Alb. ALBANY 
This shewes you are aboueThis shows you are above, KL IV.ii.78.2
You Iustices, that these our neather crimesYou justicers, that these our nether crimesnether (adj.)

old form: neather
belonging to the earth, earthly, worldly
KL IV.ii.79
justicer (n.)
judge
So speedily can venge. But (O poore Glouster)So speedily can venge! But, O, poor Gloucester!venge (v.)
avenge, revenge
KL IV.ii.80
Lost he his other eye?Lost he his other eye? KL IV.ii.81.1
Mes. MESSENGER 
Both, both, my Lord.Both, both, my lord. KL IV.ii.81.2
This Leter Madam, craues a speedy answer:This letter, madam, craves a speedy answer.crave (v.)

old form: craues
need, demand, require
KL IV.ii.82
'Tis from your Sister.'Tis from your sister. KL IV.ii.83.1
Gon. GONERILL  
(aside) KL IV.ii.83
One way I like this well,One way I like this well. KL IV.ii.83.2
But being widdow, and my Glouster with her,But being widow, and my Gloucester with her, KL IV.ii.84
May all the building in my fancie pluckeMay all the building in my fancy pluckpluck upon (v.)

old form: plucke Vpon
bring to ruin, demolish
KL IV.ii.85
fancy (n.)

old form: fancie
love, amorousness, infatuation
Vpon my hatefull life. Another wayUpon my hateful life. Another way KL IV.ii.86
The Newes is not so tart. Ile read, and answer.The news is not so tart. – (Aloud) I'll read and answer.tart (adj.)
sour, severe, grim
KL IV.ii.87
Exit KL IV.ii.87.1
Alb. ALBANY 
Where was his Sonne, / When they did take his eyes?Where was his son when they did take his eyes? KL IV.ii.88
Mes. MESSENGER 
Come with my Lady hither.Come with my lady hither. KL IV.ii.89.1
Alb. ALBANY 
He is not heere.He is not here. KL IV.ii.89.2
Mes. MESSENGER 
No my good Lord, I met him backe againe.No, my good lord; I met him back again. KL IV.ii.90
Alb. ALBANY 
Knowes he the wickednesse?Knows he the wickedness? KL IV.ii.91
Mes. MESSENGER 
I my good Lord: 'twas he inform'd against himAy, my good lord. 'Twas he informed against him, KL IV.ii.92
And quit the house on purpose, that their punishmentAnd quit the house on purpose that their punishment KL IV.ii.93
Might haue the freer course.Might have the freer course.course (n.)
course of action, way of proceeding
KL IV.ii.94.1
Alb. ALBANY 
Glouster, I liueGloucester, I live KL IV.ii.94.2
To thanke thee for the loue thou shew'dst the King,To thank thee for the love thou show'dst the King KL IV.ii.95
And to reuenge thine eyes. Come hither Friend,And to revenge thine eyes. Come hither, friend; KL IV.ii.96
Tell me what more thou know'st. Tell me what more thou knowest. KL IV.ii.97
Exeunt.Exeunt KL IV.ii.97
 Previous Act IV, Scene II Next  
SHAKESPEARE'S WORDS © 2020 DAVID CRYSTAL & BEN CRYSTAL