A line-by-line translation

King Lear

King Lear Translation Act 3, Scene 3

Line Map Clear Line Map Add

Enter GLOUCESTER and EDMUND the bastard, with lights

GLOUCESTER

Alack, alack, Edmund, I like not this unnatural dealing. When I desire their leave that I might pity him, they took from me the use of mine own house, charged me on pain of their perpetual displeasure neither to speak of him, entreat for him, nor any way sustain him.

GLOUCESTER

Alas, alas, Edmund, I don't like this horrible business. When I asked the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall if I could help the king and give him shelter, they took away my command of my own house and ordered me to never speak of him, lobby on his behalf, or help him in any way, or else I should suffer their permanent anger.

EDMUND

Most savage and unnatural!

EDMUND

How savage and unnatural!

GLOUCESTER

Go to, say you nothing. There’s a division betwixt the dukes. And a worse matter than that: I have received a letter this night. 'Tis dangerous to be spoken. I have locked the letter in my closet. These injuries the king now bears will be revenged home. There’s part of a poweralready footed. We must incline to the king. I will look him and privily relieve him. Go you and maintain talk with the duke, that my charity be not of him perceived. If he ask for me, I am ill and gone to bed. Though I die for it—as no less is threatened me—the kingmy old master must be relieved. There is some strange thing toward, Edmund. Pray you, be careful.

GLOUCESTER

Oh well, say nothing about this. There is a quarrel between the two dukes. And there's worse news than that: I received a letter tonight. It's dangerous to discuss. I've locked the letter in my bedroom. The injuries done to the king will be thoroughly avenged. Armed forces have already landed. We must side with the king. I will find him and secretly help him. You go and talk to the duke, so he won't notice that I'm helping the king. If he asks for me, say that I'm ill and have gone to bed. Even if I must die for it—as they've threatened—I must help the king, my old master. There is something strange coming, Edmund. Please, be careful.

Exit GLOUCESTER

EDMUND

This courtesy, forbid thee, shall the duke Instantly know, and of that letter too. This seems a fair deserving, and must draw me That which my father loses—no less than all. The younger rises when the old doth fall.

EDMUND

I'll tell the duke right now about this forbidden kindness to the king, and about that letter too. Betraying my father is something that will get me a reward: it will win me everything my father will lose—which is everything he has. The young will rise when the old fall.

Exit

King lear
Join LitCharts A+ and get the entire King Lear Translation as a printable PDF.
LitCharts A+ members also get exclusive access to:
  • Downloadable translations of every Shakespeare play and sonnet
  • Downloads of 1178 LitCharts Lit Guides
  • Explanations and citation info for 26,005 quotes covering 1178 books
  • Teacher Editions for every Lit Guide
  • PDFs defining 136 key Lit Terms
Matt cosby
About the Translator: Matt Cosby
Matt Cosby graduated from Amherst College in 2011, and currently works as a writer and editor for LitCharts. He is from Florida but now lives in Portland, Oregon, where he also makes art, plays the piano, and goes to dog parks.