A line-by-line translation

King Lear

King Lear Translation Act 5, Scene 1

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Enter with drum and colors EDMUND, REGAN, gentlemen, and soldiers

EDMUND

[To a gentleman] Know of the duke if his last purpose hold, Or whether since he is advised by aught To change the course. He’s full of alteration And self-reproving. Bring his constant pleasure.

EDMUND

[To a gentleman] Find out if the Duke of Albany plans to stick to his most recent plan, or if something has changed his mind. He's very fickle and always second-guessing himself. Bring me a report of his final decision.

Exit gentleman

REGAN

Our sister’s man is certainly miscarried.

REGAN

My sister's messenger Oswald must have had an accident.

EDMUND

'Tis to be doubted, madam.

EDMUND

That outcome is to be feared, madam.

REGAN

Now, sweet lord, You know the goodness I intend upon you. Tell me but truly— but then speak the truth— Do you not love my sister?

REGAN

Now, sweet lord, you know that I intend to honor you with my hand in marriage. But tell me truly—be honest now—don't you love my sister Goneril?

EDMUND

In honored love.

EDMUND

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REGAN

But have you never found my brother’s wayTo the forfended place?

REGAN

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EDMUND

That thought abuses you.

EDMUND

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REGAN

I am doubtful that you have been conjunctAnd bosomed with her as far as we call hers.

REGAN

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EDMUND

No, by mine honor, madam.

EDMUND

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REGAN

I never shall endure her. Dear my lord,Be not familiar with her.

REGAN

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EDMUND

Fear me not.She and the duke her husband!

EDMUND

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Enter with drum and colors ALBANY and GONERIL, with troops

GONERIL

[aside] I had rather lose the battle than that sisterShould loosen him and me.

GONERIL

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ALBANY

Our very loving sister, well be-met. Sir, this I hear: the king is come to his daughter, With others whom the rigor of our state Forced to cry out. Where I could not be honest I never yet was valiant. For this business, It touches us as France invades our land, Not bolds the king, with others whom I fear Most just and heavy causes make oppose.

ALBANY

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EDMUND

Sir, you speak nobly.

EDMUND

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REGAN

Why is this reasoned?

REGAN

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GONERIL

Combine together 'gainst the enemy, For these domestic and particular broilsAre not the question here.

GONERIL

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ALBANY

Let’s then determine with the ancient of warOn our proceedings.

ALBANY

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EDMUND

I shall attend you presently at your tent.

EDMUND

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REGAN

Sister, you’ll go with us?

REGAN

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GONERIL

No.

GONERIL

Lor

REGAN

'Tis most convenient. Pray you, go with us.

REGAN

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GONERIL

[aside] Oh ho, I know the riddle.—I will go.

GONERIL

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Enter EDGAR disguised

EDGAR

[to ALBANY] If e'er your grace had speech with man so poor,Hear me one word.

EDGAR

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ALBANY

[To EDMUND, REGAN, and GONERIL] I’ll overtake you.—

ALBANY

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Exeunt all but ALBANY and EDGAR

Speak.

Lorem ipsuLorem ips

EDGAR

[Giving ALBANY a letter] Before you fight the battle, ope this letter. If you have victory, let the trumpet sound For him that brought it. Wretched though I seem, I can produce a champion that will prove What is avouchèd there. If you miscarry, Your business of the world hath so an end, And machination ceases. Fortune love you.

EDGAR

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ALBANY

Stay till I have read the letter.

ALBANY

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EDGAR

I was forbid it.When time shall serve, let but the herald cry,And I’ll appear again.

EDGAR

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ALBANY

Why, fare thee well. I will o'erlook thy paper.

ALBANY

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Exit EDGAR

Enter EDMUND

EDMUND

The enemy’s in view. Draw up your powers. [gives ALBANY a document] Here is the guess of their true strength and forces By diligent discovery, but your haste Is now urged on you.

EDMUND

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ALBANY

We will greet the time.

ALBANY

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Exit ALBANY

EDMUND

To both these sisters have I sworn my love, Each jealous of the other as the stung Are of the adder. Which of them shall I take? Both? One? Or neither? Neither can be enjoyed If both remain alive. To take the widow Exasperates, makes mad her sister Goneril, And hardly shall I carry out my side, Her husband being alive. Now, then, we’ll use His countenance for the battle, which being done, Let her who would be rid of him devise His speedy taking off. As for the mercy Which he intends to Lear and to Cordelia, The battle done and they within our power, Shall never see his pardon, for my state Stands on me to defend, not to debate.

EDMUND

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Exit

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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.