Act I, scene I King Lear's Palace

Following section was translated by Daniel Oh and JungHee Lee



KENT (original):
I thought the king had more affected the Duke of
Albany than Cornwall.
KENT (translation):
I thought boss liked the Albany more than Cornwall.

GLOUCESTER (original):
It did always seem so to us: but now, in the
division of the kingdom, it appears not which of
the dukes he values most; for equalities are so
weighed, that curiosity in neither can make choice
of either’s moiety.
GLOUCESTER (translation):
It always looked like that. But now as the Commission is being divided, nobody can tell whom the boss likes more. They are so equally treated that there is not any sign of bias.

KENT (original):
Is not this your son, my lord?
KENT (translation):
Isn’t this your son, sir?

GLOUCESTER (original):
His breeding, sir, hath been at my charge: I have
so often blushed to acknowledge him, that now I am
brazed to it.
GLOUCESTER (translation):
Yeah, I’m responsible for his birth. I was forced to admit that fact so many times that now I can do so without any embarrassment.

KENT (original):
I cannot conceive you.
KENT (translation):
I don’t understand.

GLOUCESTER (original):
Sir, this young fellow’s mother could: whereupon
she grew round-wombed, and had, indeed, sir, a son for her cradle ere she had a husband for her bed.
Do you smell a fault?
GLOUCESTER (translation):
Well, his mother will understand. She was pregnant even before she was married. Do you see the fault?

KENT (original):
I cannot wish the fault undone, the issue of it
being so proper
KENT (translation):
Well, I wouldn’t want to turn back that fault; the boy is very sweet.

GLOUCESTER (original):
But I have, sir, a son by order of law, some year
elder than this, who yet is no dearer in my account:
though this knave came something saucily into the
world before he was sent for, yet was his mother
fair; there was good sport at his making, and the
whoreson must be acknowledged. Do you know this
noble gentleman, Edmund?
GLOUCESTER (translation):
But I have a “legal” son few years older, whom I love equally. Though Edmund might have been born somewhat earlier than he was meant to, his mother was pretty, and we had a lot of fun in bed. Now I have to acknowledge him as my son. Do you know this gentleman, Edmund?

EDMUND (original):
No, my lord.
EDMUND (translation):
No, dad.

GLOUCESTER (original):
My lord of Kent: remember him hereafter as my
honourable friend.
GLOUCESTER (translation):
This is Kent. He’s my honorable friend.

EDMUND (original):
My services to your lordship.
EDMUND (translation):
Nice to meet you, sir.

KENT (original):
I must love you, and sue to know you better
KENT (translation):
I will look forward getting to know you better.

EDMUND (original):
Sir, I shall study deserving
EDMUND (translation):
I will make myself worthy.

GLOUCESTER (original):
He hath been out nine years, and away he shall
again. The king is coming.
GLOUCESTER (translation):
He was away for 9 years and he’ll leave soon again. The King is coming.


LEAR (original):
Attend the lords of France and Burgundy, Gloucester.
LEAR (translation):
Go bring the lords of France and Burgundy, Gloucester.

GLOUCESTER (original):
I shall, my liege.
GLOUCESTER (translation):
Yes, boss.


LEAR (original):
Meantime we shall express our darker purpose.
Give me the map there. Know that we have divided
in three our Kingdom: and ‘tis our fast intent
to shake all cares and business from our age;
Conferring them on younger strengths, while we
unburthen’d crawl toward death. Our son of Cornwall,
And you, our no less loving son of Albany,
LEAR (translation):
In the meantime, let’s get down to business. Give me the map over there. I will divide my nation into three, in which I will inherit to the younger generation while I myself will retire from my position. Son of Cornwall, and my equal son of Albany,

(--the above translated by Daniel and JungHee, pasted here by CB :( )

LEAR: We have this hour a constant will to publish
Our daughter's several dowers, that future strife
May be prevented now. The princes, France and Burgundy,
Great rivals in our youngest daughter's love,
Long in our court have made their amorous sojourn,
And here are to be answer'd. Tell me, my daughters,--
Since now we will divest us both of rule,
Interest of territory, cares of state,--
Which of you shall we say doth love us most?
That we our largest bounty may extend
Where nature doth with merit challenge. Goneril,
Our eldest-born, speak first.
LEAR: Right now, I’m going to divide my inheritance to my daughters so that they won’t fight after I die.
The sons of France and Burgundy, the two suitors came all the way to marry my youngest daughter.
Now, it’s time to decide. Starting today, I'm going to give up my power, my land and authority.
So girls, which of you can tell me you love me the most?
I’ll reward one the most from three of you, even though it should be the oldest according to the custom.
Goneril, my eldest daughter, go ahead.

GONERIL: Sir, I love you more than words can wield the matter;
Dearer than eye-sight, space, and liberty;
Beyond what can be valued, rich or rare;
No less than life, with grace, health, beauty, honour;
As much as child e'er loved, or father found;
A love that makes breath poor, and speech unable;
Beyond all manner of so much I love you.
GONERIL: Dad, I love you more than words can express.
More than whatever I see, more than this world and freedom, beyond money or any jewelries.
I love you as much as a life filled with grace, beauty, and honor.
I love you as much as any child has ever loved her dad;
a love that takes your breath away, and makes you speechless.
I love you more than anything.

Love, and be silent.
CORDELIA: (to herself) I love him but I’m not going to suck up to him.

LEAR: Of all these bounds, even from this line to this,
With shadowy forests and with champains rich'd.
With plenteous rivers and wide-skirted meads,
We make thee lady: to thine and Albany's issue
Be this perpetual. What says our second daughter,
Our dearest Regan, wife to Cornwall? Speak.
LEAR: Out of all this land, I’ll give you and Albany
the land between this line and there.
I announce you the permanent owners of this land
that has shadowy forests, rich planes with lots of rivers.
What about you, Regan? Tell me.

REGAN: Sir, I am made
Of the self-same metal that my sister is,
And prize me at her worth. In my true heart
I find she names my very deed of love;
Only she comes too short: that I profess
Myself an enemy to all other joys,
Which the most precious square of sense possesses;
And find I am alone felicitat
In your dear highness' love.
REGAN: Dad, I’m just like Goneril. I feel the same way as she does.
It feels like she’s reading my mind, but not enough.
I don’t care about all other joys except my love for you, and that’s for real.
And I feel like only your love can make me happy.

And yet not so; since, I am sure, my love's
More richer than my tongue.
CORDELIA: (to herself) I’m screwed! But I know that I love him more than I say I do.

LEAR: To thee and thine hereditary ever
Remain this ample third of our fair kingdom;
Ne less in space, validity, and pleasure,
Than that conferr'd on Goneril. NOw, our joy,
Although the last, not least; to whose young love
The vines of France and milk of Burgundy
Strive to be interess'd; what can you say to draw
A third more opulent than your sisters? Speak.
LEAR: To you and your family, I’ll give you this third of my great kingdom.
It’s not smaller, or less powerful, or less pleasing than what I gave to Goneril.
Now, sweetie,my last but definitely not the least favorite daughter whom France and Burgundy wants to marry , what can you say
to get some more inheritance than your sisters? Tell me.

CORELIA: Nothing, my lord.
CORDELIA: Nothing, Dad.

LEAR: Nothing!
LEAR: Nothing!

CORDELIA: Nothing.
CORDELIA: Nothing.

LEAR: Nothing will come of nothing: speak again.
LEAR: Nothing is not going to get you anything. Give it another try.
(--the above translated by JiEun and JaneH)

CORDELIA Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave
My heart into my mouth: I love your majesty
According to my bond; nor more nor less. 95

CORDELIA I am sad. I cannot express what my heart says. I love you as a father, no more, no less.

KING LEAR How, how, Cordelia! Mend your speech a little,
Lest it may mar your fortunes.

KING LEAR How dare you, Cordelia! Don’t talk to me that way! If you keep that attitude, I will not leave you a thing !

CORDELIA Good my lord,
You have begote, bred me, loved me: I
Return those duties back as are right fit, 100
Obey you, love you, and most honour you.
Why have my sisters husbands, if they say
They love you all? Haply, when I shall wed,
That lord whose hand must take my plight shall carry
Half my love with him, half my care and duty: 105
Sure, I shall never marry like my sisters,
To love my father all.

CORDELIA Oh, Father. You raised me, you loved me, and I appreciate all that you’ve done for me. I am doing the same to you: obey you, love you, and respect you. But father, how can my sisters have husbands if they only love you? When I get married, I’ll give my husband half my love, half my care, and half my attention. I cannot follow what my sisters SAY to you. You can’t be the only one to get my love.

KING LEAR But goes thy heart with this?

KING LEAR Do you really mean that, young lady?

CORDELIA Ay, good my lord.

CORDELIA Yes, Father.

KING LEAR So young, and so untender? 110

KING LEAR You're so young, and selfish!

CORDELIA So young, my lord, and true,

CORDELIA No, young and HONEST.

KING LEAR Let it be so; thy truth, then, be thy dower:
For, by the sacred radiance of the sun,
The mysteries of Hecate, and the night;
By all the operation of the orbs 115
From whom we do exist, and cease to be;
Here I disclaim all my paternal care,
Propinquity and property of blood,
And as a stranger to my heart and me
Hold thee, from this, for ever. The barbarous Scythian, 120
Or he that makes his generation messes
To gorge his appetite, shall to my bosom
Be as well neighbour’d, pitied, and relieved,
As thou my sometime daughter.

KING LEAR Fine! Do whatever you like! I will not leave anything to you! I swear before the Holy Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit who has blessed me, You are NOT my daughter anymore. You are not in this family anymore! I will not give a damn about you than a jamook out in the street! I'm now sick of you, an EX-daughter of mine.

KENT Good my liege,-- 125

KENT Wait, Sir---

KING LEAR Peace, Kent!
Come not between the dragon and his wrath.
I loved her most, and thought to set my rest
On her kind nursery. Hence, and avoid my sight!
So be my grave my peace, as here I give 130
Her father’s heart from her! Call France; who stirs?
Call Burgundy. Cornwall and Albany,
With my two daughters’ dowers digest this third:
Let pride, which she calls plainness, marry her.
I do invest you jointly with my power, 135
Pre-eminence, and all the large effects
That troop with majesty. Ourself, by monthly course,
With reservation of an hundred knights,
By you to be sustain’d shall our abode
Make with you by due turns. Only we still retail 140
The name, and all the additions to a king;
The sway, revenue, execution of the rest,
Beloved sons, be yours: which to confirm,
This coronet part betwixt you.
[Giving the crown]

LEAR Shut up, Kent! Do not bother with me anymore! My decision is final! I loved her most that I even planned to spend my remaining time with her. And this is how she treats me! Get away from my face, Cordelia! Get out of my sight! My grave seems to be the only place left for me to have peace! Call Don France, is somebody there? Go call Don Burgundy. Cornwall and Albany, you and your wives split the last third piece of my turf, the piece that was once supposed to be hers! ((Turning to Cordelia, not being able to calm his anger?)) If you choose your arrogance, or “HONESTY,” over your father, so be it! Marry your god damn pride, Cordelia! Live with it! ((Turning back to Cornwall and Albany)) Oh, and my beloved sons! Today, I will present my ring and all my power as the Head of this Family to you. I’ll stay with you ((either Cornwall or Albany)) a month, and then with you ((the other son-in-law)) the other. All I want from you is to supply my hundred made men's needs accordingly. I will keep my title as the Don, but you will have all the others, the authority and the paid tribute for a Don. As a proof, you two take my ring and keep it. I carried this ring through all the mannagges and other people kissed it for the past 30 years.
(The above transl. by Catherine M. and Faye)

KENT (original): Royal Lear, 145
Who I have ever honour’d as my king,
Loved as my father, as my mater follow’d,
As my great patron thought on in all my prayers, --
KENT (translation): King Lear, I have always admired you so – I’ve honored you as my boss, loved you like my father, followed you like my mother, thought of you as my guardian in all my prayers --

KING LEAR (original): The bow is bent and drawn, make from the shaft.
KING LEAR (translation): Go away, before I shoot you.

KENT (original): Let it fall rather, though the fork invade 150
The region of my heart: be Kent unmannerly,
When Lear is mad. What wilt thou do, old man?
Think’st thou that duty shall have dread to speak,
When power to flattery bows? To plainness honour’s bound,
When majesty stoops to folly. Reverse thy doom; 155
And, in thy best consideration, cheque
This hideous rashness: answer my life my judgment,
Thy youngest daughter does not love thee least;
Nor are those empty-hearted whose low sound
Reverbs no hollowness 160
KENT (translation): Then shoot me; allow me to be rude - at least now when you are simply out of your mind. What will you do old man? Do you think that I will be afraid to speak the truth when flattery has overcome your senses? My loyalty is expressed in blunt honesty, when you act foolish. Undo your mistake and prevent your downfall; this is what is best for you; rethink your rushed decision: trust me, I serve you with my life. Your youngest daughter doesn't love you the least, just because she doesn't blab her love for you with empty words.

KING LEAR (original): Kent, on thy life, no more.
KING LEAR (translation): Just stop, your life is no longer important to me.

KENT (original): My life I never held but as a pawn
To wage against thy enemies; nor fear to lose it,
Thy safety being the motive.
KENT (translation): I am devoted to you – as long as you are safe, I am not afraid to lose my life.

KING LEAR (original): Out of my sight! 165
KING LEAR (translation): Get out of my sight right away!

KENT (original): See better, Lear; and let me still remain
The true blank of thine eye.
KENT (translation): Open your eyes, Lear. Let me stay and help you see clearly.

KING LEAR (original): Now, by Apollo, --
KING LEAR (translation): Now, I swear upon Apollo…

KENT (original): Now, by Apollo, king,
Thou swear’st thy gods in vain. 170
KENT (translation): King, you swear upon gods in vain – it is no use.

KING LEAR (original): O, vassal! miscreant!
Laying his hand on his sword
KING LEAR (translation): Oh, you villainous servant! (Places his hand on his sword)

ALBANY, CORNWALL (original): Dear sir, forbear.
ALBANY, CORNWALL (translation): Please sir, don't.

KENT (original): Do: Kill thy physician, and the fee bestow
Upon thy foul disease. Revoke thy doom;
Or, whilst I can vent clamour from my throat, 175
I’ll tell thee thou dost evil.
KENT (translation): Do: kill your doctor, your savior and you will pay with an evil disease. Prevent your downfall; or while I can still yell from my throat, I'll tell you that you are doing evil.

KING LEAR (original): Hear me, recreant!
On thine allegiance, hear me!
Since thou hast sought to make us break our vow,
Which we durst never yet, and with strain’d pride 180
To come between our sentence and our power,
Which nor our nature nor our place can bear,
Our potency made good, take thy reward.
Five days we do allot thee, for provision To shield thee from diseases of the world; 185
And on the sixth to turn thy hated back
Upon our kingdom: if, on the tenth day following,
Thy banish’d trunk be found in our dominions,
The moment is thy death. Away! by Jupiter,
This shall not be revoked. 190
KING LEAR (translation): Listen to me, you traitor! You will listen if you have any loyalty left in you! Because you tried to make us break our vow, which I didn't yet, and with extended pride tried to question my decision and authority, which we can no longer take, I will be nice, take what I give you. I'll give you five days for you to prepare yourself for the outside world; and I will give you the sixth day to leave from my kingdom: if I find your banished ass still here by the tenth day, I'm going to kill you. So go! and by God, this will not be revoked!

KENT (original): Fare thee well, king: sith thus thou will appear,
Freedom lives hence, and banishment is here.
The gods to their dear shelter take thee, maid,
That justly think’st, and hast most right said!
To REGAN and GONERIL And your large speeches may your deed approve, 195
That good effects may spring from words of love.
Thus Kent, O princes, bids you all adieu;
He’ll shape his old course in a country new.
KENT (translation): Goodbye and take care, my boss. If this is your decision, there will no longer be any freedom here – just banishment. (Turns to CORDELIA) May the gods protect you – the fairest one of all. (Turns to REGAN and GONERIL) I hope your actions do indeed follow your big speeches and words of love. So now, I bid you all farewell. I shall continue my ways in a new country. (Exit)

(--the above transl. by Kathryn and Shana)

KENT: That justly think'st, and hast most rightly said!
And your large may your deeds approve,
That good effects may spring from words of love.
Thus Kent, O princes, bids you all adieu;
He'll shape his old course in a country new.

KENT: That's just right! I hope your actions can prove your large and exaggerated speeches worth and hope that your speeches of love will bring good effects. So, I say good bye to y'all. I will settle in a new country and start my own life there. Adieu.

GLOUCESTER: Here's France and Burgundy, my noble lord.
GLOUCESTER: Dons of France and Burgundy are here.

KING LEAR: My lord of Burgundy.
We first address towards you, who with this king
Hath rivall'd for our daughter: what , in the least,
Will you require in present dower with her,
Or cease your quest of love?

KING LEAR: Don Burgundy. Let me first ask you, who have been competing against Don of France for my daughter, this; what do you want as a wedding present? Or do you not want to quit your request of marrying her?

BURGUNDY: Most royal majesty,
I crave no more than what your highness offer'd ,
Nor will you tender less.

BURGUNDY: Godfather. I want no more than what you offered and I know that you are going to give me a lot, so I don't care.

KING LEAR: Right noble Burgundy, when she was dear to us, we did hold her so; but now her price is fall'n. Sir, there she stands: If aught within that little seeming substance, Of all of it, with our displeasure pieced, and nothing more, may fitly like your grace, she's there, and she is yours.
KING LEAR: You are absolutely right. When we liked her, we offered you a lot. BUT, since she is trashed from our family, we are not paying you a lot. But, If you still want to marry, with our displeasure, that bitch, you can.

BURGUNDY: I know no answer.
BURGUNDY: What the heck are you talking about??

KING LEAR: Will you, with those infirmities she owes, unfriended, new-adopted to our hate, dower'd with our curse, and stranger'd with our oath, take her, or leave her?
KING LEAR: Will you take her, who has no friends, who earned our hate and whose dowry is only our curse or not?

BURGUNDY: Pardon me, royal sir, election makes not up on such conditions.
BURGUNDY: Sorry, don, I don't have a choice in such conditions.

KING LEAR: Then leave her, sir; for, by the power that made me, I tell you all her wealth. To KING OF FRANCE. For you, great king, I would not from your love make such a stray, to match you where I hate; therefore beseech you to avert your liking a more worthier way than on a wretch whom nature is ashamed almost to acknowledge hers.
KING LEAR: Then, leave. I told you with my all ability what she is worth. And you, Don of France. I don't want to force you to marry her, whom I hate. So, why don't you change your plan and look for another girl who is more worth than that ashamed bitch?

KING OF FRANCE: This is most strange, that she, that even but now was your best object, the argument of your praise, balm of your age, most best, most dearest, should in this trice of time commit a thing so monstrous, to dismantle so many folds of favour. Sure, her offence must be of such unnatural degree, that monsters it, or your fore-vouch'd affection fall'n into taint; which to believe of her, must be a faith that reason without miracle could never plant in me.
KING OF FRANCE: This is weird, that Cordelia, who was your favorite, committed such a disgrace to enrage you. She has been your joy and prouf of your life. It's either that she committed a terrible crime or your love toward her simply has changed. And that I am still believing her must be a miracle that could have never happened in me.
(-the above transl. by Joanna and Frances -10)

CORDELIA [orig.] The jewels of our father, with wash'd eyes
Cordelia leaves you: I know you what you are;
And like a sister am most loath to call
Your faults as they are named. Use well our father:
To your professed bosoms I commit him
But yet, alas, stood I within his grace,
I would prefer him to a better place.
So, farewell to you both.
CORDELIA [trans.] Sisters, I leave this family and the territory of our father as I cry. And sadly I know the true bitches inside you…as well as your dishonesty. Anyways, take good care of our father. I told him of your cheatings for his own good but I am the one abandoned instead of you two. Whatever… So Good bye.

REGAN [orig.] Prescribe not us our duties.
REGAN [trans.] Don’t you dare tell us what to do!

GONERIL [orig.] Let your study
Be to content your lord, who hath received you
At fortune's alms. You have obedience scanted,
And well are worth the want that you have wanted.
GONERIL [trans.] Take your own so-called true “sincerity” crap to your husband who you should be thankful for marrying you. Although you lack what we call obedience, you got what you wanted (sarcastically)

CORDELIA [orig.]Time shall unfold what plaited cunning hides:
Who cover faults, at last shame them derides.
Well may you prosper!
CORDELIA [trans.] Time will someday show your crimes! Your hidden evilness will soon be revealed and shame both of you. Well GOOD LUCK. (sarcastically)

KING OF FRANCE [orig.] Come, my fair Cordelia.
KING OF FRANCE [trans.] Let’s go, Cordelia.

[Exit King of France and Cordelia]

GONERIL [orig.]Sister, it is not a little I have to say of what
most early appertains to us both. I think our
father will hence tonight.
GONERIL [trans.] Regan, I have a lot to say about what’s related to both of us… I think our father will leave tonight.

REGAN [orig.] That's most certain, and with you; next month with us.
REGAN [trans.] Obviously, with YOU. And next month, with us.

GONERIL [orig.] You see how full of changes his age is; the
observation we have made of it hath not been
little: he always loved our sister most; and
with what poor judgment he hath now cast her off
apperas too grossly.
GONERIL [trans.] You see how his old age made him capricious—we have seen a lot of this and I’m tired of it. He used to love Cordelia the most and look what happens! With his poor judgment he just sends her off. I’ve had enough of this.

REGAN [orig.] 'Tis the infirmity of his age: yet he hath ever
but slenderly known himself.
REGAN [trans.] He is becoming weak because of his age, but then again, he has never really known himself

GONERIL [orig.]The best and soundest of his time hath been but
rash; then must we look to receive from his age,
not alone the imperfections of long-engraffed
condition, but therewithal the unruly waywardness
that infirm and choleric years bring with them.
GONERIL [trans.] Even in his prime, he was nothing but impulsive; now since he is old, not only we have to deal with his usual behavior, but also the bullshit that will come with his age.

REGAN [orig.]Such unconstant stars are we like to have from
him as this of Kent's banishment.
REGAN [trans.]Just like the banishment of Kent, we’ll have to take a lot of crap.

GONERIL [orig.] There is further compliment of leavetaking
between France and him. Pray you, let's hit
together: if our father carry authority with such dispoitions as he bears, this last
surrender of his will but offend us.
GONERIL [trans.] There is more praise regarding the leaving of France and our father. If our father still continues to act this way and exercise his authority, his giving away of his great territory will only hurt us.

REGAN [orig.] We shall further think on't.
REGAN [trans.] We will think about this carefully.

GONERIL [orig.] We must do something, and i' the heat.
GONERIL [trans.] We must do something at the right time.


(--the above transl. by Jaeho and Phoebe)