The Tragedie of King Lear
William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616)
"Pied Bull" Edition 1608 / First Folio Version 1623
Folio line numbers from Hinman, Norton Facsimile

Q1 numbers indicate form signatures

Lear, King of Britain Gloucester, Loyal councilor
Kent, Loyal councilor Edgar, Eldest son of Gloucester
Edmund, Bastard Son of Gloucester Albany, Gonerilís husband
Cornwall, Reganís husband Oswald, Gonerilís servant
King of France, weds Cordelia Duke of Burgundy, woos Cordelia
Curan, a Courtier Old Man, tenant to Gloucester
Fool, Learís jester Doctor, in Cordeliaís camp
Officer, employed by Edmund Herald
Gentleman, attendant on Cordelia Three Servants to Cornwall
Goneril, Learís eldest daughter Regan, Learís second daughter
Cordelia, Learís youngest daughter
 
F1
Q1
 
Actus Primus
Scúna Prima: Learís Court
1
1
B1r
Kent, Gloucester, Edmund Kent and Gloucester wonder how Lear will divide the kingdom. Gloucester introduces Edmond, his bastard son.
2
37
B1v
Lear, Cornwall, Albany, Goneril, Regan, Cordelia, Kent, Gloucester, Edmund, Attendants Lear enters and sends Gloucester to attend Burgundy and France.
3
41
B1v
Lear, Cornwall, Albany, Goneril, Regan, Cordelia, Kent, Edmund, Attendants First Goneril, then Regan tell Lear their love is boundless, but Cordelia says "Nothing." Lear, enraged, disowns her. Kent intercedes and is banished. He leaves as Gloucester enters with the Princes who are courting Cordelia
4
202
B3v
Lear, Cornwall, Albany, Goneril, Regan, Cordelia, Edmund, Gloucester, France, Burgundy, Attendants Lear tells Burgundy he will give nothing as dowry with Cordelia. Burgundy declines her, but France agrees to marry her. Lear says, "Thou hast her France..." and exits with most of the court.
5
292
B4v
Goneril, Regan, Cordelia, France France tells Cordelia to bid her sisters farewell. She tells them to love well their father, but that "I would prefer him to a better place." France calls her away.
6
310
B4v
Goneril, Regan The sisters reflect on their fatherís "infirmity" and resolve "We shall further think of it."
Scúna Secunda:
1
333
C1r
Bastard "Thou nature art my Goddess..." Edmund resolves to win his inheritance by fraud.
2
357
C1r
Bastard, Gloucester Gloucester enters reflecting on Kentís banishment and the Kingís departure. Edmund tricks him with a forged letter from Edgar. He convinces him that Edgar is plotting against him and has approached him with the suggestion that he kill him. He offers to let his father overhear Edgar plotting against him. Gloucester meditates on the astrological predictions that have suggested such unrest in families and in the court and exits.
3
447
C2r
Bastard Edmund reflects on the foolishness of astrology. 
5
462
C2v
Bastard, Edgar When his brother enters Edmund pretends to be reflecting on the astrological signs, the recent eclipses, that portend disaster. "Do you busie yourself with that?" asks Edgar. Edmund warns him that their father has been turned against him and tells him to watch out and if he goes abroad to go armed. He rushes Edgar off. 
6
498
C3r
Edmund "A credulous father, and a brother noble," He is convinced his plot will work.
Scúna Tertia: Castle of Albany
1
505
C3r
Goneril, Steward Goneril is upset at the rowdiness of Learís followers. She tells the steward (Oswald) to "put on what negligence you please" and tell the rest of the servants not to obey Lear. 
Scúna Quarta: Castle of Albany
1
530
C3r
Kent ,disguised, plans to seek service with Lear.
2
538
C3v
Kent, Lear, Attendants   Kent offers his services when Lear arrives with his train. 
3
575
C4r
Kent, Lear, Attendants, Steward   Oswald enters and, when Lear asks him where his daughter is, he refuses to answer and leaves.
4
577
C4r
Kent, Lear, Attendants, Knight   The Knight tells Lear Oswald said his daughter was not well. Lear asks why Oswald didnít come back when he called. The knight observes that they are not so well served by the house servants as they used to be. Lear asks about his fool and the Knight tells him the fool has not been seen much since Cordelia left for France. 
5
608
C4r
Kent, Lear, Attendants, Stewar   When Oswald returns Lear confronts him. Kent trips him up and chases him off for being impertinent to the king.
6
622
C4r
Kent, Lear Kent is rewarded for his service.
7
624
C4r
Kent, Lear, Fool The fool offers Kent his coxcomb for "taking oneís part thatís out of favour." The fool demonstrates his lesson of the egg.
8
702
D1r
Kent, Lear, Fool, Goneril Lear confronts Goneril. She scolds him for taking the part of his rowdy knights. The fool mocks him. The argument rises and Lear calls "Saddle my horses!" 
9
768
D2r
Kent, Lear, Fool, Goneril, Albany When Albany enters he asks "Pray sir be patient," not knowing what has happened. Lear curses his daughter "that she may feele, How sharper then a serpents tooth it is to have a thankless Childe." and exits.
10
805
D2r
Goneril, Albany, Fool?, Kent? Albany asks what has happened, but Goneril tells him to "let his disposition have its scope." 
11
809
D2v
Goneril, Albany, Lear, Fool?, Kent? When Lear re-enters Albany asks what the problem is. Lear says he will go to his other daughter and leaves.
12
830
D2v
Goneril, Albany, Fool Goneril tells the fool to follow his master.
13
842
D2v
Goneril, Albany He tries to calm his wife, but she calls for Oswald.
14
856
D2v
Goneril, Albany, Steward She sends Oswald to Regan with word of what has happened.
Scúna Quinta:
1
874
D2v
Lear, Kent, Fool, Gentleman? Lear sends Kent to Gloucester with letters.
2
882
D3r
Lear, Fool, Gentleman? The fool warns Lear that his other daughter will be just as bad as the first one.
Actus Secundus
Scúna Prima: Gloucesterís Castle
1
926
D3v
Bastard, Curan  The dukes of Albany and Cornwall are at loggerheads and Cornwall is coming to Gloucesterís castle.
2
943
D3v
Bastard   Edmund is pleased to hear Cornwall is coming. He will use that for his purpose.
3
948
D3v
Bastard, Edgar  He asks Edgar if he said anything in favor of Albany that Cornwall might resent. Edgar is bewildered at what could have turned his father and Cornwall against him. Edmund warns Edgar to flee promising to help him.
3
967
D3v
Bastard cuts himself to make it look like he has been injured and shouts "Stop, stop...."
4
970
D3v
Bastard, Gloucester, Servants When Gloucester enters Edmund tells him that Edgar was waiting to kill him and Edmund prevented him and was wounded. 
5
1024
D4r
Bastard, Gloucester, Regan, Cornwall, Servants Cornwall and Regan arrive and she asks if Edgar was influenced by Learís followers. Edmund confirms that he was of their company. Gloucester welcomes the Duke and Duchess to his home.
Scúna Secunda: Gloucesterís Castle
1
1074
E1r
Kent, Steward Steward asks Kent where he can put his horses and Kent insults him, resulting in a fight.
2
1116
E1r
Kent, Steward, Bastard, Cornwall, Regan, Gloucester, Servants The house aroused by Oswaldís cries, Cornwall asks what happened. Kent is "blunt" with him. Cornwall calls for the stocks and orders Kent confined. Gloucester objects, but is overruled. 
3
1228
E2v
Gloucester, Kent Gloucester offers to intercede for Kent, but Kent says he will sleep for a spell and then whistle.
4
1237
E2v
Kent  He reads the letter he has received from Cordelia who has heard of his disguise and his service to her father.
5
1251
E3r
Edgar Edgar, fleeing the searchers who have been set to arrest him, resolves to disguise himself as a madman.
6
1273
E3r
Lear, Fool, Gentleman, Kent  Arriving, Lear is shocked to find Kent in the stocks. Kent tells him what happened. He goes off to find his daughter and son-in-law.
7
1333
E4r
Gentleman, Kent, Fool The Gentleman asks Kent if he did anything more than he claims and Kent says no. The fool gives Kent some advice. "Where learned you this, Fool?" "Not in the stocks, Fool."
8
1358
E4r
Lear, Gloucester, Kent, Fool, Gentleman Lear returns with Gloucester, enraged at being told that Regan and Cornwall wonít see him. He sends Gloucester back for a better answer swearing he will beat a drum at their door if they donít come to him.
9
1397
E4v
Lear, Kent, Fool, Gentleman The King bids his heart ease and The Fool tells him the story of the Cockney and the eels.
10
1403
E4v
Lear, Kent, Fool, Gentleman, Cornwall, Regan, Gloucester, Servants Cornwall and Regan arrive and free Kent. Regan urges Lear to return to Goneril. He is enraged that she takes her sisterís part.
11
1468
F1v
Lear, Kent, Fool, Gentleman, Cornwall, Regan, Gloucester, Steward, Servants Oswaldís arrival enrages Lear, who recognizes him from Gonerilís castle. 
12
1476
F1v
Lear, Kent, Fool, Gentleman, Cornwall, Regan, Goneril, Gloucester, Steward, Servants   Goneril and Regan wonder why Lear needs fifty followers, and Regan says she will accept only twenty-five. Goneril wonders why he needs that many, or even ten, or five. "What need one?" concludes Regan. Lear storms out as the tempest rises outside.
13
1587
F3r
Cornwall, Regan, Goneril The sisters resolve not to let Lear have any followers.
14
1596
F3r
Cornwall, Regan, Goneril, Gloucester They tell Gloucester to lock his doors against the King and leave him to the storm. 
Actus Tertius
Scúna Prima: Storm
1
1614
F3r
Kent, Gentleman Kent learns the King is out of doors with only the Fool. He tells the Gentleman that there is hidden discord between the Dukes of Albany and Cornwall and that news of it has reached France. He asks his help in finding the King. 
Scúna Secunda: Storm
1
1654
F4r
Lear, Fool "Blow windes, & crack your cheeks; ..." Lear rages against the elements.
2
1688
F4r
Lear, Fool, Kent Discovering Lear Kent urges him to seek shelter.
3
1734
  F only: Fool "speakes a prophecy."
Scúna Tertia: Gloucesterís Castle
1
1751
F4v
Gloucester, Edmund Gloucester tells his son he has had communications about a force landed from France to support Lear. He is going to seek the King and tells Edmund to conceal his intentions from Cornwall.
2
1771
G1r
Edmund He will inform on his father and win his property.
Scúna Quarta: Storm
1
1776
G1r
Lear, Kent, Fool Finding shelter, they urge the King to go in, but he tells the Fool to go in first.
2
1808
G1v
Lear "Take physicke, Pompe, Expose thy selfe to feele what wretches feele...."
3
1818
G1v
Lear, Fool, Edgar, Kent Kent and The Fool find Edgar within
4
1889
G2v
Lear, Fool, Edgar, Kent, Gloucester A "walking fire" proves to be Gloucester seeking the King and offering shelter. They go to the shelter he has arranged for them.

Q only: The foolís soliloquy

Scúna Quinta: Gloucesterís Castle
1
1969
G3r
Cornwall, Edmund Cornwall thanks Edmund for exposing his fatherís treason.
Scúna Sixta: Shelter on the Heath
1
1996
G3v
Kent, Gloucester Gloucester settles the fugitives in the hovel
2
2001
G3v
Kent
3
2003
G3v
Kent, Lear, Edgar, Fool Lear holds a mock trial of Goneril and Regan
4
2039
G4v
Kent, Gloucester, Lear, Edgar, Fool Gloucester has heard the plot of death against the King. He urges them to go to Dover
Scúna Septa: Gloucesterís Castle
1
2057
G4v
Cornwall, Regan, Goneril, Bastard, Servants Cornwall plans to punish Gloucester for his treason. Suggests Edmund leave.
2
2072
H1r
Cornwall, Regan, Goneril, Bastard, Steward, Servants
3
2082
H1r
Cornwall, Regan, Steward, Servants
4
2087
H1r
Cornwall, Regan, Gloucester, Steward?, Servants Cornwall puts out Gloucesterís eye, but when he calls on his servants to put out the other one of them stabs him. Regan kills the servant from behind. When Gloucester calls for Edmund Regan tells him that he was the one who betrayed him.
5
2172
H2r
Cornwall, Regan Cornwall is mortally wounded and Regan helps him off.
6
 
H2r
(Q only) Two Servants They resolve to go help Gloucester
Actus Quartus
Scúna Prima: The Heath
1
2177
H2r
Edgar Alone, Edgar philosophizes on his misery.
2
2188
H2r
Edgar, Gloucester, Old Man The blind Gloucester is led on
3
2240
H3r
Edgar, Gloucester Edgar agrees to help Gloucester find the cliffs in Dover.
Scúna Secunda: Albanyís Castle
1
2266
H3r
Goneril, Bastard, Steward Goneril is jealous of Regan and wants Edmundís assurance he is not her lover.
2
2294
H3v
Goneril, Steward
3
 
H3v
Goneril, Albany He berates her as "not worth the dust which the rude wind / Blowes in your face."

Q only: Lengthy denunciation

4
2299
  Goneril, Steward, Albany
5
2312
H4r
Goneril, Steward, Albany, Messenger News of Cornwallís death and Edmundís treachery. Albany thanks Gloucester and vows to avenge his eyes.
(Q only) Scúna Secunda, Partus Secundus
1
 
H4v
( Q only) Kent, Gentleman News of the French landing. Kent tells him why Lear would not see Cordelia.
Scúna Tertia: The French landing in England
1
2348
I1r
Cordelia, Gentleman, Soldiers She has landed with an army from France and is looking for her father.
2
2372
I1v
Cordelia, Gentleman, Soldiers, Messenger News of the king.
Scúna Quarta: Albanyís Castle
1
2382
I1v
Regan, Steward Regan reads Gonerilís letter to Edmund
Scúna Quinta: Dover
1
2429
I2r
Gloucester, Edgar On the "cliff." Gloucester, thinking he is on Dover cliff, jumps. Edgar, pretending to find him on the beach, convinces him he has been saved.
2
2526
I3v
Gloucester, Edgar, Lear The King appears, mad.
3
2630
I4v
Gloucester, Edgar, Lear, Gentleman, (Q only) Three Gentlemen Cordeliaís men find the King, but he escapes.
4
2646
I4v
Gloucester, Edgar, Gentleman Lear runs away and the Gentleman, before he goes after him, tells Edgar and his father about the French army and Cordelia.
5
2662
I4v
Gloucester, Edgar Edgar gets his father to realize he should not kill himself.
6
2675
K1r
Gloucester, Edgar, Steward The Steward arrives and, seeing Gloucester, tries to kill him to gain the reward. Edgar kills him and finds Gonerilís letter to Edmund exposing their plot to kill Albany.
Scúna Septa: The French camp
1
2743
K1v
Cordelia, Kent, Gentleman ( Q only: Doctor)
2
2771
K2r
Cordelia, Kent, Gentleman, Lear, Servants Lear is brought to Cordelia and seems to be regaining his senses
3
 
K2v
( Q only ) Kent, Gentleman Exposition.
Actus Quintus
Scúna Prima: Battlefield, before the battle.
1
2844
K3r
Edmund, Regan, Gentleman, Soldiers Regan seeks assurance of Edmundís love.
2
2864
K3r
Edmund, Regan, Albany, Goneril, Gentleman, Soldiers They resolve to repel the French invasion, but Albanyís conscience is troubled because of the wrongs done Lear.
3
2880
K3v
Edgar, Albany Edgar gives Albany the letter from his wife to Edmund proving his treachery.
4
2896
K3v
Albany, Edmund Instructions for the battle.
5
2902
K3v
Bastard He knows he cannot enjoy both the sisters and wonders which he will end up with. 
Scúna Secunda: After the Battle
1
2937
K3v
Edmund, Lear, Cordelia, Soldiers, Captain Edmund, triumphant in the battle, sends Lear and Cordelia into captivity.
2
2968
K4r
Edmund, Captain Edmund tells the Captain to carry out his orders to execute Cordelia.
3
2982
K4v
Edmund, Albany, Goneril, Regan, Soldiers Albany arriving, accuses Edmund of treason. 
4
3050
L1r
Edmund, Albany, Goneril, Regan, Soldiers, Herald Albany calls a Herald to read the challenge
5
3056
L1r
Edmund, Albany, Goneril, Soldiers, Herald
5
3067
L1v
Edmund, Albany, Goneril, Soldiers, Herald, Edgar Edgar appears in answer to the herald to prove the accusation of treason on Edmund.
6
3118
L2r
Edmund, Albany, Soldiers, Herald, Edgar
7
3169
L3r
Edmund, Albany, Soldiers, Herald, Edgar, Gentleman Announces Goneril is dead.
8
3182
L3r
Albany, Soldiers, Herald, Edgar, Kent, Gentleman
9
3216
L3v
Lear, Albany, Soldiers, Herald, Edgar, Kent, Gentleman
10
3264
L4r
Lear, Albany, Soldiers, Herald, Edgar, Kent, Gentleman, Messenger Messenger announces that Edmund is dead. Lear dies. Edgar, in F , or Albany, in Q, resolves to take over governing the Kingdom.