King Lear
King Lear
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Annotation: Adapted version of Shakespeare's classic tragedy about a mad king who turns his kingdom over to his scheming daughters.
Catalog Number: #5427488
Format: Paperback
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: High Low High Low
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Copyright Date: 2006
Edition Date: 2006
Pages: 96
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-616-51104-4
ISBN 13: 978-1-616-51104-3
Dewey: 822
Language: English
Word Count: 16,149
Reading Level: 3.6
Interest Level: 7-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.6 / points: 2.0 / quiz: 142337 / grade: Upper Grades
Lexile: NP
Chapter One


Act 1 Scene 1 running scene 1

Enter Kent, Gloucester and Edmund

KENT I thought the king had more affected the Duke of Albany than Cornwall.

GLOUCESTER 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 qualities are so weighed that curiosity in neither can make choice of either's moiety.

KENT Is not this your son, my lord?

GLOUCESTER His breeding, sir, hath been at my charge. I have so often blushed to acknowledge him that now I am brazed to't.

KENT I cannot conceive you.

GLOUCESTER 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?

KENT I cannot wish the fault undone, the issue of it being so proper.

GLOUCESTER But I have a son, sir, by order of law, some year elder than this, who yet is no dearer in my account, though this knave came something saucily to 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?

EDMUND No, my lord.

GLOUCESTER My lord of Kent: remember him hereafter as my honourable friend.

EDMUND My services to your lordship.

KENT I must love you, and sue to know you better.

EDMUND Sir, I shall study deserving.

GLOUCESTER He hath been out nine years, and away he shall again. The king is coming.

Sennet. Enter [one bearing a coronet, then] King Lear, Cornwall, Albany, Goneril, Regan, Cordelia and Attendants

LEAR Attend the lords of France and Burgundy, Gloucester.

GLOUCESTER I shall, my lord. Exit

LEAR Meantime we shall express our darker purpose.

Give me the map there. Kent or an Attendant gives Lear a map

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

Unburdened crawl toward death. Our son of

Cornwall,

And you our no less loving son of Albany,

We have this hour a constant will to publish

Our daughters' 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 answered. 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.

GONERIL Sir, I love you more than word can wield the matter,

Dearer than eyesight, 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.

CORDELIA What shall Cordelia speak? Love and be silent. Aside

LEAR Of all these bounds, even from this line to this, Points With shadowy forests and with champaigns riched, to the map

With plenteous rivers and wide-skirted meads,

We make thee lady. To thine and Albany's issues

Be this perpetual.- What says our second daughter?

Our dearest Regan, wife of Cornwall?

REGAN I am made of that self-mettle as my sister,

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 professes,

And find I am alone felicit

Excerpted from King Lear by William Shakespeare, William Shakespeare
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Timeless Shakespeare-designed for the struggling reader and adapted to retain the integrity of the original play. These classic plays retold will grab a student's attention from the first page. Presented in traditional play script format, each title features simplified language, easy-to-read type, and strict adherence to the tone and integrity of the original. The king is weary. To get peace in his old age, he turns over his kingdom to his daughters. What does he get in return for his generosity? Betrayal, warfare... and madness.


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