Open Source Shakespeare

Speeches (Lines) for Duke of Albany
in "King Lear"

Total: 58

# Act, Scene, Line
(Click to see in context)
Speech text



Lear. O vassal! miscreant! [Lays his hand on his sword.]

Duke of Albany. [with Cornwall] Dear sir, forbear!



Lear. Woe that too late repents!- O, sir, are you come?
Is it your will? Speak, sir!- Prepare my horses.
Ingratitude, thou marble-hearted fiend,
More hideous when thou show'st thee in a child
Than the sea-monster!

Duke of Albany. Pray, sir, be patient.



Lear. [to Goneril] Detested kite, thou liest!
My train are men of choice and rarest parts,
That all particulars of duty know
And in the most exact regard support
The worships of their name.- O most small fault,
How ugly didst thou in Cordelia show!
Which, like an engine, wrench'd my frame of nature
From the fix'd place; drew from my heart all love
And added to the gall. O Lear, Lear, Lear!
Beat at this gate that let thy folly in [Strikes his head.]
And thy dear judgment out! Go, go, my people.

Duke of Albany. My lord, I am guiltless, as I am ignorant
Of what hath mov'd you.



Lear. It may be so, my lord.
Hear, Nature, hear! dear goddess, hear!
Suspend thy purpose, if thou didst intend
To make this creature fruitful.
Into her womb convey sterility;
Dry up in her the organs of increase;
And from her derogate body never spring
A babe to honour her! If she must teem,
Create her child of spleen, that it may live
And be a thwart disnatur'd torment to her.
Let it stamp wrinkles in her brow of youth,
With cadent tears fret channels in her cheeks,
Turn all her mother's pains and benefits
To laughter and contempt, that she may feel
How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is
To have a thankless child! Away, away! Exit.

Duke of Albany. Now, gods that we adore, whereof comes this?



Lear. What, fifty of my followers at a clap?
Within a fortnight?

Duke of Albany. What's the matter, sir?



Goneril. Do you mark that, my lord?

Duke of Albany. I cannot be so partial, Goneril,
To the great love I bear you—



Goneril. This man hath had good counsel! A hundred knights?
'Tis politic and safe to let him keep
At point a hundred knights; yes, that on every dream,
Each buzz, each fancy, each complaint, dislike,
He may enguard his dotage with their pow'rs
And hold our lives in mercy.- Oswald, I say!

Duke of Albany. Well, you may fear too far.



Goneril. Take you some company, and away to horse!
Inform her full of my particular fear,
And thereto add such reasons of your own
As may compact it more. Get you gone,
And hasten your return. [Exit Oswald.] No, no, my lord!
This milky gentleness and course of yours,
Though I condemn it not, yet, under pardon,
You are much more at task for want of wisdom
Than prais'd for harmful mildness.

Duke of Albany. How far your eyes may pierce I cannot tell.
Striving to better, oft we mar what's well.



Goneril. Nay then-

Duke of Albany. Well, well; th' event. Exeunt.



Goneril. I have been worth the whistle.

Duke of Albany. O Goneril,
You are not worth the dust which the rude wind
Blows in your face! I fear your disposition.
That nature which contemns it origin
Cannot be bordered certain in itself.
She that herself will sliver and disbranch
From her material sap, perforce must wither
And come to deadly use.



Goneril. No more! The text is foolish.

Duke of Albany. Wisdom and goodness to the vile seem vile;
Filths savour but themselves. What have you done?
Tigers, not daughters, what have you perform'd?
A father, and a gracious aged man,
Whose reverence even the head-lugg'd bear would lick,
Most barbarous, most degenerate, have you madded.
Could my good brother suffer you to do it?
A man, a prince, by him so benefited!
If that the heavens do not their visible spirits
Send quickly down to tame these vile offences,
It will come,
Humanity must perforce prey on itself,
Like monsters of the deep.



Goneril. Milk-liver'd man!
That bear'st a cheek for blows, a head for wrongs;
Who hast not in thy brows an eye discerning
Thine honour from thy suffering; that not know'st
Fools do those villains pity who are punish'd
Ere they have done their mischief. Where's thy drum?
France spreads his banners in our noiseless land,
With plumed helm thy state begins to threat,
Whiles thou, a moral fool, sit'st still, and criest
'Alack, why does he so?'

Duke of Albany. See thyself, devil!
Proper deformity seems not in the fiend
So horrid as in woman.



Goneril. O vain fool!

Duke of Albany. Thou changed and self-cover'd thing, for shame!
Bemonster not thy feature! Were't my fitness
To let these hands obey my blood,
They are apt enough to dislocate and tear
Thy flesh and bones. Howe'er thou art a fiend,
A woman's shape doth shield thee.



(stage directions). Enter a Gentleman.

Duke of Albany. What news?



Gentleman. O, my good lord, the Duke of Cornwall 's dead,
Slain by his servant, going to put out
The other eye of Gloucester.

Duke of Albany. Gloucester's eyes?



Gentleman. A servant that he bred, thrill'd with remorse,
Oppos'd against the act, bending his sword
To his great master; who, thereat enrag'd,
Flew on him, and amongst them fell'd him dead;
But not without that harmful stroke which since
Hath pluck'd him after.

Duke of Albany. This shows you are above,
You justicers, that these our nether crimes
So speedily can venge! But O poor Gloucester!
Lost he his other eye?



Goneril. [aside] One way I like this well;
But being widow, and my Gloucester with her,
May all the building in my fancy pluck
Upon my hateful life. Another way
The news is not so tart.- I'll read, and answer. Exit.

Duke of Albany. Where was his son when they did take his eyes?



Gentleman. Come with my lady hither.

Duke of Albany. He is not here.



Gentleman. No, my good lord; I met him back again.

Duke of Albany. Knows he the wickedness?



Gentleman. Ay, my good lord. 'Twas he inform'd against him,
And quit the house on purpose, that their punishment
Might have the freer course.

Duke of Albany. Gloucester, I live
To thank thee for the love thou show'dst the King,
And to revenge thine eyes. Come hither, friend.
Tell me what more thou know'st.



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

Duke of Albany. Our very loving sister, well bemet.
Sir, this I hear: the King is come to his daughter,
With others whom the rigour of our state
Forc'd to cry out. Where I could not be honest,
I never yet was valiant. For this business,
It toucheth us as France invades our land,
Not bolds the King, with others whom, I fear,
Most just and heavy causes make oppose.



Goneril. Combine together 'gainst the enemy;
For these domestic and particular broils
Are not the question here.

Duke of Albany. Let's then determine
With th' ancient of war on our proceeding.



Edgar. If e'er your Grace had speech with man so poor,
Hear me one word.

Duke of Albany. I'll overtake you.- Speak.



Edgar. 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 avouched there. If you miscarry,
Your business of the world hath so an end,
And machination ceases. Fortune love you!

Duke of Albany. Stay till I have read the letter.



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

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



Edmund. The enemy 's in view; draw up your powers.
Here is the guess of their true strength and forces
By diligent discovery; but your haste
Is now urg'd on you.

Duke of Albany. We will greet the time. Exit.



(stage directions). Flourish. Enter Albany, Goneril, Regan, Soldiers.

Duke of Albany. Sir, you have show'd to-day your valiant strain,
And fortune led you well. You have the captives
Who were the opposites of this day's strife.
We do require them of you, so to use them
As we shall find their merits and our safety
May equally determine.



Edmund. Sir, I thought it fit
To send the old and miserable King
To some retention and appointed guard;
Whose age has charms in it, whose title more,
To pluck the common bosom on his side
And turn our impress'd lances in our eyes
Which do command them. With him I sent the Queen,
My reason all the same; and they are ready
To-morrow, or at further space, t' appear
Where you shall hold your session. At this time
We sweat and bleed: the friend hath lost his friend;
And the best quarrels, in the heat, are curs'd
By those that feel their sharpness.
The question of Cordelia and her father
Requires a fitter place.

Duke of Albany. Sir, by your patience,
I hold you but a subject of this war,
Not as a brother.



Goneril. Mean you to enjoy him?

Duke of Albany. The let-alone lies not in your good will.



Edmund. Nor in thine, lord.

Duke of Albany. Half-blooded fellow, yes.



Regan. [to Edmund] Let the drum strike, and prove my title thine.

Duke of Albany. Stay yet; hear reason. Edmund, I arrest thee
On capital treason; and, in thine attaint,
This gilded serpent [points to Goneril]. For your claim, fair
I bar it in the interest of my wife.
'Tis she is subcontracted to this lord,
And I, her husband, contradict your banes.
If you will marry, make your loves to me;
My lady is bespoke.



Goneril. An interlude!

Duke of Albany. Thou art arm'd, Gloucester. Let the trumpet sound.
If none appear to prove upon thy person
Thy heinous, manifest, and many treasons,
There is my pledge [throws down a glove]! I'll prove it on thy
Ere I taste bread, thou art in nothing less
Than I have here proclaim'd thee.



Edmund. There's my exchange [throws down a glove]. What in the world
he is
That names me traitor, villain-like he lies.
Call by thy trumpet. He that dares approach,
On him, on you, who not? I will maintain
My truth and honour firmly.

Duke of Albany. A herald, ho!



Edmund. A herald, ho, a herald!

Duke of Albany. Trust to thy single virtue; for thy soldiers,
All levied in my name, have in my name
Took their discharge.



Regan. My sickness grows upon me.

Duke of Albany. She is not well. Convey her to my tent.
[Exit Regan, led. Enter a Herald.]
Come hither, herald. Let the trumpet sound,
And read out this.



(stage directions). Enter Edgar, armed, at the third sound, a Trumpet before him.

Duke of Albany. Ask him his purposes, why he appears
Upon this call o' th' trumpet.



Edgar. Know my name is lost;
By treason's tooth bare-gnawn and canker-bit.
Yet am I noble as the adversary
I come to cope.

Duke of Albany. Which is that adversary?



(stage directions). Alarums. Fight. [Edmund falls.]

Duke of Albany. Save him, save him!



Goneril. This is mere practice, Gloucester.
By th' law of arms thou wast not bound to answer
An unknown opposite. Thou art not vanquish'd,
But cozen'd and beguil'd.

Duke of Albany. Shut your mouth, dame,
Or with this paper shall I stop it. [Shows her her letter to
- [To Edmund]. Hold, sir.
[To Goneril] Thou worse than any name, read thine own evil.
No tearing, lady! I perceive you know it.



Goneril. Say if I do- the laws are mine, not thine.
Who can arraign me for't?

Duke of Albany. Most monstrous!
Know'st thou this paper?



Goneril. Ask me not what I know. Exit.

Duke of Albany. Go after her. She's desperate; govern her.



Edmund. Th' hast spoken right; 'tis true.
The wheel is come full circle; I am here.

Duke of Albany. Methought thy very gait did prophesy
A royal nobleness. I must embrace thee.
Let sorrow split my heart if ever I
Did hate thee, or thy father!



Edgar. Worthy prince, I know't.

Duke of Albany. Where have you hid yourself?
How have you known the miseries of your father?



Edmund. This speech of yours hath mov'd me,
And shall perchance do good; but speak you on;
You look as you had something more to say.

Duke of Albany. If there be more, more woful, hold it in;
For I am almost ready to dissolve,
Hearing of this.



Edgar. This would have seem'd a period
To such as love not sorrow; but another,
To amplify too much, would make much more,
And top extremity.
Whilst I was big in clamour, came there a man,
Who, having seen me in my worst estate,
Shunn'd my abhorr'd society; but then, finding
Who 'twas that so endur'd, with his strong arms
He fastened on my neck, and bellowed out
As he'd burst heaven; threw him on my father;
Told the most piteous tale of Lear and him
That ever ear receiv'd; which in recounting
His grief grew puissant, and the strings of life
Began to crack. Twice then the trumpets sounded,
And there I left him tranc'd.

Duke of Albany. But who was this?



Edgar. What kind of help?

Duke of Albany. Speak, man.



Gentleman. 'Tis hot, it smokes.
It came even from the heart of- O! she's dead!

Duke of Albany. Who dead? Speak, man.



Edgar. Here comes Kent.

Duke of Albany. Produce their bodies, be they alive or dead.
[Exit Gentleman.]
This judgement of the heavens, that makes us tremble
Touches us not with pity. O, is this he?
The time will not allow the compliment
That very manners urges.



Earl of Kent. I am come
To bid my king and master aye good night.
Is he not here?

Duke of Albany. Great thing of us forgot!
Speak, Edmund, where's the King? and where's Cordelia?
[The bodies of Goneril and Regan are brought in.]
Seest thou this object, Kent?



Edmund. Yet Edmund was belov'd.
The one the other poisoned for my sake,
And after slew herself.

Duke of Albany. Even so. Cover their faces.



Edmund. I pant for life. Some good I mean to do,
Despite of mine own nature. Quickly send
(Be brief in't) to the castle; for my writ
Is on the life of Lear and on Cordelia.
Nay, send in time.

Duke of Albany. Run, run, O, run!



Edmund. Well thought on. Take my sword;
Give it the Captain.

Duke of Albany. Haste thee for thy life. [Exit Edgar.]



Edmund. He hath commission from thy wife and me
To hang Cordelia in the prison and
To lay the blame upon her own despair
That she fordid herself.

Duke of Albany. The gods defend her! Bear him hence awhile.



Edgar. Or image of that horror?

Duke of Albany. Fall and cease!



Lear. Ay, so I think.

Duke of Albany. He knows not what he says; and vain is it
That we present us to him.



Captain. Edmund is dead, my lord.

Duke of Albany. That's but a trifle here.
You lords and noble friends, know our intent.
What comfort to this great decay may come
Shall be applied. For us, we will resign,
During the life of this old Majesty,
To him our absolute power; [to Edgar and Kent] you to your
With boot, and such addition as your honours
Have more than merited.- All friends shall taste
The wages of their virtue, and all foes
The cup of their deservings.- O, see, see!



Earl of Kent. The wonder is, he hath endur'd so long.
He but usurp'd his life.

Duke of Albany. Bear them from hence. Our present business
Is general woe. [To Kent and Edgar] Friends of my soul, you
Rule in this realm, and the gor'd state sustain.



Earl of Kent. I have a journey, sir, shortly to go.
My master calls me; I must not say no.

Duke of Albany. The weight of this sad time we must obey,
Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say.
The oldest have borne most; we that are young
Shall never see so much, nor live so long.