Monthly Archives: May 2009

Scene 7

Mumford and the Gallian King come in as pilgrims.  Mumford calls him “my lord” twice, rebuked by the king, who decides they shall call themselves “Tresillus” and “Denapoll.”  Mumford thinks these names absurd, so they choose Will and Jack.  Cordella enters, a fairer creature then ere they beheld.  She is talking to herself.  She curses […]

Scene 6

Gonorill and Ragan wonder about Cordella’s absence, but gloat at having helped her fall, as they are both insanely jealous of her beauty.  A sexual joke ensues, on parsons and nothing.  They espy the arrival of Cambria and Cornwall.  Leir comes in, determined in his course, having sent letters of marriage contract to the two. […]

Scene 5

Cornwall, going to Leir to accept the invitation to marry Gonorill, meets Cambria, also going to Leir to accept the invitation to marry Ragan and share with Cornwall the present kingdom.  They are marveling at their luck, but wonder about rare and beautiful Cordella, who gets no part, but seems to be heading for a […]

Scene 4

The Gallian King desires to go to England and attempt to marry one of Leir’s daughters.  His follower Mumford wishes to go as well, so that he might woo the English girls.  The king talks Mumford into going as companions disguised as pilgrims or monks. Scene 3 . . . Directory . . . Scene […]

Scene 3

Leir meditates alone on his plan to marry off his daughters, unaware that they know his plans.  He admits some indefinite apprehension, but his daughters arrive “to rid me of this doubt.”   Alluding to the near prospects of his death, he asks which daughter loves him best, put in terms of yielding to his wishes.  […]

Scene 2

Gonorill and Ragan complain about the impertinence of Cordella – so sober, courteous, demure, modest, precise, so talked about as exceeding the two.  They fear most that she would marry best.  But Skalliger comes in to inform them of Leir’s intentions to marry Ragan to Cambria and Gonorill to Cornwall, and his hope for Cordella […]

Scene 1

Leir discusses with noble advisors his intent to divide his kingdom among his daughters, lamenting the loss of his wife, that he really cannot parent them, and his failure to bear a son before his loins were withered.  He sees Gonorill and Ragan capitalizing on their new power to obtain husbands already in sight, but […]

Scene Directory and Links

The following scene directory may be used to link to any scene in the play. Scene 1. Leir decides to divide his kingdom, apply a test of love. Scene 2. Gonorill and Ragan, advised of the King’s play, plot against Cordella. Scene 3. They meet, the elder daughters pass the test, Cordella does not, is […]

Dramatis Personae

DRAMATIS PERSONAE Leir, King of Britain. Gonorill, daughter of King Leir, later wife of the King of Cornwall. Ragan, daughter of King Leir, later wife of the King of Cambria. Cordella, daughter of King Leir, later wife of the King of Gallia. Cornwall, King of Cambria, King of Skalliger, a nobleman, follower of King Leir. […]

Short Synopsis

Lamenting the loss of his wife and lack of male issue, Leir decides to divide his kingdom among his three daughters so they might attract the most powerful husbands. He proposes a love test to secure his own beliefs.  The elder two daughters, smarting over Cordella’s obvious but demure superiority, learn of the king’s intentions […]