Edgar leads Gloucester into a field. He has noticeably changed his speech patterns, noticed at least by Gloucester, even as Edgar denies it. Edgar gives a vivid description of a cliff, the drop off it, and the scene below, convincing Gloucester that he has indeed climbed a hill and is indeed on the verge of the cliff. He gives Edgar a purse with a jewel for his troubles. He then offers a caustic prayer to the gods and hurls himself off the cliff. As he has only fallen into sand or weeds, he revives, to find Edgar hovering over him. “Away and let me die,” he says. Edgar, now marked by different speech, declares his life a miracle—he fell from the summit and survived. In an almost cruel twist, Edgar asks Gloucester not to look up, lest (we are to suppose) the height might scare him to death. Gloucester says the obvious, that he has no eyes, and laments to some extent that his death would have frustrated the tyranny around him. Edgar cheers him up, and Gloucester promises to bear affliction until he dies naturally.
ACT IV. SCENE VI. SEGMENT A. Field near Dover.
Enter Gloucester and Edgar
GLOUCESTER When shall we come to th’ top of that same hill?
EDGAR You do climb up it now. Look how we labor.
GLOUCESTER Methinks the ground is even.
EDGAR Horrible steep.
Hark, do you hear the sea? 
GLOUCESTER No, truly.
Why then your other senses grow imperfect
By your eyes’ anguish.
GLOUCESTER So may it be indeed.
Methinks thy voice is altered and thou speak’st 
In better phrase and matter than thou didst.
You’re much deceived. In nothing am I changed
But in my garments.
GLOUCESTER Methinks you’re better spoken.
Come on, sir, here’s the place. Stand still. How fearful 
And dizzy ’tis, to cast one’s eyes so low.
The crows and choughs that wing the midway air
Show scarce so gross as beetles. Halfway down
Hangs one that gathers samphire, dreadful trade.
Methinks he seems no bigger than his head. 
The fishermen that walk upon the beach
Appear like mice, and yon tall anchoring bark,
Diminished to her cock, her cock a buoy
Almost too small for sight. The murmuring surge
That on th’unnumbered idle pebbles chafes 
Cannot be heard so high. I’ll look no more,
Lest my brain turn and the deficient sight
Topple down headlong.
GLOUCESTER Set me where you stand.
Give me your hand. You are now within a foot 
Of th’ extreme verge. For all beneath the moon
Would I not leap upright.
GLOUCESTER Let go my hand.
Here, friend, ’s another purse, in it a jewel
Well worth a poor man’s taking. Fairies and gods 
Prosper it with thee. Go thou farther off.
Bid me farewell, and let me hear thee going.
EDGAR Now fare you well, good sir.
GLOUCESTER With all my heart.
Why I do trifle thus with his despair 
Is done to cure it.
GLOUCESTER [Kneeling] O you mighty gods,
This world I do renounce, and in your sights
Shake patiently my great affliction off.
If I could bear it longer, and not fall 
To quarrel with your great opposeless wills,
My snuff and loathed part of nature should
Burn itself out. If Edgar live, O, bless him!
Now fellow, fare thee well. [he falls]
EDGAR Gone, sir, farewell. 
And yet I know not how conceit may rob
The treasury of life, when life itself
Yields to the theft. Had he been where he thought,
By this had thought been past. Alive or dead?
Ho you sir. Friend! Hear you, sir. Speak. 
Thus might he pass indeed. Yet he revives.
What are you, sir?
GLOUCESTER Away, and let me die.
Hadst thou been aught but gossamer, feathers, air,
So many fathom down precipitating 
Thou’dst shivered like an egg. But thou dost breathe,
Hast heavy substance, bleed’st not, speak’st, art sound.
Ten masts at each make not the altitude
Which thou hast perpendicularly fell.
Thy life’s a miracle. Speak yet again. 
GLOUCESTER But have I fall’n or no?
From the dread summit of this chalky bourn.
Look up a-height. The shrill-gorged lark so far
Cannot be seen or heard. Do but look up.
Alack, I have no eyes. 
Is wretchedness deprived that benefit,
To end itself by death? ‘Twas yet some comfort
When misery could beguile the tyrant’s rage
And frustrate his proud will.
EDGAR Give me your arm. 
Up, so. How is ‘t? Feel you your legs? You stand.
GLOUCESTER Too well, too well.
EDGAR This is above all strangeness.
Upon the crown o’th’ cliff what thing was that
Which parted from you? 
GLOUCESTER A poor unfortunate beggar.
As I stood here below, methought his eyes
Were two full moons. He had a thousand noses,
Horns whelked and waved like the enraged sea.
It was some fiend. Therefore, thou happy father, 
Think that the clearest gods, who make them honors
Of men’s impossibilities, have preserved thee.
I do remember now. Henceforth I’ll bear
Affliction till it do cry out itself
“Enough, enough,” and die. That thing you speak of, 
I took it for a man. Often ‘twould say
“The fiend, the fiend.” He led me to that place.
Bear free and patient thoughts. But who comes here?
The safer sense will ne’er accommodate
His master thus.