King Leir

Scene 22

Cambria wonders at the whereabouts of Leir, now missing two days.  He organizes a search party and sends an envoy to Cornwall on the chance that Leir migrated there.  Ragan feigns acute distress, and opines that some foul adventure befell her father at the hands of Cordella, whose eyes she would scratch out if she […]

Scene 21

Cordella, the Gallian King, and Mumford talk.  The king once again declares that they will go themselves to England if Leir does not arrive himself in France soon.  Mumford declares his intent this time to come back with a maid.  They exchange some low and crude sexual puns for quite some time, then decide to […]

Scene 20

The ambassador, after accusing Gonorill of impropriety, rudeness, turning his words inside out (he knew), and tyranny, heads off to Cambria to find Leir. Scene 19 . . . Directory . . . Scene 21 Scene 20 Enter Enter the Gallian Ambassador solus. AMB: There is of late news come unto the Court, That old […]

Scene 19

In the longest scene of the play, Leir and Perillus come to the place of assignation with Ragan, stretch, take out books, and fall asleep.  The messenger enters with daggers in either hand, considers killing them immediately, but remembers Ragan’s requirement to show them the letter.   He takes their books away, they awake, wonder what […]

Scene 18

Cornwall wonders why the messenger to Ragan is away so long.  Gonorill suggests that Leir may be returning with him, but cannot get away as yet.  The Ambassador from France arrives with a message for Leir, which he insists on delivering personally.  Cornwall asks after Cordella, and in the ensuing exchange Gonorill expresses displeasure at […]

Scene 17

The messenger, now prospective assassin, warms to his new found ability to buy friends.  Ragan comes in, they walk around the issue a bit until he says it frankly—I shall kill thy father—but Ragan raises the stakes to include Perillus.  She gives him instructions, insists that Leir read the letter first (a fatal error), and […]

Scene 16

The Gallian King asks Cordella when her good humor will return.  She lays her state to nature and the ill will of her father.  He asks her to consider herself renewed in his natural order (trees are the metaphor of choice), to consider those who forsake her dead, but she appeals to nature once again, […]

Scene 15

The messenger meets and greets Ragan, giving her the letter.  The messenger describes for the audience Ragan’s extreme and violent reaction, recognizing that more will come to him through her anger.  The letter apparently charges Leir with staging all manner of mutinies–between Cornwall and Gonorill, the commons against the king–and that he intends the same […]

Scene 14

Leir and Perillus near Ragan’s castle of Cambria, Leir remorseful, Perillus encouraging and slavish.  Cambria, Ragan, and nobles enter.  Leir cannot speak for shame, Cambria wonders at the sight of two old, wretched men, and Ragan for her part dissembles (as she admits in an aside) a charitable greeting, with lamentations, and an open invitation, […]

Scene 13

Cordella, in church, in a long romantic soliloquy, praises her God for her good fortune, but wishes for the thing she cannot have, her father’s love.  But she then blames her sisters, not him, but reverses course, and forgives all, as she is forgiven by her savior. Scene 12 . . . Directory . . […]