King Lear : Act 3, Scene 3



           Enter GLOUCESTER and EDMUND.

      GLOUCESTER
  1   Alack, alack, Edmund, I like not this unnatural
  2   dealing. When I desir'd their leave that I might
pity him i.e., aid King Lear | they i.e., Regan, Lear's second daughter, and her husband, the Duke of Cornwall
  3   pity him, they took from me the use of mine own
  4   house; charged me, on pain of their perpetual
  5   displeasure, neither to speak of him, entreat for
  6   him, nor any way sustain him.

      EDMUND
  7   Most savage and unnatural!

      GLOUCESTER
Go to an expletive —Here it seems to mean "Be careful!"
division disagreement; quarrel —See the note to lines 8-14.
closet private chamber
  8   Go to; say you nothing. There's a division betwixt
  9   the dukes; and a worse matter than that: I have
 10   received a letter this night; 'tis dangerous to be
 11   spoken; I have locked the letter in my closet:
 12   these injuries the king now bears will be revenged
home thoroughly | power armed force
footed landed
incline to side with
privily privately; secretly
of him perceiv'd found out by him
 13   home; there's part of a power already footed: we
 14   must incline to the king. I will seek him, and
 15   privily relieve him: go you and maintain talk with
 16   the duke, that my charity be not of him perceiv'd.
 17   If he ask for me, I am ill, and gone to bed.
though I die i.e., even if I die
 18   Though I die for it, as no less is threatened me,
relieved helped
 19   the king my old master must be relieved. There is
toward coming
 20   some strange thing toward, Edmund; pray you, be careful.

           Exit.

      EDMUND
courtesy act of kindness | forbid forbidden
 21   This courtesy, forbid thee, shall the duke
 22   Instantly know; and of that letter too:
This ... deserving i.e., betraying my father is something which should deserve a reward
must draw ... than all must win me all that my father loses, which will be all that he has
 23   This seems a fair deserving, and must draw me
 24   That which my father loses; no less than all:
 25   The younger rises when the old doth fall.

           Exit.