Philip Weller caricature
Philip and Weller hugging

Welcome to my web site, now under development for more than twenty years.   
-- Philip Weller, November 13, 1941 - February 1, 2021
Dr. Weller, an Eastern Washington University professor of English and Shakespearean scholar for more than 50 years.


King Lear : Act 4, Scene 5



           Enter REGAN and Steward [OSWALD].

      REGAN
  1   But are my brother's powers set forth?
1. my brother's powers: i.e., my brother-in-law's armies. — Her brother-in-law is her sister Goneril's husband, the Duke of Albany.


      OSWALD
                                                                 Ay, madam.

      REGAN
  2   Himself in person there?
2. Himself in person there?: Is the Duke of Albany himself with his army?


      OSWALD
                                               Madam, with much ado:
ado: fuss; trouble.

  3   Your sister is the better soldier.

      REGAN
  4   Lord Edmund spake not with your lord at home?
4. Lord Edmund: Edmund, the bastard son of Gloucester, is now "Lord Edmund" because he has been given his father's title as a reward for informing on his father. your lord: i.e., the Duke of Albany.


      OSWALD
  5   No, madam.

      REGAN
  6   What might import my sister's letter to him?
6. import: mean. him: i.e., Edmund.


      OSWALD
  7   I know not, lady.

      REGAN
  8   'Faith, he is posted hence on serious matter.
8. is posted hence: has hurried away.

  9   It was great ignorance, Gloucester's eyes being out,
9. ignorance: folly. being out : being put out.

 10   To let him live: where he arrives he moves
 11   All hearts against us: Edmund, I think, is gone,
 12   In pity of his misery, to dispatch
12. dispatch: to quickly put an end to.

 13   His nighted life: moreover, to descry
13. nighted: darkened. descry: spy out.

 14   The strength o' the enemy.

      OSWALD
 15   I must needs after him, madam, with my letter.
15. after: go after.


      REGAN
 16   Our troops set forth tomorrow: stay with us;
 17   The ways are dangerous.
17. ways: roads.


      OSWALD
                                                I may not, madam:
 18   My lady charged my duty in this business.
18. charged my duty : i.e., gave me strict orders to carry out her instructions.


      REGAN
 19   Why should she write to Edmund? Might not you
 20   Transport her purposes by word? Belike,
20. Transport . . . word: Communicate her meaning by word of mouth.  Belike: Perhaps.

 21   Something—I know not what: I'll love thee much,
21. I'll love thee much : i.e., I'll make it worth your while.

 22   Let me unseal the letter.

      OSWALD
                                            Madam, I had rather—

      REGAN
 23   I know your lady does not love her husband;
 24   I am sure of that: and at her late being here
24. late: recently.

 25   She gave strange œillades and most speaking looks
25. œillades : amorous glances.

 26   To noble Edmund. I know you are of her bosom.
26. of her bosom: in her confidence.


      OSWALD
 27   I, madam?

      REGAN
 28   I speak in understanding; you are; I know't:
28. I speak in understanding: I know what I'm talking about.

 29   Therefore I do advise you, take this note:
29. take this note: take note of this.

 30   My lord is dead; Edmund and I have talk'd;
 31   And more convenient is he for my hand
31. convenient: appropriate.

 32   Than for your lady's: you may gather more.
32. your lady's: Goneril's. gather more: i.e., make your own inferences.

 33   If you do find him, pray you, give him this;

           [Gives him a love token, such as a ring
           or glove.]

 34   And when your mistress hears thus much from you,
34. And when . . . you: i.e., and when you tell my sister Goneril about this conversation.

 35   I pray, desire her call her wisdom to her.
35. desire her call her wisdom to her: i.e., tell her to come to her senses.

 36   So, fare you well.
 37   If you do chance to hear of that blind traitor,
 38   Preferment falls on him that cuts him off.
38. Preferment: a significant reward, such as a promotion.  cuts him off: cuts Gloucester's life short.


      OSWALD
 39   Would I could meet him, madam! I should show
39. Would: If only.

 40   What party I do follow.
40. What party I do follow: i.e., Where my loyalties lie.


      REGAN
                                             Fare thee well.

           Exeunt.