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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.

Note to King Lear, 1.1.168 - 172


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to
King Lear,
Act 1, Scene 1, line 168
The following sentence is difficult to read because the main verb is "take," which is the third-to-last word in the sentence.

168   That thou hast sought to make us break our vows,
169   Which we durst never yet, and with strain'd pride
170   To come between our sentence and our power,
171   Which nor our nature nor our place can bear,
172   Our potency made good, take thy reward.

     Here is my paraphrase: "Because you have tried to make me break my vows — which I have never dared to do — and with puffed-up pride tried to interfere with my right to pass judgment [on Cordelia] — which neither my [kingly] nature nor my [kingly] status can bear — [you must] so that I can show that I really do have potency, take your reward.
     Kent's "reward" is an allowance of five days to leave Lear's kingdom. If he's not gone within that five days, he dies.