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Act 1 Scene 1
King Lear Tell me, my daughters... Which of you shall we say doth love us most?
Now he is growing old, King Lear devises a test in order to decide how to divide his kingdom between his daughters. He gathers them together in his palace and asks them how much they love him.
Regan (Jenny Quayle), Cordelia (Abigail McKern) and Goneril (Janet Dale)Photo: Malcolm Davies Collection © Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
King Lear Now, our joy, / Although the last, not least...what can you say to draw / A third more opulent than your sisters? Speak. King Lear (Robert Stephens) asks Cordelia (Abigail McKern) to express how much she loves him.Photo: Malcolm Davies Collection © Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
Act 1 Scene 4The fool That lord that counsell'd thee / To give away thy land,Come place him here by me- / Do thou for him stand.The fool arrives to entertain Lear, he is the only courtier who can be honest with Lear about his actions. Left to right: King Lear (Robert Stephens, seated), The Fool (Ian Hughes, centre) and Kent (David Calder, right).Photo: Malcolm Davies Collection © Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
Act 3 Scene 2
King Lear Nor rain, wind, thunder, fire are my daughters.I tax not you, you elements, with unkindness.I never gave you kingdom, call'd you children,You owe me no subscription.
Lear (Robert Stephens) and the Fool (Ian Hughes) in the storm.
Photo: Malcolm Davies Collection © Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
Act 3 Scene 4
Edgar Take heed o' the foul fiend...
Edgar (Simon Russell Beale) disguised as Poor Tom gives Lear (Robert Stephens, right) a warning. To the left stand the Fool (Ian Hughes) and Gloucester (David Bradley)Photo: Malcolm Davies Collection © Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
King Lear Poor naked wretches, wheresoe'er you are,That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm,How shall your houseless heads and unfed sides,Your loop'd and window'd raggedness, defend youFrom seasons such as these?
Lear (Robert Stephens), with flowers in his hair to indicate madness, prays for the protection of others in the storm.
Act 4 Scene 6
Edgar Give me your hand. You are now within a footOf th' extreme verge. For all beneath the moon / Would I not leap upright.
Edgar (Simon Russell Beale) takes Gloucester (David Bradley) to the edge of the cliff.Photo: Malcolm Davies Collection © Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
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