• Enter LEAR, KENT disguised, and FOOL

    KENT

    Here is the place, my lord. Good my lord, enter.
    The tyranny of the open night’s too rough
    For nature to endure.
    Storm still

    LEAR

       Let me alone.

    KENT

    Good my lord, enter here.

    LEAR

       Wilt break my heart?

    KENT

    5I had rather break mine own. Good my lord, enter.

    LEAR

    Thou think’st ’tis much that this contentious storm
    Invades us to the skin. So ’tis to thee.
    But where the greater malady is fixed
    The lesser is scarce felt. Thou’dst shun a bear,
    10But if thy flight lay toward the raging sea
    Thou’dst meet the bear i' th' mouth. When the mind’s free,
    The body’s delicate. The tempest in my mind
    Doth from my senses take all feeling else
    Save what beats there—filial ingratitude.
    15Is it not as this mouth should tear this hand
    For lifting food to ’t? But I will punish home.
    No, I will weep no more. In such a night
    To shut me out! Pour on, I will endure.
    In such a night as this! O Regan, Goneril,
    20Your old kind father, whose frank heart gave all—
    Oh, that way madness lies. Let me shun that.
    No more of that.
  • LEAR enters with KENT in disguise and the FOOL.

    KENT

    Here’s the hut, my lord. Please go inside. The night’s too rough for humans to bear.
    The storm continues.

    LEAR

    Leave me for a bit.

    KENT

    My lord, here is the entrance.

    LEAR

    Will you break my heart?

    KENT

    I’d rather break my own heart. Now please go in.

    LEAR

    You think it’s a big deal that this fierce storm is soaking me to the skin. It’s a big deal to you. But whenever you feel a larger pain, the smaller one disappears. You would run away from a bear, but if the only way to run was into the stormy ocean, you’d turn around and confront the bear. When your mind is at peace, your body is sensitive to the elements. But this storm in my mind keeps me from feeling anything except what’s tormenting me—how ungrateful my children are! Isn’t their ingratitude like the mouth biting the hand that feeds it? But I’ll punish them thoroughly. No, I won’t cry any more. Imagine them locking me out on a night like this! But let it rain; I’ll survive. On a night like this! Oh, Regan, Goneril, your kind old father whose generous heart gave you everything—Oh, if I think about that I’ll go mad. I want to avoid that. No more of these thoughts.