SCENES FOR ACTORS
Lear monologue—Act 3, Scene II
ACT 3, SCENE II
The ancient Castle of Aquitaine.
King Lear, in the darkness of his royal chamber.
Let copulation thrive; for Old Hamlet's prince of blood
Was kinder to his father than my daughter
Got 'tween the lustful sheets.
To it, luxury, pell-mell! for I lack soldiers.
Behold yond simpering dame,
That minces virtue to shake in pleasure;
The polecat, nor the wild horse, goes to it
With a more riotous appetite.
Down from the waist they are Centaurs,
Though women all above:
Where is this daughter? 'tis worse than murder,
To do upon respect such violent outrage:
My daughter! O my daughter! Better thou
Hadst not been born than not to have pleased me better.
Why, the hot-blooded Prince, that dowerless took
Our youngest born, I could as well be slave and
Sumpter to this detested groom.
O me, my heart, my rising heart! But, down!
Darkness and devils, and Prince Lucifer!
Degenerate bastard! I'll not trouble thee.
Yet have I left a daughter.