WORD LISTS

"King Lear" by William Shakespeare, Act 5

February 12, 2013
In this tragedy, King Lear's plan to divide his kingdom between his three daughters leads to his downfall when he misjudges their true feelings. Read the full text here.

Here are links to our lists for the play: Act 1, Act 2, Act 3, Act 4, Act 5
reprove
Usually, a person reproves another for a misdeed or a fault. But at this moment, Albany is scolding himself because he is not sure what to do: sit quietly while a foreign force invades his kingdom? Or side with Goneril and Edmund against Cordelia and France who are fighting for Lear?
Know of the Duke if his last purpose hold,
Or whether since he is advised by aught
To change the course. He’s full of alteration
And self- reproving.
rigor
Sir, this I heard: the King is come to his daughter,
With others whom the rigor of our state
Forced to cry out.
domestic
Combine together ’gainst the enemy,
For these domestic and particular broils
Are not the question here.
presently
I shall attend you presently at your tent.
avouch
Wretched though I seem,
I can produce a champion that will prove
What is avouchèd there.
herald
When time shall serve, let but the herald cry
And I’ll appear again.
exasperate
To take the widow
Exasperates, makes mad her sister Goneril,
And hardly shall I carry out my side,
Her husband being alive.
devise
Now, then, we’ll use
His countenance for the battle, which, being done,
Let her who would be rid of him devise
His speedy taking off.
incur
We are not the first
Who with best meaning have incurred the worst.
sect
And we’ll wear out,
In a walled prison, packs and sects of great ones
That ebb and flow by th’ moon.
ebb
And we’ll wear out,
In a walled prison, packs and sects of great ones
That ebb and flow by th’ moon.
incense
Upon such sacrifices, my Cordelia,
The gods themselves throw incense.
devour
Wipe thine eyes.
The good-years shall devour them, flesh and fell,
Ere they shall make us weep.
strife
Sir, you have showed today your valiant strain,
And Fortune led you well. You have the captives
Who were the opposites of this day’s strife.
exalt
Another definition of exalt is "raise in rank, character, or status" — which is what Regan (legitimate daughter and heir of a king, and widow of a duke) did to Edmund (bastard son of an earl) by giving him the powers of her position. To undermine Regan, Goneril argues that Edmund does not need Regan to exalt him because he is already gloriously worth praising.
Not so hot.
In his own grace he doth exalt himself
More than in your addition.
patrimony
Take thou my soldiers, prisoners, patrimony.
Dispose of them, of me; the walls is thine.
capital
Edmund, I arrest thee
On capital treason.
interlude
GONERIL: An interlude!
heinous
If none appear to prove upon thy person
Thy heinous, manifest, and many treasons,
There is my pledge.
manifest
If none appear to prove upon thy person
Thy heinous, manifest, and many treasons,
There is my pledge.
levy
Trust to thy single virtue, for thy soldiers,
All levied in my name, have in my name
Took their discharge.
convey
She is not well. Convey her to my tent.
[Regan is helped to exit.]
summons
What are you?
Your name, your quality, and why you answer
This present summons?
adversary
Yet am I noble as the adversary
I come to cope.
illustrious
I protest,
Maugre thy strength, place, youth, and eminence,
Despite thy victor-sword and fire-new fortune,
Thy valor, and thy heart, thou art a traitor,
False to thy gods, thy brother, and thy father,
Conspirant ’gainst this high illustrious prince,
And from th’ extremest upward of thy head
To the descent and dust below thy foot,
A most toad-spotted traitor.
disdain
In wisdom I should ask thy name,
But since thy outside looks so fair and warlike,
And that thy tongue some say of breeding breathes,
What safe and nicely I might well delay
By rule of knighthood, I disdain and spurn.
spurn
In wisdom I should ask thy name,
But since thy outside looks so fair and warlike,
And that thy tongue some say of breeding breathes,
What safe and nicely I might well delay
By rule of knighthood, I disdain and spurn.
vanquish
The definition is for vanquish as a verb, but vanquished is used as an adjective in the example sentence — this makes the meaning the opposite of what is given, since Goneril is arguing that Edmund was not conquered but cheated. This is a desperate attempt to restore honor to a fatally wounded Edmund who is lying at the feet of his opponent.
By th’ law of war, thou wast not bound to answer
An unknown opposite. Thou art not vanquished,
But cozened and beguiled.
cozen
By th’ law of war, thou wast not bound to answer
An unknown opposite. Thou art not vanquished,
But cozened and beguiled.
arraign
Say if I do; the laws are mine, not thine.
Who can arraign me for ’t?
gait
Methought thy very gait did prophesy
A royal nobleness.
semblance
The bloody proclamation to escape
That followed me so near—O, our lives’ sweetness,
That we the pain of death would hourly die
Rather than die at once!—taught me to shift
Into a madman’s rags, t’ assume a semblance
That very dogs disdained
woeful
If there be more, more woeful, hold it in,
For I am almost ready to dissolve,
Hearing of this.
dissolve
If there be more, more woeful, hold it in,
For I am almost ready to dissolve,
Hearing of this.
clamor
Whilst I
Was big in clamor, came there in a man
Who, having seen me in my worst estate,
Shunned my abhorred society
abhor
Whilst I
Was big in clamor, came there in a man
Who, having seen me in my worst estate,
Shunned my abhorred society
piteous
He fastened on my neck and bellowed out
As he’d burst heaven, threw him on my father,
Told the most piteous tale of Lear and him
That ever ear received, which, in recounting,
His grief grew puissant, and the strings of life
Began to crack.
puissant
He fastened on my neck and bellowed out
As he’d burst heaven, threw him on my father,
Told the most piteous tale of Lear and him
That ever ear received, which, in recounting,
His grief grew puissant, and the strings of life
Began to crack.
writ
Quickly send—
Be brief in it—to th’ castle, for my writ
Is on the life of Lear, and on Cordelia.
Nay, send in time.
reprieve
Send
Thy token of reprieve.
trifle
Compared to the reported deaths of Gloucester, Regan and Goneril, the visible dead body of Cordelia, and the impending deaths of Kent and Lear, Edmund's death is but a trifle.
MESSENGER: Edmund is dead, my lord.
ALBANY: That’s but a trifle here.
vex
Vex not his ghost. O, let him pass! He hates him
That would upon the rack of this tough world
Stretch him out longer.
twain
[To Edgar and Kent.] Friends of my soul, you twain
Rule in this realm, and the gored state sustain.
realm
[To Edgar and Kent.] Friends of my soul, you twain
Rule in this realm, and the gored state sustain.
sustain
[To Edgar and Kent.] Friends of my soul, you twain
Rule in this realm, and the gored state sustain.

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