King Lear

Synopsis: Ian McKellen gives a tour-de-force performance as Shakespeare's tragic titular monarch in this special television adaptation of the Royal Shakespeare Company production of one of the playwright's most enduring and haunting works.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Trevor Nunn
  1 win & 1 nomination.
156 min

I thought the king had more affected

the Duke of Albany than Cornwall.

It did always seem so to us.

But now, in the division of the kingdom,

it appears not which of the dukes

he values most.

Is not this your son, my lord?

His breeding, sir,

hath been at my charge.

I have so often blushed to acknowledge him

that now I am brazed to it.

- I cannot conceive you.

- Sir, this young fellow's mother could.

Whereupon she grew round-wombed,

and had indeed, sir, a son for her cradle

ere she had a husband for her bed.

Do you smell a fault?

I cannot wish the fault undone,

the issue of it being so proper.

But I have a son, sir, by order of law,

some year elder than this

who yet is no dearer in my account.

Though this knave came something saucily

to the world, before he was sent for,

yet was his mother fair;

there was good sport at his making,

and the whoreson must be acknowledged.

Do you know this noble gentleman, Edmund?

No, my lord.

My lord of Kent. Remember him hereafter

as my honourable friend.

My services to your lordship.

- I must love you, and sue to know you better.

- Sir, I shall study deserving.

He has been out nine years,

and away he shall again.

The King is coming.

Attend the lords of France and Burgundy...

- Gloucester.

- I shall, my liege.

Meantime we shall express

our darker purpose.

Give me the map... there.

Know that we have divided

in three our kingdom,

and 'tis our fast intent

to shake all cares and business

from our age,

conferring them on younger strengths,

while we unburdened crawl toward death.

Our son of Cornwall,

and you, our no less loving son of Albany.

We have this hour a constant will

to publish

our daughters' separate dowers,

that future strife may be prevented now.

The two great princes,

France and Burgundy,

great rivals in our youngest

daughter's love,

long in our court have made

their amorous sojourn.

And here are to be answered.

Tell me, my daughters,

since now we will divest us both of rule,

interest of territory, cares of state,

which of you shall we say

doth love us most?

That we our largest bounty may extend

where nature doth with merit challenge.

Goneril, our eldest born,

speak first.

Sir, I love you more than words

can wield the matter,

dearer than eye-sight, space, and liberty,

as much as child e'er loved,

or father found.

A love that makes breath poor,

and speech unable.

Beyond all manner of so much, I love you.

Of all these bounds,

even from this line to this,

we make thee lady.

To thine and Albany's issues

be this perpetual.

What says our second daughter,

our dearest Regan, wife to Cornwall?


I am made of that self mettle as my sister

and prize me at her worth.

In my true heart

I find she names my very deed of love.

Only she comes too short, that I profess

myself an enemy to all other joys

which the most precious square

of sense possesses,

and find I am alone felicitate

in your dear highness' love.

To thee and thine hereditary ever

remain this ample third

of our fair kingdom.

No less in space, validity, and pleasure,

than that conferred on Goneril...

And now, our joy,

although our last not least,

to whose young love

The vines of France and milk of Burgundy

strive to be interessed.

What can you say to draw

a third more opulent than your sisters?


- Nothing, my lord.

- Nothing?

- Nothing.

- Nothing will come of nothing.

Speak again.

Unhappy that I am,

I cannot heave

my heart into my mouth.

I love your majesty

according to my bond, no more nor less.

How, how, Cordelia!

Mend your speech a little

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William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet, and the "Bard of Avon". more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018


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