All The World's A Grave, Lear monologue—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.