Notes on Act V, scene i

Know: Inquire

purpose: latest intention to fight

advised by aught: persuaded by anything

alteration: indecision, changing his mind

constant pleasure: final decision

sister's man: Goneril's servant Oswald

miscarried: met with misfortune or death

doubted: feared

forfended: forbidden; that is, have you slept with her?

doubtful: fearful

conjunct and bosom'd: joined with her in the most intimate way

loosen: separate

rigor: hard demands; that is, those who have complaints with our governing have sided with Cordelia and France

honest: honorable

toucheth: affects

Not bolds the king ... oppose: I enter this battle because France, a foreign power, has invaded our land, but not because France supports (makes bold) Lear and his forces who have in fact just grievances for which to fight. Albany sympathizes with Lear's cause, but as a good soldier he will defend England.

reasoned: argued

domestic and particular broils: private quarrels between the two houses (as was hinted at in III.i); this is no time to fight among ourselves.

ancient of war: experienced commanders

riddle: the real reason why you want me to go with you (and not stay here with Edmund)

overtake: I'll catch up with you (said to his men)

avouched: charged (the letter he found on Oswald, plotting Albany's death)

machination: plotting, which will cease once he is dead

guess: estimate

greet the time: be ready

jealous: suspicious

countenance: support

speedy taking off: quick death

debate: my status depends on action, not debating right and wrong


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