The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource

Scene Study (Male-Male)


When shall I come to th’ top of that same hill?


You do climb up it now. Look how we labor.


Methinks the ground is even.


Horrible steep.

Hark, do you hear the sea?


No, truly.


Why then your other senses grow imperfect

By your eyes’ anguish.


So may it be indeed.

Methinks thy voice is alter’d, and thou speak’st

In better phrase and matter than thou didst.


Y’ are much deceiv’d. In nothing am I chang’d

But in my garments.


Methinks y’ are better spoken.


Come on, sir, here’s the place; stand still. How fearful

And dizzy ’tis, to cast one’s eyes so low!

The crows and choughs that wing the midway air

Show scarce so gross as beetles. Half way down

Hangs one that gathers sampire, dreadful trade!

Methinks he seems no bigger than his head.

The fishermen that walk upon the beach

Appear like mice; and yond tall anchoring bark,

Diminish’d to her cock; her cock, a buoy

Almost too small for sight. The murmuring surge,

That on th’ unnumb’red idle pebble chafes,

Cannot be heard so high. I’ll look no more,

Lest my brain turn, and the deficient sight

Topple down headlong.


Set me where you stand.


Give me your hand. You are now within a foot

Of th’ extreme verge. For all beneath the moon

Would I not leap upright.


Let go my hand.

Here, friend, ’s another purse; in it a jewel

Well worth a poor man’s taking. Fairies and gods

Prosper it with thee! Go thou further off:

Bid me farewell, and let me hear thee going.


Now fare ye well, good sir.


With all my heart.



Why I do trifle thus with his despair

Is done to cure it.


O you mighty gods!

He kneels.

This world I do renounce, and in your sights

Shake patiently my great affliction off.

If I could bear it longer, and not fall

To quarrel with your great opposeless wills,

My snuff and loathed part of nature should

Burn itself out. If Edgar live, O bless him!

Now, fellow, fare thee well.

He falls.


Gone, sir; farewell!

And yet I know not how conceit may rob

The treasury of life, when life itself

Yields to the theft. Had he been where he thought,

By this had thought been past. Alive or dead?—

Ho, you, sir! friend! Hear you, sir! speak!—

Thus might he pass indeed; yet he revives.—

What are you, sir?


Away, and let me die.


Hadst thou been aught but goss’mer, feathers, air

(So many fathom down precipitating),

Thou’dst shiver’d like an egg: but thou dost breathe,

Hast heavy substance, bleed’st not, speak’st, art sound.

Ten masts at each make not the altitude

Which thou hast perpendicularly fell.

Thy life’s a miracle. Speak yet again.


But have I fall’n, or no?


From the dread summit of this chalky bourn.

Look up a-height, the shrill-gorg’d lark so far

Cannot be seen or heard. Do but look up.


Alack, I have no eyes.

Is wretchedness depriv’d that benefit,

To end itself by death? ’twas yet some comfort,

When misery could beguile the tyrant’s rage,

And frustrate his proud will.


Give me your arm.

Up—so. How is’t? Feel you your legs? You stand.


Too well, too well.


This is above all strangeness.

Upon the crown o’ th’ cliff, what thing was that

Which parted from you?


A poor unfortunate beggar.


As I stood here below, methought his eyes

Were two full moons; he had a thousand noses,

Horns welk’d and waved like the enridged sea.

It was some fiend; therefore, thou happy father,

Think that the clearest gods, who make them honors

Of men’s impossibilities, have preserved thee.


I do remember now. Henceforth I’ll bear

Affliction till it do cry out itself

“Enough, enough,” and die. That thing you speak of,

I took it for a man; often ’twould say,

“The fiend, the fiend!”—he led me to that place.


Bear free and patient thoughts.


Use Power Search to search the works

Please consider making a small donation to help keep this site free.


Log in or Register

Forgot username  Forgot password
Get the Shakespeare Pro app