Note to King Lear, 4.1.10: "poorly led"


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King Lear,
Act 4, Scene 1, line 10
My father, poorly led? Gloucester, Edgar's father, is "poorly led" because he is accompanied only by one very old (80+ years) man, not a retinue of servants. However, it's possible that Shakespeare intended something much more shocking than "poorly led." At least one copy of the very first published text of King Lear has "parti, eyd," which may mean "with parti-colored eyes," referring to the red blood seeping through the white bandage over Gloucester's empty eye-sockets.


Image source: Rehearsing King Lear