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Scene III, reintroduces Goneril, as she is outraged by the offenses she contends Lear has been showing her since moving into her residence. He has struck Oswald for criticizing his fool, his knights are riotous and so on, she claims. Lear is out hunting. Goneril commands Oswald to allow her privacy from Lear and to treat Lear with "weary negligence". She does not want him to be happy, hoping that he will move to Regan's where she knows he will face the same contempt. She demands Oswald to treat his knights coldly as well. She leaves to write Regan.
In Scene IV, Kent enters, disguised and hoping to serve in secret as a servant to Lear so that he can help him though he is condemned. Lear accepts to try him as a servant.Oswald comes in quickly before exiting again curtly. A knight tells Lear that Goneril is not well and that Oswald answered him curtly as well. The knight fears Lear is being treated wrongly. Lear had blamed himself for any coldness but agrees to look into a problem in Goneril's household. Lear's fool has hidden himself since Cordelia's departure so Lear sends the knight for him. Oswald reenters, showing Lear the negligence Goneril had suggested. Lear and Kent strike him, endearing Kent in Lear's eyes. Oswald exits as Fool enters. Fool persistently mocks and ridicules Lear for his actions in scene i, his mistreatment of Cordelia, trust in Goneril and Regan, and giving up of his authority. He calls Lear himself a fool, noting he has given away all other titles. The fool notes that he is punished by Lear if he lies, punished by the household if he speaks the truth, and often punished for staying silent.
Goneril harps on the trouble Lear and his retinue are causing, such as the insolence of Fool and the riotous behavior of the knights. She states that he is not showing her the proper respect and consideration by allowing these actions to occur. Lear is incredulous. Goneril continues by adding that as Lear's large, frenzied train cannot be controlled she will have to ask him to keep fewer than his hundred knights. Outraged, Lear admits that Goneril's offense makes Cordelia's seem small. As Albany enters, Lear curses Goneril with infertility or, in its stead, a thankless child. He then finds that his train has already been halved and again rages against the incredible impudence Goneril has shown him. He angrily leaves for Regan's residence. Albany does not approve of Goneril's behavior and is criticized by her for being weak. Goneril sends Oswald with a letter to her sister, detailing her fear that Lear is dangerous and should be curtailed as soon as possible.