KENT: Is not this your son, my lord?
GLOUCESTER: His breeding, sir, hath been at my charge. I have so often blushed to acknowledge him, that now I am brazed to ‘t.
KENT: I cannot conceive you.
GLOUCESTER: Sir, this young fellow’s mother could: whereupon she grew round-wombed, and had, indeed, sir, a son for her cradle ere she had a husband for her bed. Do you smell a fault?
– William Shakespeare
King Lear, Act 1, Scene 1. The Earl of Gloucester jokes to the Duke of Kent about his illigitimate son Edmund, setting the scene for some family drama to come. Gloucester admits that Edmund has been an embarrassment to him and Kent says he doesn’t understand what he means. Gloucester responds with verbal irony, playing on the word "conceive," to explain how Edmund was born out of wedlock. He then cracks a rude joke about female genitals, mocking Edmund’s mother while ignoring Edmund’s presence. "Do you smell a fault?" he tells Kent. This is foreshadowing of how a resentful Edmund will embark on a plot against his father and half-brother.