King lear

Essay by eradicator_01 December 2002

download word file, 4 pages 3.7

Blindness in a Different Light in Shakespeare's King Lear

Under normal circumstances and in the simplest terms, one might

consider blindness to be the "inability to see or the loss or

absence of perception of visual stimuli" (CancerWEB). However, in

William Shakespeare's tragedy King Lear, blindness is a word that

means so much more than just a physical flaw. Rather, King Lear

can serve to show that the term applies also to one's ability to

use reason in a logical process of thought. In particular,

blindness describes some characters' lack of good judgement when

it comes to seeing another for whom they really are. King Lear,

Gloucester and Albany are three prime examples of characters who

suffered most due to being blind. Lear was unmistakenably the

blindest of these. It would be fair to say that because Lear was

King, the reader should expect him to have outstanding reasoning

skills. Unfortunately, as the story progressed it became clear

that his lack of insight prevented him from making the right

decisions. This flaw would lead to the eventual downfall of Lear.

The first apparent mistake came when Lear allowed himself to be

fooled by Regan and Goneril, and gave to them his throne. The two

did not love him at all. Lear never understood the depth of

Cordelia's love for him. He banished his only daughter from the

kingdom without giving any real thought to what she had said.

Lear did say to his only true daughter; ".....for we/ have no

such daughter, nor shall we ever see/ that face of hers again.

Therefore be gone/ without our grace, our love, our benison."

(Shakespeare 1, 1. 262-265)

Blindness can also be cited for the reason that Lear would banish

Kent, a very faithful follower of his. Kent tried to...