Blindness-King Lear

1809 WordsApr 9, 20088 Pages
It seems ironic that both the oldest characters, Gloucester and Lear, who are blind either metaphorically or physically. They both exemplify that wisdom does not always come with old age. The parallel characters are very important to each other, Lear who is blinded metaphorically, and Gloucester who is physically blinded. Both characters undergo radical changes and their once sightless decisions become regrettable actions. They are unable to see people for who they truly are; thus their tragedy is the journey they must endure to regain sight. It is clear that although, Lear can physically see, he is blind, and lacks understanding, insight and pure intentions. It seems that the characters who had and kept their “healthy eyes” throughout…show more content…
Shakespeare shows this in the beginning of the play, to depict Lear’s immaturity and shallow personality. Despite his age, wisdom has obviously not followed. Because of Lear’s blinded “mind sight”, he sets himself up for his own fate. He banishes the only true, pure, and devoted ones. His vision becomes clouded from lack of insight and understanding of the character’s true-selves. Over the course of the play, Lear begins to “see”, his other two daughters for who they really are. When his daughter Goneril, forces him to rid himself of his guards; since it is her home, she wants to control Lear and make him live under her rules. Lear rebels against his daughter’s authority and believes that his other daughter ,Reagan, will not abuse him. When he is proven wrong, the only “safe place” he has to turn, is his own madness. The journey that Lear embarks on, takes him from the mentality level of a king to knowing and seeing the truth that always seemed “below him”. The final result of his experiences, is the end when Cordelia forgives him and the Kingdom is restored, but yet his fate was death. One of Lear’s tragedies is that he had to be blind to be able to see. It is pitiable to think, in order for Kent to help Lear see the truth, he must hide his own identity. Kent must become someone else and it is only then does Lear start to realize the true selves of others. Kent’s decision to disguise himself clearly illustrates how blind Lear really is.
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