Blindness in King Lear Essays

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Blindness is defined as, according to dictionaries, “unable to see and lacking the sense of sight”, but in King Lear, written by William Shakespeare, it has a relatively new definition. Blindness, as Shakespeare portrays, not only a physical inability to see, but also a mental flaw that some characters present in this tragic play. King Lear and the Earl of Gloucester are the two characters who make up the parallel “double plot” of the tragedy caused of their lack of sight, mental blindness. They both undergo a very similar plot and suffer from their false decisions, the ones they feel very remorseful of later on. In other words, such blindness is the root of false decisions that leads to disasters. The interaction of physical blindness and…show more content…
Though, Lear has a little realization of this point when he says “Our basest beggars are in the poorest thing superfluous. Allow not nature more than nature needs, man’s life is cheap as beast’s… ” (2, 4, 297-300) Moreover, it is also very unwise to do because if by any chance his daughters just wanted his power instead of being his daughter, he would eventually become an old, poor, childless man. All of these events noticeably happened in the play because of his lack of sight about the knowledge of “the Great Chain of Being”. When Goneril and Regan, Lear’s two evil daughters, kick him out into a storm, he has truly become a vulnerable old man with nothing left as he says “Here I stand your slave, / A poor, infirm, weak, and despised old man…” (3, 2, 20)
Yet, his blindness of knowledge is not the only factor leads him to this sudden downfall, from the king to a “despised old man”. His lack of sight also prevents him to catch other people’s personality, he judges weather the people are good or evil just by the surface appearances. One example is that Lear banishes his once most beloved daughter, Cordelia. She is the only loyal daughter of Lear’s who has seen her sister’s false love presentations for Lear and does not want to bracket together her true love with

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