King Lears Blindness Essay

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Although it is never too late to learn, those lessons learned in old age are the most difficult and the most costly. In his play KING LEAR, Shakespeare illustrates that wisdom does not necessarily come with age. The mistakes that Lear and Gloucester make leave them vulnerable to disappointment and suffering at a time in their lives when both should be enjoying peace and contentment. Although both Lear and Gloucester achieve wisdom before they die, they pay a dear price for having lived life blindly.
Lear and Gloucester both illustrate that wisdom does not always come with age. Lear asks his three daughters to express their love for him in public. Both Goneril and Regan have no problem competing for his love,
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Kent’s effort to steer Lear in the right direction backfires. Lear is offended by Kent’s attempt to make him go against his word and reverse the disownment on Cordelia. Lear, feeling his pride in jeopardy, goes into a fit of rage and banishes Kent for questioning his judgment:

On thine allegiance, hear me!
That thou hast sought to make us break our vow,
Which we durst never yet, and with strain’d pride
To come betwixt our sentence and our power,
Which nor our nature nor our place can bear,
Our potency made good, take they reward.
(I, i, ll 166-171)

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