Sight and Blindness in King Lear

1615 WordsOct 26, 20107 Pages
Sight and Blindness in King Lear In King Lear, the recurring images of sight and blindness associated with the characters of Lear and Gloucester illustrate the theme of self-knowledge and consciousness that exist in the play. These classic tropes are inverted in King Lear, producing a situation in which those with healthy eyes are ignorant of what is going on around them, and those without vision appear to "see" the clearest. While Lear's "blindness" is one which is metaphorical, the blindness of Gloucester, who carries the parallel plot of the play, is literal. Nevertheless, both characters suffer from an inability to see the true nature of their children, an ability only gained once the two patriarchs have plummeted to the utter depths…show more content…
Such injustice is encountered by Gloucester in the subplot. O villain, villain! His very opinion in the letter! Abhorred villain! Unnatural, detested, brutish villain! Worse than brutish! Go, sirrah, seek him. I'll apprehend him. Abominable villain! Where is he? (Act 1 Scene 2 Pg. 37 lines 75-78) Gloucester fooled by his bastard son Edmund, attacks Edgar and leaves Edmund to his evil plans. Shakesperean plays such as King Lear, illustrate the theme of good vs evil. Gloucester's death in the subplot is a parallel to that of King Lear's in the main plot. Though Gloucester does not have the tragic catastrophic death of King Lear. King Lear's anguish led him to insanity while Gloucester is led to despair and attempts suicide. Before Gloucester's attempt at suicide, he realizes that he has wronged Edgar and condemns his blindness of Edmund's... William Shakespeare’s King Lear is a dramatic play that displays many relationships between different characters. King Lear, himself, and Gloucester can be seen as two parallel characters with the same mentality, while at the same time be looked upon with differences. These two characters seem to be walking down the same path unknowingly, but in the end, Gloucester becomes truly blind to the world, and King Lear begins to take in reality as it is. The relationships between King Lear and Gloucester will be the central topic of this paper. Gloucester's character
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