William Shakespeare's King Lear Essay

923 Words 4 Pages
William Shakespeare's King Lear

In William Shakespeare’s tragedy, King Lear,the issue of sight on many levels is a recurring theme. Throughout the play Shakespeare shows that sight does not just come from the eyes. It is shown through the

characters of Lear, Gloucester and how they compare to

each other.

Lear’s character is one that never learns what

it means to see without ones eyes. Lear’s sight is hazed because of his lack of ability to see inside of people, he can not tell who they really are. When Lear is angered by Cordelia, Kent tries to reason with Lear, who is too angry and upset to have an open mind. Lear responds to Kent’s opposition with, “Out of my sight!,” to which Kent
…show more content…
Lear’s sight is also tainted by his lack of direction and by not being able to see the consequences of his actions. This, as well as his lack of insight into people, causes the fall out of his relationship with his

daughter Cordelia. When Lear asks his daughters who loves him the most, he thinks this will be Cordelia. However when Cordelia says, “I love your majesty/According to my bond, no more nor less” (I.i.94-95), Lear can not see past the words, all he hears is the words, not the meaning behind them. He does not hear the words with his heart. Goneril and Regan are putting on an act, when they talk of their love for Lear and Lear thinks that they love him because he likes the words they use. Unfortunately for Lear, they do not love him as much as they claim to. When Cordelia hears their bragging she holds her words because she does not want her true feelings compared to their lies. Lear however does not see the meaning of the words that Goneril and Regan are putting forth and feels that they love him and Cordelia does not. Kent, who can see what is actually going on, knows that Cordelia is the only one of the three daughters that truly loves Lear. He tries to get Lear to understand this by saying, “Answer my life my judgment,Thy youngest daughter does not love thee least”(I.i.153-154). Lear however can not see past what his eyes are telling him, and becomes
Open Document