Blindness In King Lear Essay Research Paper

Blindness In King Lear Essay, Research Paper

Relevance of Blindness in King Lear

One of the repeating subjects in Shakespeare s calamity King Lear is that of sight and the relevancy of clear vision. Through different types of characters, Shakespeare points out that neither the deficiency or the ownership of clear vision can protect anybody from anything.

Shakespeare makes usage of several characters to convey across his point. The five characters I find to be the most of import to the subject include two characters that were ab initio unsighted and three characters with clear vision. The two blind characters are King Lear himself and the Earl of Gloucester. The three of import characters who have clear vision through the full drama include Lear s advisor, the Earl of Kent, Lear s girl, Cordelia and the illicit boy of Gloucester, Edmund. The capableness or incapableness of each of these characters to see doesn Ts needfully make him or her good or evil. Granted, the sightlessness of King Lear and Gloucester are the eventual cause of the deceases in the drama, but Shakespeare ne’er portrays either Lear nor Gloucester as peculiarly nefarious characters.

King Lear remains blind for the bulk of the drama. His deficiency of perceptual experience, understanding and way cause him to do several hapless picks, one of which is ostracizing his lone honest girl, Cordelia, from his land. Lear s sightlessness besides makes him susceptible to use by his two eldest girls, Goneril and Regan. While Lear can physically see, his inability to judge character demonstrates his nonliteral inability to see.

In contrast, Gloucester becomes physically unsighted, but acquires the type of vision that Lear deficiencies. Like Lear, Gloucester s blindness makes him vulnerable to use. Gloucester s bastard boy, Edmund, convinces him that his legitimate boy, Edgar, is plotting his ain male parent s slaying. Although untrue, Gloucester instantly accepts it as fact. Ironically, Gloucester s sightlessness costs him his physical seeing. Upon Gloucester s consciousness of his former errors, he cries, I stumbled when I saw ( Act IV, Scene I, Lines 20-21 ) . I think Shakespeare was seeking to show throug

H Lear and Gloucester that 1 who has eyes can still be blind, while one without eyes can still see.

In add-on, I think Shakespeare wanted to indicate out that perceptual experience is non a quality that merely honest people possess. The clear scoundrel in the drama, Edmund, is able to utilize his judgement of character for his evil intents. He can see that his male parent is fleeceable and, motivated by greed, deceives his male parent, his brother and anyone willing to listen.

Among those about ne’er deceived throughout the drama are Cordelia and Kent. Cordelia can see that her sisters are delusory and greedy, and she wants no portion in flim-flaming her darling male parent. She wrestles with herself in the beginning about how she should depict her love for her male parent. Finally, her honestness prevails. Her description of her love as Harmonizing to my bond, no more nor less enrages the male monarch. By merely lying, she could hold easy avoided her fortunes. Despite her consciousness and apprehension of the universe around her, her male parent s sightlessness causes her decease in the terminal of the drama.

In add-on, Kent is cognizant of Lear s mistake in ostracizing Cordelia from England. Kent sees Cordelia s true, honorable nature and efforts to convert Lear of his error. Rather than take this as friendly advice, Lear blindly mistakes it for a personal onslaught and responds with a stubborn, Out of my sight! to which Kent responds, See better, Lear, and allow me still remain ( Act I, Scene I, Line 160 ) . By utilizing the obvious mention to spy, Kent demonstrates his consciousness of Lear s sightlessness.

In another dry turn, both Cordelia and Kent, the lone two honest people cognizant of King Lear s fatal defect, are banished from the state. I think they are important because despite their honestness, neither ends up happy in the terminal. Cordelia dies in the terminal.

I think the predominating position of the universe in Shakespeare s King Lear is that the universe can non be seen with the oculus, but with the bosom. The material universe the oculus detects can conceal its immoralities with physical properties, and therefore the oculus can non accomplish clear vision. If Lear had been able to look with more than merely his eyes, he may hold avoided this great calamity.


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