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Blindness In King Lear Essay

980 words - 4 pages

Blindness is one of the main themes in King Lear and is a recurring trait that is by several characters in the play. Blindness is represented literally, with Gloucester, and figuratively, with King Lear, in the play. In King Lear, Lear himself undergoes several shocking and unpleasant experiences due to his own figurative blindness. These experiences include his daughters, Goneril and Regan, treating him with disrespect and being locked out in the raging storm. These experiences drive Lear to losing his mental sanity, however, revive his moral sanity.
Lear is a character that is labelled as rash and impulsive due to actions to banish his truthful daughter, Cordelia, and giving all he owns ...view middle of the document...

1.115-118). At this point in the play, from the audience’s perspective, Lear has gone mad. However, the truth is that he became blinded by the flattery and fake praise given to him by Goneril and Regan and is not able to fathom Cordelia’s response because of that. Overall, praise and flattery is what led Lear to blindness and insanity, but guilt and regret is what follows when his fateful daughters turn their backs and betray him.
Lear is a figuratively blind man who is perceived as being insane; however, his sanity becomes gradually visible when he has to suffer the consequences of his rash decisions. Moreover, after he banished Cordelia, Lear decides to stay with each of his daughters for some time. However, he is surprised by the ungratefulness and disrespect that he is shown by them. When he stays with Goneril, she orders her servants to treat him poorly, and in addition she tries to strip him of his remaining power by telling him to get rid of his knights. This is when Lear initially starts feeling guilty about his actions towards Cordelia as he says that “[he] did her wrong” (1.5.24). This proves that even though Lear is blind to the truth, he is slowly starting to open his eyes to it. Furthermore, Lear’s sense of guilt starts to grow even more when is treated badly by Regan as well. All of the disrespect and ungratefulness shown to Lear amounts to him going mad and getting locked out in a raging storm. Moreover, in the storm, he is joined by some of his companions that are constantly trying to push the sense of sanity back into him. At this point, Lear realizes that his actions and decisions were completely foolish and that Cordelia was in fact his only lawful daughter. He curses Goneril and Regan by saying...

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