"King Lea"R Theme Of Blindness.

778 words - 3 pages

In Shakespearean terms, blind means a whole different thing.Blindness can normally be defined as the inability of the eye to see,but according to Shakespeare, blindness is not a physical quality,but a mental flaw some people possess. Shakespeare's most dominanttheme in his play "King Lear" is that of blindness. King Lear,Gloucester, and Albany are three prime examples Shakespeareincorporates this theme into. Each of these character's blindness wasthe primary cause of the bad decisions they made; decisions which allof them would eventually come to regret.The blindest bat of all was undoubtedly King Lear. Because ofLear's high position in society, he was supposed to be able todistinguish the good from the bad; unfortunately, his lack of sightprevented him to do so. Lear's first act of blindness came at thebeginning of the play. First, he was easily deceived by his two eldestdaughters' lies, then, he was unable to see the reality of Cordelia'strue love for him, and as a result, banished her from his kingdom withthe following words:"..................................for weHave no such daughter, nor shall ever seeThat face of her again. Therefore be goneWithout our grace, our love, our benison."(Act I, Sc I, Ln 265-267)Lear's blindness also caused him to banish one of his loyal followers,Kent. Kent was able to see Cordelia's true love for her father, andtried to protect her from her blind father's irrationality. AfterKent was banished, he created a disguise for himself and waseventually hired by Lear as a servant. Lear's inability to determinehis servant's true identity proved once again how blind Lear actuallywas. As the play progressed, Lear's eyesight reached closer to 20/20vision. He realized how wicked his two eldest daughters really wereafter they locked him out of the castle during a tremendous storm.More importantly, Lear saw through Cordelia's lack of flatterings andrealized that her love for him was so great that she couldn't expressit into words. Unfortunately, Lear's blindness ended up costingCordelia her life and consequently the life of himself.Gloucester was another example of a character who sufferedfrom an awful case of blindness. Gloucester's blindness denied him ofthe ability to see the goodness of Edgar and the evil of Edmund.Although Edgar was the good and loving son, Gloucester all butdisowned him. He wanted to kill...

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519 words - 2 pages (1982); Faye, E. E., Clinical Low Vision (1976); Henkind, Paul, Priest, R. S., and Schiller, G., Compendium of Ophthalmology (1983); Kirchner, Corinne, Data on Blindness and Visual Impairment in the U. S. A. (1985); Koestler, Frances, The Unseen Minority: A Social History of Blindness in the United States (1976); Lewis, Vicky, Development and Handicap, 3d ed. (1987); Monbeck, Michael E., The Meaning of Blindness (1973); Naumann, G. O., and Apple, D. J., Pathology of the Eye (1986); Sommer, Alfred, Nutritional Blindness (1982); Warren, David, Blindness and Early Development (1977); Wilson, John, World Blindness and Its Prevention, 2 vols. (1980-84).

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