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King Lear And Essay Structure

1029 words - 5 pages

Choose ONE key idea that has been discussed in your class. Explain HOW dramatic techniques have been used to explore this idea in your set play.

In Shakespearean terms, blindness means a whole different thing. Blindness can normally be defined as the inability of not being able to see, but in contrast, Shakespeare interprets blindness as not having or not using perception or judgment and which blindness is not a physical quality, but a mental flaw some people possess. King Lear and Gloucester are two prime examples which depict this theme of mental blindness, that blindness which was the primary cause of their poor judgment and which led them all to make unfortunate judgments. Through the parallel narrative of Lear and Gloucester, it is evident that the destruction of blindness has led to the destruction of their character.

The blindest bat of all was undoubtedly King Lear. By virtue of King Lear’s position in society, he presumably has the ability to distinguish the good from the bad unfortunately, his lack of insight hampered this. His first initial act of blindness occurs in the beginning of the play. His sight to see other people’s true character is clearly blurred. “Tell me my daughters, which of thee doth love us most, that we our largest bounty may extend?” Lear sincerely believes that by demanding a public display of affection from his daughters, he will truly discover the daughter who is most devoted. In his mind, appearance and image is more important than true faithfulness, and this ultimately becomes his downfall.

As the scene progresses, the eldest daughters proclaim undying devotion, a pretense which Lear is quick to accept as truth. However the youngest and only honest daughter Cordelia is unable to put on a show of adoration, despite her genuine love for her father. “Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave my heart into my mouth” The dramatic irony is clear to the audience, who can plainly tell the evil daughters from the pure. However in a twist that is true to Lear’s character, he is unable to see this and banishes Cordelia from the kingdom. With this, Lear is effectively sealing his fate at the end of the play, although of course he is completely blind to this fact.

when he was deceived by his two eldest daughters lies soon afterwards, he was incapable ofseeing the reality of Cordelia s genuine love for him. 

Lear’s blindness causes him to not see his daughters treachery at the beginning of the play. His inability to see that they were playing him caused him to go mad and lose power over his entire kingdom. Later in the play, his eyes are finally opened to their wickedness and he realizes what a mistake he has made. We see Gloucester’s blindness in more literal terms as his eyes are plucked out by Cornwall. When this happens it seems as though his eyes are really opened to the betrayal of Edmund. Shakespeare shows us throughout King Lear that seeing is more then just through our eyes. The...

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