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 dominant
theme in his play "King Lear" is that of blindness. King Lear,
Gloucester, and Albany are three prime examples Shakespeare
incorporates this theme into. Each of these character's blindness was
the primary cause of the bad decisions they made; decisions which all
of them would eventually come to regret.
The blindest bat of all was undoubtedly King Lear. Because of
Lear's high position in society, he was supposed to be able to
distinguish the good from the bad; unfortunately, his lack of sight
prevented him to do so. Lear's first act of blindness came at the
beginning of the play. First, he was easily deceived by his two eldest
daughters' lies, then, he was unable to see the reality of Cordelia's
true love for him, and as a result, banished her from his kingdom with
the following words:
Have no such daughter, nor shall ever see
That face of her again. Therefore be gone
Without 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, and
tried to protect her from her blind father's irrationality. After
Kent was banished, he created a disguise for himself and was
eventually hired by Lear as a servant. Lear's inability to determine
his servant's true identity proved once again how blind Lear actually
was. As the play progressed, Lear's eyesight reached closer to 20/20
vision. He realized how wicked his...