Blindness in a Different Light in Shakespeare's King Lear
Under normal circumstances and in the simplest terms, one might
consider blindness to be the "inability to see or the loss or
absence of perception of visual stimuli" (CancerWEB). However, in
William Shakespeare's tragedy King Lear, blindness is a word that
means so much more than just a physical flaw. Rather, King Lear
can serve to show that the term applies also to one's ability to
use reason in a logical process of thought. In particular,
blindness describes some characters' lack of good judgement when
it comes to seeing another for whom they really are. King Lear,
Gloucester and Albany are three prime examples of characters who
suffered most due to being blind. Lear was unmistakenably the
blindest of these. It would be fair to say that because Lear was
King, the reader should expect him to have outstanding reasoning
skills. Unfortunately, as the story progressed it became clear
that his lack of insight prevented him from making the right
decisions. This flaw would lead to the eventual downfall of Lear.
The first apparent mistake came when Lear allowed himself to be
fooled by Regan and Goneril, and gave to them his throne. The two
did not love him at all. Lear never understood the depth of
Cordelia's love for him. He banished his only daughter from the
kingdom without giving any real thought to what she had said.
Lear did say to his only true daughter; ".....for we/ have no
such daughter, nor shall we ever see/ that face of hers again.
Therefore be gone/ without our grace, our love, our benison."
(Shakespeare 1, 1. 262-265)
Blindness can also be cited for the reason that Lear would banish
Kent, a very faithful follower of his. Kent tried to...