Bethany Van Pelt ENG 4U1 Mr. Graham October 8, 2014 Woodland Christian High School
Blinded by Evil
When an adult tells a child to do something, they will naturally do it because they have to listen
to their elders and are ignorant to what is right and what is wrong. People are often unintentionally
blinded to wickedness due to their own good nature. In Shakespeare's King Lear, Albany is unable to
see his wife's wickedness because of his love for her, his respect for his elders, and his own innocence.
Albany is blinded to the malicious nature of his wife, Goneril.
The honourable disposition of Albany renders him blind to the wickedness of his wife by his
own innocence. Albany learned that the Duke of Cornwall removed one of Gloucester's eyes, but that
he was killed before he could gouge the other eye of Gloucester. "This shows you are above, / You
justicers, that these our nether crimes / So speedily can venge. But, O poor Gloucster! Lost he his other
eye?" (4.2.82). Albany does not know that Goneril helped in the capturing and torture of Gloucester.
He is justiceÂoriented and when he learns of Cornwall dying for what he did to Gloucester, Albany is
shocked, but also pleased because he knows that Gloucster did not deserve what he received.
Unaware of the situation until after it happened, Albany does not see that his wife is evil. Albany's
innocence is caused due to his amiability which blinds him to the fact that Goneril is the reason for
Albany's love for Goneril clouds his vision to the affection his wife has for Edmund and the affair
they are having. Goneril writes a letter to Edmund and as it is read aloud by Edgar, Albany is unaware
of the letter and what it contains as his wife confesses to Edmund: "Let our reciprocal vows be
remembered. You have many / opportunities to cut him off: if your will not want, time and place will / Be
fruitfully offered"(4.6.97). Albany is oblivious to the deceit of Goneril because he loves her even though
he knows she does have faults. Albany chooses to avoid her great faults because of his love for Goneril
and is ignorant to the fact that she does not return his love and is plotting his murder. He is unable to
see and understand that she changed due to the power and land she received from her father. Albany is
unaware of his wife's unfaithfulness and the fact that she is plotting his murder so she can be with
The respect that Albany has for King Lear blinds him to the disrespect that Goneril shows her
father. Lear is angry with his daughter's lack of treatment and care towards him and wants to leave
their care, while Albany is confused and states: "My lord, I am guiltless, / As I am ignorant of what hath
moved you" (1.4.26). Albany respects Lear and is unaware of the inhospitable actions of Goneril and
their servants. Albany wants Lear to acknowledge that he negligent and not guilty of the actions that
were shown to him, he would not be disrespectful to the King and the father of his wife. Goneril's
actions towards King Lear are intentional to hurt him and Albany does not understand what has
happened between his wife and father. Even though he respects Lear, and he knows Goneril is wrong,
he never stands up to his wife because he doesn't want to interfere. Albany is confused because he
holds Lear in such high esteemÍ¾ he would not expect anyone to dislike him or have a reason to
disrespect the King. Lear and Albany's relationship is one of respectÍ¾ Goneril is wrecking this by
allowing the servants to be inhospitable to her father while Albany is ignorant to the situation.
Albany is unable to detect his wife's wicked behaviour. Through the love, respect, and the pure
innocence of AlbanyÍ¾ he is unable to see the deception of his corrupt wife. Albany is a good man and is
fair, he doesn't stumble in his actions because they are so pure and true. It is easy to have a clouded
view of life when a person only wants to see the good in it and becomes ignorant to the evil in the world.
Shakespeare, William. King Lear. Dover Thrift ed. New York: Dover Publications, 1994. Print.