King Lear

Essay by Bdog101High School, 12th gradeA, November 2014

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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 justice­oriented 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

Gloucester's downfall.

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

another man.

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 esteem; he would not expect anyone to dislike him or have a reason to

disrespect the King. Lear and Albany's relationship is one of respect; 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 Albany; 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.

Works Cited:

Shakespeare, William. King Lear. Dover Thrift ed. New York: Dover Publications, 1994. Print.