Theme of Blindness
King Lear was probably the blindest character in King Lear because of Lear’s high position in society, he was supposed to be able to tell apart 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 mislead by his two eldest daughters, Goneril and Regan, lies, then, he was unable to see the reality of Cordelia’s true love for him, and as a result, banished Cordelia 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.”
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 foolishness. After Kent was banished, he created a disguise for himself and was eventually hired by Lear as a servant. Lear’s failure to determine his servant’s true identity proved once again how blind Lear actually was. As the play went on, King Lear began to see clearer, he realized how wicked his two eldest daughters really were after they locked him out of the castle during a tremendous storm. More importantly, Lear saw through Cordelia’s lack of flattering and realized that her love for him was so great that she couldn’t express it into words. Unfortunately, Lear’s blindness ended up costing Cordelia her life and eventually his life as he goes mad thinking about what he had done with Cordelia.
Gloucester was another example of a character that went through another case of blindness. Gloucester’s blindness denied him of the ability to see the goodness of Edgar, his son and the evil of Edmund, his bastard son. Although Edgar was the good and loving son, Gloucester all but disowned him. He wanted to kill the son that would later save his life. Gloucester’s blindness...