Blindness

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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. One of 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 characters’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. “.For we 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. As the play progressed, Lear’s eyesight reached closer to 20/20 vision. 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 consequently the life of himself. Gloucester was another example of a character who suffered from an awful case of blindness. Gloucester’s blindness denied...
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