Gloucester and Lear’s Realizations of the Importance’s in Life
In William Shakespeare’s King Lear, Gloucester and Lear both experience similar situations in which their children cause them to suffer greatly: The former suffers from blindness and the latter slips from reality into a state of madness. It is not until Act 4, scene 6 that they come to the realization of the importances in life; such as true love for and from a child. Gloucester is convinced by his illegitimate son Edmund that his legitimate son Edgar cannot be trusted, resulting in the banishment of Edgar. King Lear believes the false protestations of love his two elder daughters, Goneril and Regan sell to him; meanwhile, his youngest daughter Cordelia is the only daughter whose love for her father is real. Since she could not express her love for him in words, Lear banishes her as well (4.6.109-121). Gloucester and Lear experience despair in their lives because of the betrayal of their children, until hope appears to them in Act 4, scene 6: Gloucester and Lear realize that they have misjudged their children, and by the end of the scene, they gain knowledge of how to correct their wrongdoings. Both men have disloyal children, but they each also have one loyal child that they love deeply and are filled with grief for treating badly. Gloucester and Lear banish their loyal child and make their disloyal children their heirs. In Act 4, scene 6, Gloucester and Lear realize they are blind of the truth which has cost them greatly, and therefore experience a rebirth; Gloucester no longer has a death wish, but strives for self-discovery and Lear realizes that he is equal to all other human beings and flattery and praise are unimportant. It is not until this scene that the importance’s in life, such as become evident to Gloucester and Lear.
In Act 4, scene 6, Gloucester believes he is being led to the cliffs in Dover where he hopes to commit suicide because he can no longer bear his sufferings. After this...
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