King Lear Interpretation

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My interpretation of King Lear involves the theme of sight and blindness. This theme is evident throughout the play and a key part in the understanding of the story. In Act 1 Scene 1, Lear proclaims that he has decided to split the kingdom into 3, to share equally amongst his daughters and their husbands “Know, that we have divided in three our Kingdom” which is seen to Kent as a foolish mistake “See better, Lear, and let me still remain The true blank of thine eye“. Kent tries to convince Lear that his decisions are of poor judgement and that it would be wise to refer to him for advice. This is an example of sight and blindness as Lear fails to identify the mistake in which he has made by confusing ruling a kingdom with fatherhood.

Lear banishes Kent for interfering with his ruling and banishes him from the kingdom. “If on the next day following Thy banished trunk be found in our dominions, the moment is thy death. Away!” Lear is saying that if by the sixth day from now, he is found in the kingdom, he shall be killed. This blindness towards a person who respects Lear as a king is conveyed quite clearly in that quote.

Lear then states to burgundy that the price of Cordelia has fallen due to the fact she doesn’t love him as much as her sisters “Right noble Burgundy, When she was dear to us we did hold her so, But now her price is fallen” Lear has failed to distinguish the lies and deceit of his 2 other daughters Regan and Gonerill as they exaggerated their love for him, telling him only what he wanted to hear. Whereas Cordelia spoke of the truth and that “I love your majesty According to my bond, no more nor less.” Meaning she loves him as a child should love her father, neither more nor less.

Lear cannot understand what is being done by his daughters and as his other two daughters claim that they love him more he gets angry at his younger and before this, more favourable daughter. The sheer blindness of Lear is his downfall as king and ultimately leads...
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