A Theme Of Blindness Versus Insight In King Lear
The characters in King Lear are what make up the themes, the plot and the story. In this novel, a reoccurring and relevant theme is blindness versus insight. “There’s a big difference between good, sound reasons and reasons that sound good.” this quote vocalized by J. Lyman MacInnis applies to King Lear and other characters in this book. The quote refers to the contrast between a reason an individual may think is good and a reason that is good and this connects to various characters bad reasoning, decision making, and blindness which has led them to their own destruction and downfall.
In the first act, King Lear is introduced as a raging angry man, who is blind to see the truth and honesty in Cordelia’s love, his youngest daughter out of three. Cordelia refuses to display love and affection to her father in public and deceive like Goneril and Regan did to gain his affection and favoritism. He ends up giving up the kingdom to Goneril and Regan and refuses on giving Cordelia his kingdom. “Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave My heart into my mouth. I love your majesty According to my bond; no more nor less.” “Good my lord, You have begot me, bred me, loved me… Sure, I shall never marry like my sisters, To love my father all.” These quotes from Act 1 displays Cordelia being loyal and honest towards her father and she tells him that she will always be there for him no matter what and that she loves him as any daughter should. Even Kent recognizes and sees the truth in Cordelia’s love and tries to open Lear’s eyes to see more clearly. Kent trying to get Lear to look and see better portrays Lear’s metaphorical blindness in the play. King Lear is blind and deceived from Regan’s and Goneril’s fake love that Cordelia’s love and affection appear to be nonexistent in comparison. His irrational thinking and poor reasoning lead to his downfall and madness later on when he decided to divide his land in two and gave one half each to his manipulative and deceitful daughters. Clearly, Lear didn’t think through his decision wisely and suffered the consequences of giving up his power further in the novel. Lear serves as a form of walking reminder of the tragic errors of blindness that he’s committed.
Blindness versus insight is a reappearing theme in Shakespeare’s King Lear. Blindness and poor decision making has led the characters of King Lear to total chaos and destruction. The blindest character of all was unquestionably King Lear. King Lear is a prominent example that novel incorporates this theme into. The root of all Lear’s problems is based on his lack of good judgment. The tragic decisions and mistakes that King Lear made in misunderstanding his daughters established a type of figurative blindness — a lack of insight into the true characters of those around them. King Lear and other characters in this novel lack of insight have created the themes, conflict, and plot that makes up the story.
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