Blindness In King Lear Essay

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The absence of self-awareness can often be traced back to a metaphorical blindness. Throughout the story, the blindness of characters can be easily observed by the audience, yet, as the play progressed, those who were oblivious would later turn out to become conscious of their situation. Ultimately, this newfound self-consciousness plays an important role in the resolution of the tragedy of King Lear.
One character that is often overlooked when discussing the symbol of blindness is Edmund. Although it may seem as though he is conscious of his actions and the purpose behind them, it can be argued that he had a moment of self-realization towards the end of the play where he exclaims, “I pant for like. Some good I meant to do, / Despite of mine own
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Blindness or the lack of self-awareness seem to be a recurring theme in the story. Characters’ inability in seeing the truth often resulted in reprehensible decisions: Edmund’s perception of his life resulted in schemes that would eventually cause great strife in the story, the two fathers who are unable to see the true intentions of their children, paving the way for the events that make the play so tragic, and a man who was blinded by love, leaving his wife uncontested. Nonetheless, once these characters are able to see the world for what it is, they are able to relieve the tension of the ending through reconciliation and the implementation of justice where “The wheel [has] come full circle” (5.3.200). The two more prominent characters of the play, Lear and Gloucester, shows us the importance of humility. Lear is finally able to understand his circumstances when he finally detaches himself from his title and status. This allows him to reunite happily with Cordelia despite their past. Similarly, Gloucester’s arrogance can be observed when he boasts about how his bastard son came to be, blinding him from the treachery of Edmund. It is arrogance that can often impair our judgement and one may suffer greatly because of
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