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Looking At The World With Unseeing Eyes

Shakespeare, King Lear Acts 3-5 -- Jerz: EL150 (Intro to Literary Study)
"A man may see how this world/goes with no eyes. Look upon thine ears. See how/yond justice rails upon yond simple theif. Hark in/thine ear. Change places and, handy-dandy, which/is the justice, which is the thief?"

I think metaphorical blindness is definitely a huge underlying theme, or message, of King Lear. So many of the characters go around throughout the play "blind" to what they don't want to see, doing their own thing, and, consequently, hurting those around them, sometimes even themselves. Lear is blind to Cordelia's true love for him because he is too stubborn to accept anything but what he wants, which is an elaborate, passionate speech or declaration of deep, devotional, and abiding love. He doesn't see that Goneril and Regan are just saying those things to make him happy so that they may satisfy their own selfish agendas. Edgar is blind to Edmund's scheme against him, wanting to see the good in everyone, subconsciously blinding the evil in Edmund from himself, and not realizing it until much later. Gloucester is blind to Edmund's true intentions as well. When he is later blinded literally by Regan and Cornwall, it is meant to be an eye-opener (pardon the pun) to the rest of the characters to their own various blindnesses.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 16, 2007 3:54 PM.

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