Shroud Of Blindness Essay

analytical Essay
1558 words
1558 words

The Shroud of Blindness Enter King Lear, a tale of an old king who must come to terms with his mortality after being pitifully abandoned by his own two daughters. Shakespeare skillfully crafts the values of the mortality of humanity straight into the play at the expense of the pain and suffering experienced by two of the characters: King Lear and the Earl of Gloucester. Both Lear and Gloucester struggle to see the true nature of the situation surrounding them, especially the malicious intentions of their own children. We feel the pain, confusion, and frustration of the two characters as struggle to face reality. Exacerbated by their blindness, Lear's and Gloucester's mistakes are powerfully exposed as Shakespeare strips these esteemed characters of their status, reducing them to what they truly are - human. Kent aims to convince Lear that he is making a grave mistake but ends up provoking Lear and making him even more furious. Lear threatens Kent's life, irately exclaiming "'Out of my sight!'" (1.1.168). Lear thinks that simply telling Kent to go away will make him disappear, like playing peek-a-boo with a young child. In a rather immature and unthreatening command for an eighty-year old man, Lear makes a futile attempt to try and make Kent vanish. Lear's effort reveals his bitter, unwise character, which is not typical for a regal, grandiose king. It also reveals that he is a frail old man, seeking reinforcing, yet artificial, declarations of unconditional love. "'See better, Lear, '" responds Kent in a witty, seemingly bitter fashion (1.1.169-170). Kent fervently urges Lear to see past the facade of loyalty and familial love created by Goneril and Regan. Resentfully hoping to rid Lear of his figurative blindness, Kent attempts ... ... middle of paper ... ...s are shrouded in hopelessness and grief, not only because he no longer can see, but also because of the disappointment he has in himself for not truly seeing Edgar's loyalty. The journey of both King Lear and the Earl of Gloucester through the course of the play help shapes the message that Shakespeare hopes to communicate to the audience. By showing the pitiful suffering of both of these well-regarded characters who are blind to the malevolent intentions of their own children, Shakespeare attempts to convey the following message: only through adversity and hardship are people able to comprehend the difficulties and truths of being human. Through King Lear's path of discovering that he is indeed mortal and Gloucester's painful removal of his eyes to discover that he made mistakes when he could see, Shakespeare reduces the characters to what they truly are - human.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how shakespeare crafts the values of the mortality of humanity into king lear and the earl of gloucester.
  • Analyzes how kent aims to convince lear that he is making a grave mistake, but ends up provoking him and making him even more furious.
  • Analyzes how lear's blindness causes him to lose to a sense of who he is.
  • Analyzes how lear's figurative lack of sight demonstrates his foolishness and inability to see both of his daughters' true motives.
  • Analyzes how lear is exposed to the horror of being abandoned by goneril and regan inside of gloucester's castle.
  • Analyzes how lear, now in a mentally lost, deranged state, attempts to give gloucester advice and information about sight and blindness.
  • Analyzes how lear wakes up to the sight of his one faithful daughter, temporarily returning him to a sane state of mind.
  • Analyzes how gloucester, despite his wise, esteemed appearance, is foolishly blind to his bastard son's plot to defame his legitimate brother edgar.
  • Analyzes how gloucester refuses the support of cornwall and regan and realizes his unforgivable mistakes, including his cruelty to his loyal son edgar. he admits he has no direction, no motivating force, nowhere to look forward to going.
  • Analyzes how shakespeare's journey of king lear and the earl of gloucester helps shape the message that shakespeare hopes to communicate to the audience.
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