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Your assignment is to prepare and submit a paper on king lear by william shakespeare: sight vs. blindness.
Your assignment is to prepare and submit a paper on king lear by william shakespeare: sight vs. blindness. Edgar pretends to go mad, Lear goes mad and Glouster loses his eyes, all of them learn to see only after the woe happens to them. The parallel between the characters’ destinies is drawn to underline the major idea: one should perceive the world with his heart, while eyes can lie.
Lear’s tragedy comes from his lack of insight. This feature was born by the social structure itself, where everybody praised his greatness, where everything seemed to happen according to his will. Believing that it is his personality that mattered, Lear loses his common sense and resigns his throne, sure that people won’t stop tremble for him. This crazy belief makes him hand the kingdom to his daughters, become a man without a title and experience all the woes associated with human life. In the course of the play, we see, however, that Lear continues clutching at his feudal dignity. The perception of his being a king has strong roots in him and the habit of commanding others does not leave him even when he, rejected and abandoned, wanders in the field. In delirium, he cries: “No, they cannot touch me for coining. I am the king himself”. “Ay, every inch a king: When I do stare, see how the subject quakes” (IV, 6). His insanity lies in the fact that he continues considering himself the king, the man standing above the rest, while the enlightenment will come as he sees his madness and feels simply a human being, not needing power, titles and general worship.
Lear’s way to enlightenment is associated with deep agony. First, we see his proud self-conceit. He requires his daughters to compete in their expression of flattering idolatry of him. However, Cordelia, his most beloved daughter, refuses to lie, seeing the falseness of her sisters. “I love your majesty According to my bond. nor more nor less” (I, 1), – she says. He is pointed to his stupidity for trusting the speeches of the elder daughters, but vainly.