In Shakespeare’s “King Lear” the issue of sight against blindness is a recurring theme. Blindness refers to be unable to see the right from the wrong or good from the bad. King Lear and Gloucester are two prime examples of this theme. Even thou, Lear and Gloucester share the same mental flaw, it’s nature, it’s causes, and its effect was different. Each of these characters blindness was the primary cause of the unfortunate decisions they made, decisions that they would eventually regret. The nature of Gloucester’s blindness was that he was unable to see the goodness of Edgar and the evil of Edmund. Gloucester was unable to see what was going around him.
Instead, he only saw what was on the surface. Edmund caused Gloucester’s blindness. On the other hand, Lear also sees what is on the surface, and cannot understand the deeper intentions of his daughters’ speeches. Lear does not realize that his daughters, Goneril and Regan were out to destroy him, by taking everything he has. The cause of Gloucester’s blindness was that he never got both sides of the story. Gloucester’s blindness began when Edmund convinced him by means of a forged letter that Edgar was plotting to kill him.
Before Gloucester even got a chance to talk to Edgar, he considered him a traitorous villain. Lear’s blindness was due to his lack of direction in life, and poor ability to predict the out come of his actions. Because Lear did not hear what he wanted to hear from Cordelia, he got angry. Lear’s pride and anger caused him to banish Cordelia and give to Kingdom to Goneril and Regan. Lear and Gloucester’s blindness affected not only them, but also everyone else. When Gloucester turned against Edgar, he started to trust Edmund.
His blindness caused him to tell his secrets Edmund. Edmund betrayed his own father and told Cornwell of Gloucester’s attempt to help Lear. Due to Edmund’s betrayal, Gloucester’s eyes were plucked out. The effects of Lear’s blindness were more then the loss of his life. All his daughters died.
Most importantly Cordelier because he realized that she loved him the most. There was chaos in the kingdom while Goneril and Regan were in command. Lear went insane for a short time because of his blindness. Consequently, Lear and Gloucester both suffered from lack of vision, but it’s nature, it’s causes, it’s effects were not the same. Gloucester was pushed into his blindness by Edmund’s lies. But Lear brought it on himself.
If he did not divide the kingdom the way he did, he would not have been in the situation. The blindest of all was undoubtedly King Lear.