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Comparison Of King Lear And Gloucester

943 words - 4 pages

English IVJanuary 31, 2012"Love, and be silent"As one of Shakespeare's most famous tragedies, the story of King Lear reflects the two extremes of human nature--love and loyalty, lies and betrayal. In such a complex world, Shakespeare ironically contrasts the physical qualities to the deeper meanings of blindness and sight throughout the tragic lives of the King and Gloucester. Their lack of insight cause their hearts to be blinded by their aberrant understandings of love and trust at the early stages where they can still physically see; but it is also such blindness that helps King Lear and Gloucester to find their clear visions back to determine the reality after deep self-realizations when ...view middle of the document...

1.92), the legitimate son, but still never trying to trust him. Both King Lear and Gloucester think themselves as victims of love, but their visions of true love are clearly blinded by what they physically see and hear, which later lead them into the real world of tragedy.When blindness reaches to its extreme, lies, conspiracies all occur at once, following by the deep self-realizations of the King and Gloucester. Banished by his untruthful daughters, Lear turns to madness, losing almost everything he had before. It is hard to tell who he hates more--his disloyal children or himself, but those hatreses and regrets have all become reasons that push him to see the reality. Gloucester's fate is even more tragic. Losing both of his eyes, he is regarded as a traitor for trusting his enemies and being loyal to the king. However, when Gloucester becomes physically blind, he actually finds back his clear vision of determining the truth, and that is the real irony Shakespeare has added to the story. As Gloucester goes into deep desperation after the realization, he says, "I have no way and therefore want no eyes./ I stumbled when I saw" (4.1.19-20). For him now, vision is not only from eyes, and sight is something comes from within. True vision derives from love, trust, and clear insight, and it is the concept that Lear still fails to understand. He questioned Gloucester's statement, telling him to "get [him] glass eyes,/ And like a scurvy politician seem/ To see the things [he] dost not" (4.6.158-60). Even though Lear clearly knows...

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