It seems ironic that both the oldest characters, Gloucester and Lear, who are blind either metaphorically or physically. They both exemplify that wisdom does not always come with old age. The parallel characters are very important to each other, Lear who is blinded metaphorically, and Gloucester who is physically blinded. Both characters undergo radical changes and their once sightless decisions become regrettable actions. They are unable to see people for who they truly are; thus their tragedy is the journey they must endure to regain sight. It is clear that although, Lear can physically see, he is blind, and lacks understanding, insight and pure intentions. It seems that the characters who had and kept their “healthy eyes” throughout
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She is undoubtedly the purest and most honest daughter, and cannot bear lying to her father. He disowns Cordelia saying, “ for we have no such daughter, nor shall ever see that face of hers again. Therefore be without our grace, our love, our bension-“(I.ii.33-37) This is Lear’s first mistake, and when the reader can see the earliest blindness of Lear.
He could not “see” the depth of Cordelia’s love, nor could he “see” the evil/deception of his other daughters. When Lear’s loyal servant, Kent, tries to reason with Lear over his impulsive decision, Kent too, is banished. Lear made an impetuous decision based on misinterpreting what Kent was saying to him about Cordelia. Lear trusted Kent with his life, but reacted child-like when Lear could not handle the truth Kent was advocating. Shakespeare also showed the reader how Lear “graded” his love for others. He measured the amount of “love” his daughters had for him, and then rewarded them by dividing up his kingdom, “Tell me, my daughters,(Since now we will divest us both of rule, Interest of territory, cares of state) Which of you shall we say doth love us most, That we our largest bounty may extend
Where nature doth with merit challenge?” (1.i.47-52) Cordelia, who was the youngest, and his favorite was going to obtain more than her sisters. Knowing this the reader can understand that even