Pride In King Lear Essay

This tragedy is undoubtedly the result of King Lear and Gloucester’s pride and blindness. Taking the latter into consideration first, we begin to see King Lear’s pride affecting his judgement in the first scene when he foolishly decides to separate land depending on his daughters’ love for him: “Which of you shall we say doth love us most, that we our largest bounty may extend…” (1.1.56-57) Immediately, we can see his imprudent approach in making such an important decision for Britain’s future. It is at this time that we sense the possibility of Lear’s downfall and subsequently the downfall of the kingdom due to one rash decision made by an aging King.The word “say,” in particular, underlines Lear’s yearning for superficial love to reiterate and strengthen his pride as opposed to favoring Cordelia’s genuine love which cannot be put into words. It is …show more content…
Lear orders Cordelia and Kent to leave as a result of their rightful approach to his egotistical manner: “Out of my sight!” (1.1.179). Which is then followed by Kent’s sound counsel in advising Lear to “See better” (1.1.180). Again, Kent is implying that Lear is blind in his judgment which perfectly carries on into his gradual journey into insanity: he becomes mentally blind and unable to tell the difference between reality and fantasy. Gloucester undergoes a similar path, and is unable to to accurately judge his sons, and eventually does not even recognize the disguised Edgar. This journey of figurative blindness, however, is, one can say, expectedly turned into literal blindness when his eyes are removed, making his real blindness representative of his failure to see the truth about his children. Thus, clearly, blindness and Lear’s pride are the two fundamental reasons for the downfall of the character’s in addition to Edmund, Regan and Goneril’s manipulative

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