BLINDNESS in King Lear



1) Blindness is used as a tool of manipulation, for good and for bad. 

  • EDMOND - creates the illusions of denying existence of a latter that doesn’t exist 

  • "none", "no", "nothing" - repetition, ironic and comically inept 

  • Gloucester - "lets see", "I shall not need spectacles" - ironic, blind to his trickery and lies 

  • Gloucester is metaphorically blind 

  • AO4: In Shakespeare's time "marchiavellis" - villains associated with free will - were emboldened to take advantage of the rest of the people through deceit, mirroring Edmond's ******* identity and malicious intentions, intensifying Gloucester's blindness. 

  • Edmond defends his brother as part of the process of manipulation  

  • "I dust swear it were his, but...I would fain think it were not" and "never my lord" 

  • leads Gloucester to thinking Edgar is an "abominable villain" 

  • OEDIPUS: Oedipus is metaphorically blind to the dreadful fate the gods have placed on him. Teiresias - "you're blind to the corruption of your life", mirroring Gloucester's blindness to Edmonds deceit and trickery in order to get his inheritance via corruption. The fact that Tiresias is physical blind and can see Oedipus' hamartia illuminates Gloucester's blindness even further. 

  • EDGAR - uses Gloucester's physical blindness in order to restore his will to live  

  • alike Edmond, creates the illusion of a cliff, hyperbolically detailed  

  • "fishermen...buoy...pebble..." - audience unsure at first whether this is truth or lie as SP usually sets a scene using detailed descriptions in opening  

  • It isn't until the definite indication (aside) "Why I do trifle thus w/ his despair is done to cure it." - invention  

  • AO3ii: perhaps he is ensuring the audience that he is using Gloucester's blindness for his own well-being, and not for the "jewel" that Gloucester offers him ("another purse: in it, a jewel/Well worth a poor man's taking") - 


No comments have yet been made