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Shakespeare: King Lear - Thesis Example

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King Lear Thesis: Being blind means existence in a sealed space; being aware means existence with no set limits. Spiritual wanderings of King Lear, his thorny path to the revelation of truth presents to the readers a process of the individual’s transformation from an arrogant, selfish, socially dominant person into a loving father…
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Shakespeare: King Lear
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Download file to see previous pages Two girls flattered their father in order to get his property: they convinced him that they loved him more than anyone and anything and the king blindly believed his daughters. The main concept discussed further on is “blindness”. This noun does not refer to the physical blindness. It has a much deeper sense. A mental flaw of King Lear can be defined as blindness. Moreover, other characters, such as Gloucester, Albany and Lear himself have made erroneous decisions because of their blindness. Having referred to some critical works, further discussion about the challenging personality of King Lear is discussed in terms of his thorny path from blindness to sight. Blindness of King Lear In spite of the highest social role that King Lear plays in the Shakespeare’s masterpiece implies his inability to sort the wheat from the chaff. In the beginning of the play King Lear was misguided by lie of his elder daughters. Lear, longing to beautiful words, cheats himself first of all. His need for power has already clouded his mind. He composes a false letter to his father implicating his brother. He was blind and did not see the power of Cordelia’s love for him. Thus, he floods out her daughter from his house with the following words: “..................................for we Have no such daughter, nor shall ever see That face of her again. Therefore be gone Without our grace, our love, our benison.” (1.1. 265-267) Lear continues a chain of persecutions and banishes one of his devoted followers, Kent. Then, Kent returns to the kingdom as a servant, but King’s blindness prevents him from identifying Kent. As far as we can see, King Lear lives blind; he is unable to make clear and correct decisions, but he is misguided by the people around him. Vice versa, he does not believe to those people, who want to shed the light on his wrong actions. Fortunately, his blindness starts gradually disappearing and Lear finds out the real intentions of his eldest daughters and realizes a true love of Cordelia for him. Still, his attempts to save himself from further erroneous judgments fail and thus he loses his life as well as Cordelia does. What is even more scaring is the fact that King’s social role intensifies his wrong actions to the greatest extent. The revelation of truth for King Lear occurs too late. He says: O my follies! Then Edgar was abus'd. Kind gods, forgive me that, and prosper him! (3.7.91-92). Lear tries to find out how did he manage to live among “men of stones” (5.3.258). Moreover, it should be noted that Shakespeare followed Aquinas’s discussion about the concept of blindness: “hence it is that spiritual blindness corresponds to sight, heaviness of the ears to hearing, and hardness of heart to the affections. Therefore, blindness in its very nature, is directed to the damnation of those who are blinded; for which reason it is accounted an effect of reprobation” (Beauregard 2008, p. 201). Thus, King’s blindness is his heart’s blindness. His soul is healed and he says: O you kind gods! Cure this great breach in his abused nature, Th' untun'd and jarring senses. (4.7.13-16) Therefore, blindness can be cured in case it is prevented by the suffering person himself. Once a suffering person acknowledges a blindness of his heart he may be healed by God. The treachery of a self-loving character leads only to crimes and suffer. Lear, Regan, Goneril and Edmund are the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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