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Clarity of Vision In Shakespeares tragedy King Lear a prominent reoccuring theme is vision and its relovence The characters Lear and Gloucester are Shakespeares principal means of portraying this theme Although Lear can physically see he is blind in the sense that he lacks insight understanding and direction In contrast Gloucester becomes physically blind but gains the type of vision that Lear lacks It is evident from these two characters that clear vision is not derived solely from physical sight Lears failure to understand this is the principal cause of his demise while Gloucester learns to achieve clear vision and avoids a fate similar to Lears Throughout most of the play Lears vision is clouded by his lack of insight Since he cannot see into other peoples personalities he can never identify them for who they truly are When Lear is angered by Cordelia Kent tries to reason with Lear who is too stubborn to remain open-minded Lear responds to Kents opposition with Out of my sight to which Kent responds See better Lear and let me still remain Ii160 Here Lear is saying he never wants to see Kent again but he could never truly see him for who he was Kent was only trying to do what was best for Lear but Lear could not see that Kents vision is not clouded as is Lears and he knows that he can remain near Lear as long as he hides behind his mask Lears visual perception is so superficial that the merely the garments and simple disguise that Kent wears easily dupe him Lear cannot really see Kent He only learns of Kents noble and honest character just prior to his death when his vision is cleared By this time however it is too late for an honest relationship to be saved Lears vision is also worsened by his lack of direction in life and his poor foresight his inability to predict the
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