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Word Count: 840
A reoccurring theme in Shakespeares King Lear is the theme of blindness Blindness in todays society is generally interpreted as the inability of the eye to see In Shakespearian terms blindness is not a physical state of being but rather a temporary mental flaw The theme of blindness in King Lear is clearly shown through the actions of Albany Gloucester and King LearAlbany suffers from the classic case of blindness Albany is blinded by love Although Albany disagrees with Gonerils cruel actions towards her father he only half-heartedly argues his case against her Albanys fear of upsetting Goneril is exemplified in his response to her demand that Lear dispose of his knights I cannot be so partial Goneril To the great love I bear you I iv 309-310 Albany is unable to behold Gonerils evil intentions because of his deep devotion and love for her Goneril is cruel and deceitful and merely flatters her father with lies yet Albany is visionless and does not observe her wretched personality Albany is also unaware Goneril is cheating on him with Edmund as well as plotting to kill him It is not until Albany receives a note from Edgar outlining Gonerils evil intentions that he regains his sight Finally Albany realizes Goneril is not the woman he thought she was Albany discerns she is a heartless lying adulterer Albany finally reveals his emotion saying O Goneril You are not worth the dust which the rude wind Blows in your face IV ii 29-31 and See thyself devil Proper deformity shows not in the fiend so horrid as in woman IV ii 59-61 Albany is able to overcome his blindness without suffering severe losses and lives to become ruler of Lears kingdomGloucester is another character Shakespeare uses to promote his theme of blindness Gloucester is deceived by his son Edmund in King Lear just as Isaac is deceived by his son Jacob in the Bible
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