King Lear – Blindness and Insight

Lear is blind to not foresee what will happen when he divides his Kingdom – despite his seemingly insightful proposal to mitigate any future strife “Our several daughters dowers, that future strife”
Lear is blind to logical thinking – his actions are driven by purely selfish reasons – thinks it’s easier for him to give away his responsibilities “Know that we have divided in three our Kingdom”
Goneril eludes to the fact that Lear has been blinded by madness to reality “He hath ever slenderly known himself”
Cordelia – the voice of honesty – offers some insight “I want that glib and oily art/To speak and purpose not”
Lear is blind to the fact that he cannot take back his role of King because he’s given it away – lacks insight into his actions “That I’ll resume the shape”
Lear finally comes to his senses and gains insight into his wrongdoings – correlation between the emotional turmoil he undergoes and the mental insight he gains “I did her wrong””A sovereign shame so elbows him. His own unkindness/That stripped her from his benediction”
A sad notion that perhaps Lear is aware of his madness – but constantly tries to deny it – limbo between blindness and insight “I would not be mad” “Do not make me mad”
Lear in the hovel gains insight into the true nature of humans –> Clothes motif comes into play – Lear suggests that it is clothes that distinguish between man and beast – it is our clothes that dictate our status “Reason not the need! …man’s life is cheap as beasts’s””it smells of mortality”
The blinding scene of Gloucester albeit a physical suffering – is finally a physical manifestation of his internal blindness – still calls for the wrong son “All dark and comfortless? Where’s my son Edmund?”
Perhaps Lear is more of a ‘tragic figure’ because he is aware of his wrongdoings – rather it is just his ego that gets in the way; however Gloucester is simply portrayed as a gullible character – that undermines the strength this character undergoes in order to regain insight “O my follies! Then Edgar was abused?”
Perhaps Lear is also a more tragic figure than Gloucester because Glocuester wants to ‘give up’ at the height of his suffering rather Lear keeps on fighting Glocuester: “away and let me die”Lear: “We two alone will sing like birds i’the cage”
Towards the end, as well as Lear gaining insight to what he has done wrong, he also gains insight into what others have wronged against him “They told me I was everything, ’tis a lie, I am not ague proof”
Despite Glocuester’s blindness physically- he can now respond to life with more moral sense and agreatrubderstand oftbise around him and their wellbeings “i see it feelingly”
Contrasting statements suggest Lear is going in and out of lucidity – does this suggest madness or rather just a deep, intense grief that he is so desperate for her to be alive – that he tries to convince himself that she is” “I know when one is dead and when one lives/she’s dead as the earth… Lend me a looking glass”
In a away like Gloucester, Lear dies with happiness – for a moment he believes Cordelia is alive “This feather stirs, she lives; if it be so/it is a chance to redeem all sorrows…””Do you see this? Look, on her lips, look there! Look there!”