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What is a key theme throughout King Lear?

The importance of seeing yourself and the world clearly


How is seeing yourself clearly reflected throughout Lear?

Through sight and blindness, light and dark, eyes and weeping


What is the earliest reference to eyes?

In (I:I) after Lear explains his 'darker purpose'


What has Lear failed to do when he says 'darker purpose' (I:I:36)?

Lear has failed to see the true intentions of his daughters, the truth to their words even though the are manipulating him and the situation


How does Kent warn the King that he is behaving foolishly?

"See better, Lear" (I:I:158)


What does Kent beg of Lear in the first Act?

To let him remain: "The true blank of thine eye" (I:I:159)


How does Lear respond to Kent's open mindedness about his decisions and leadership?

"Out of my sight" (I:I157)


What is Lear unable to see?

Anyone's faults or merits clearly especially his own or those he trusts leading to his 'metaphorical blindness'


What does Lear refuse to do with those who offend him?

He refuses to look at those who offend him and as a result banishes them from their sight


Apart from Kent, who else criticises Lear's actions and examines/considers them closely?

The Fool


What quotation does the Fool use to sum up Lear's behaviour in a metaphor?

"So out went the candle and we were left darkling" (I:IV:213)


What does the Fool's metaphor act as?

A prediction for the end of Act II when Lear is overwhelmed by dark thoughts and shut out in the storm


What is Lear seen as?

A candle; as a monarch he is the source of light and life in the kingdom


What happens when Lear 'burns out'?

All of the characters associated with Lear are 'left darkling'


What happens to Lear's ability to 'see' after the storm on the heath?

Lear is able to see more clearly, this is apparent when he comes into contact with Gloucester in (IV:6:146-152)


What does the use of black humour heighten with regards to sight?

The pathos of the old man's suffering, but it also comes as something of a relief


What have many critics found about Lear's puns about eyes?

Desperately cruel


However, after going through the suffering what have both Lear and Gloucester been able to now do?

'See how the world goes'


What did both Gloucester and Lear do when they physically were able to see?

They stumbled when they saw


What is Gloucester's blinding a physical manifestation of?

Mental torture, which is a reflection of Lear's mental torture on the heath


What does Gloucester ask Edmund in (I:II)?

He asks Edmund to "look into" Edgar's treachery


What happens to Gloucester in (III:7)?

The references to eyes come thick and fast with Goneril's 'Pluck out his eyes!" (III:7:5) with the physical blinding


What happens until Cordelia's return?

Until Cordelia's return, like Gloucester, we feel that all is 'dark and comfortless' (III:7:84)


What is Cordelia associated with?

Healing tears and radiant light


What did Lear refuse to do even throughout his confrontations with Goneril and Regan and during his decent into madness?

He refused to weep


What can Lear's desperate struggle against weeping be seen as a proof of?

His determination not to be vanquished by his daughters


When does Lear finally cry?

When he is reunited with Cordelia


How is Lear defiant in Act V?

He is defiant as he and Cordelia will not cry even in prison


What happens when Cordelia is hanged?

Lear gives into his grief


What quotation is used to highlight Lear's grief in the final Act?

"Howl, howl, howl!/O, you are men of stones!/ Had I your tongues and eyes I'd use them so/That heaven's vault should crack" (V:3:255-257)