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Can anyone help with some ideas for a thesis on the themes of blindness and family in...

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brandih | eNotes Employee

Posted November 5, 2013 at 11:52 PM via web

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Can anyone help with some ideas for a thesis on the themes of blindness and family in William Shakespeare's King Lear?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 6, 2013 at 1:57 AM (Answer #1)

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Creating a thesis regarding the concepts of family and blindness for William Shakespeare's King Lear requires one to understand both the literal and metaphorical meanings behind the numerous quotations made regarding sight, seeing, or blindness. The play contains double entendres regarding advice (as with Kent's suggestion to Lear to "see better") and blindness (both literal and figurative--as with Gloucester's literal and figurative blindness). Although the play illustrates conflict which arises outside of Lear's family, the most important conflict is between Lear and his daughters. 

The conflict between Lear and his daughters illustrates the themes of both blindness and family. Although Lear believes he knows what is best (and what is right), his inability to see the truth behind two of his daughters' actions tears the family apart. Unfortunately for Lear, by the time he is able to see the truth it is too late. 

A thesis examining the themes of family and blindness will highlight the importance of really seeing what is in front of "us." Lear is blinded by the fact that he is dealing with family (and thinking that family will not do wrong by him). Unfortunately, Lear is very wrong. Therefore, a thesis must address the idea that "we" should not blindly accept life as it is. Instead, "we" should insure that matters of the heart and the home are utterly scrutinized for honesty and reality. If Lear would have done this, things could have turned out very different for him.  

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