He's Blind for a Reason, You Know

By: Farrah Oliver

Introduction-Farrah Oliver


  • Whether it is literal or literary, it has to do with knowledge
  • Important to recognize because when writer refers to
  1. Sight
  2. Light
  3. Dark
  4. Blindness
  • it is not just for the heck of it: ALWAYS important

King Lear

  • My example is King Lear
  • Play by William Shakespeare
  • It is about two fathers (one king and one nobleman) who struggle with their "blindness"
  • They both have been lied to by their children
  1. Edmund lied to Gloucester
  2. Regan and Goneral lied to King Lear
  • The other children are forced to leave due to their parents "blindness"
  • In the end Gloucester becomes blind (for real) but sees that he has been tricked by one of his sons
  • King Lear sees his mistakes as well but at the cost of a three of his daughters

Big Ideas!!


  • Blindness/ Blind Characters are always important to the story
  • Represent:
  1. Lack of sight of other characters
  2. Author wants to emphasize other levels of physical sight and blindness (Foster pg.202)
  3. Every move or statement by or about the blind character accommodate lack of sight by other characters (Foster pg. 202)
"Thou call'st on him that hates thee. It was he That made the overture of thy treasons to us; Who is good to pity thee." Regan Act three Scene seven

"O my my follies!Then Edgar was abused. Kind gods, forgive me that, and prosper him!"Glouster Act 3 Scene 7

  • Quote shows how "blind" Gloucester had been
  • Realizes that one of his sons tricked him into hating the other
  • This realization costs him more than his eyes


  • Usually referring to characters who can see but are "blind"
  • Blind to the truth
  • Characters who have literary sight are most likely blind
""Here I disclaim all my paternal care, Propinquity and property of blood, And as a stranger to my heart and me Hold thee from this forever. The barbs Scythian, Or he that he makes his generations messes To gorge his appetite, shall to my bosom Be as well neighborhood, pitied and relieved, As thou my sometime daughter"-King Lear Act 1 Scene 1
  • Fit of anger that King Lear is in he disowned his own daughter
  • He is blind to the fact that this daughter is the one who truly loves him
  • Makes this mistake because he lacks the facts that the other two daughters do not love him


  • Referring to lack of knowledge
  • "In the dark"
  • Characters who have had something kept from them
  • Or refuse to see the truth; ignorant
"Look, Sir, I bleed." Edmund

"Where is the villain, Edmund?"Gloucester

"Fled this way, Sir. When by no means he could-" Edmund

"Pursue him, ho! Go after By no means what" Gloucester Act 2 Scene 1

"Persuade me to the murder of your lordship" Edmund Act 2 Scene 1

  • Gloucester is being lied to= he is in the dark to the truth/the real story
  • Edmund with holding information
  • p.s. Edgar did none of this


  • Represents knowledge
  • Characters lacking sight=lacking light
  • When they gain the knowledge, they usually do not like it
"And my poor fool is hanged! No, no, no life! Why should a dog, a horse, a rat have a life, Never, never, never, never, never! Pray you undo this button. Thank you, sir. Do you see this? Look on her! Look! Her Lips! Look there, look there! King Lear Act 5 Scene 3
  • This when KIng Lear "sees" his mistake
  • This mistake killed all of his daughters
  • Realization ends up killing him

Big Ideas of Chapter 22!!

  • Blind characters tend to "see" more than other characters
  • Literary blindness usually results from lack of knowledge
  • Sight/Light= realization
  • Dark usually represents not knowing (unware of the big truth)
  • When the author brings the importance of sight or the question of sight it is always important!!!!!

Professor Know-it-all

  • Split into groups(4-5)
  • Review handout (4 minutes)
  • Come up with 2-3 questions
  • One group gets called up to answer questions from other groups
  • ex. How is blindness aparant in this excerpt? ( can not use this example)

Citation Page

  • "Blindness Paintings." For Sale. Judith Redman, n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2013.
  • "Deep South Magazine – Southern Food, Travel & Lit." Not Our Kind of Folks: Southern Soundscapes in “To Kill a Mockingbird”. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2013.
  • Foster, Thomas C. How to Read Literature like a Professor: A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading between the Lines. New York: Quill, 2003. Print.
  • "METRIC - BLINDNESS (AMTRAC REMIX)." SoundCloud. Amtrac, n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2013.
  • Stevens, Jackie. "Only Blind Can See." Celeste.network. N.p., n.d. Web.
  • "King Lear: The Good, the Bad and the Blind." HubPages. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.
  • Ryan, Kiernan. King Lear, William Shakespeare. New York: St. Martin's, 1992. Print.