Earl of Gloucester

One of the dominant features of the Earl of Gloucester is his spiritual blindness, which by the end of the play turns into a physical ailment. This is very symbolic of Shakespeare's works. The old man, Gloucester, was unable to recognize falsity and flattery in Edmund's speeches, as well as problems within the kingdom. He does not care about what is happening. He is too slow and trusting to see in time the intricacies of intrigues and conspiracies. He does not want to think on his own, blaming the wrong arrangement of the stars on his misfortunes. He runs away from responsibility, relying on luck or chance. The figures of Gloucester and Lear are very similar. Both gain the lost humanity only in the finale of the play. Before us is not a boastful official, but a compassionate old man, pitying for inappropriate behavior in the past. The culmination of his transformation is the willingness to give his own life in the name of the governor.

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Earl of Gloucester in the Essays