King Lear is a play written by William Shakespeare at an unknown point between 1604 and 1606. The story is about Lear, the aging king of England who decides to divide his land, money, and power amongst his daughters. Despite two of his daughters’ obvious flattery, he decides to give them his power instead of his youngest daughter, who truly loves him. Gloucester is a supporting character in the play. He has several roles including being a father, friend, adulterer to a bastard son, Edmund, and earl. He is very loyal to Lear, and his fate parallels to the king’s: they both have misjudged which of their children to trust and as such,both suffer tremendously from their follies. Gloucester’s physical blindness symbolizes the metaphorical blindness that grips both
Gloucester and the play’s other father figure, Lear. The parallels between the two men are clear: both have loyal children and disloyal children, both are blind to the truth, and both end up banishing the loyal children and making the wicked one(s) their heir(s). Only when Gloucester has lost the use of his eyes and Lear has gone mad does each realize his tremendous error. It is appropriate that the play brings them together near Dover in Act 4 to commiserate about how their blindness to the truth about their children has cost them dearly.
Betrayals play a critical role in the play and show the workings of wickedness in both the familial and political realms—here, brothers betray brothers and children betray…