lines 23–24: When all is well, we take things for granted; adversity proves to be an advantage in forcing us to see life as it really is. What does Gloucester mean?
3 years ago
Gloucester serves a comparison to Lear's situation. Gloucester, having become blind and seeing how those he thought loved him, is saying that when times are great, it is easy to be blind to things around us. Adversity or misfortune forces us to re-examine our circumstances as well others treat us differently. When he was perfectly healthy, he believed his sons and everyone loved him because he was powerful. Being blind and weakened (facing adversity), people who he thought were great and once loved him take advantage of him and disrespect him due to loss of power. In his misfortune, he gets a chance to see people for who they are and not those who are only being kind to get something from it. Similar to when you are poor, you know who your friends really are. Wealth blinds many into taking false friends for true ones.
Been awhile since I last read this play, a favourite. Hope this helps :)
Further in the play, we see a parellel as King Lear who gives his wealth and power away to his family whom he believed loved and respected him begin to reveal their true personalities. King Lear was blind to it when he was powerful but having diminished in power and facing this adversity, he sees his family and friends for whom they truly are.