So here’s where I am in my life. First of all, I made a “b” on both my close-reading paper and midterm for Shakespeare which is an amazing feat. (at all and for the first time taking The Woman, The Legend, Dr. Willis) I’ve been hearing the angel chorus all night. And it is at this point I would like to launch into my dramatic monologue (Shakespeare, not the angel chorus).
We are currently reading King Lear and it is one of the most depressing things ever. Granted I kind of needed it after Othello which I read, loved, and adored the most villainous and evil character ever (the complexity of his character is fascinating) then questioned my sanity/humanity. I feel better about this play because I despise the villain, but it’s so tragic, it breaks my heart. Anyways, in this play, one character (Gloucester) is tricked into turning against his son (Edgar). Edgar is forced to run away to avoid death, but shortly after, Gloucester runs into him, and doesn’t recognize him. You see, Edgar is now dressed as a beggar. He does this under the pretense that as a society, we overlook the wounded, the poor, the deranged. And he assumes rightly because his father never once even connects him to his son; he doesn’t look at him close enough. In fact he over-looks him. I think we do this a lot.
[Aside] We over-look the needy. As my professor mused, if we see a homeless person on the street would we recognize them at the mall, in regular clothes? No. In fact, if we see someone at the mall, most of us wouldn’t recognize them at the movies later. We just don’t pay attention to each other.
So shortly after meeting the beggar, Gloucester is turned against in the palace. As the mutiny ensues, both of his eyes are gouged out, and he too is sent out onto the heath to wander. Now here’s where I had my epiphany. Edgar sees his eyeless father and guides and protects him while pretending to be a beggar. And eventually Gloucester recognizes him as his son. BUT, it’s only after he loses his eye site that he sees his son. Are we like that? First, do we even look? Second, do we see?
Somehow this led me down the path of wondering how often I don’t see others. I wonder too why it’s so easy for most to recite the Gospel than to share or live it. It’s sad, and please don’t think I’m getting blinded by the log in my eye trying to see the speck in others’…I’m not, I promise. It’s actually the log in my eye that’s convicting. Earlier I was thinking about people who are spiritually condescending, and it honestly depressed me a little, but God knows me too well and humbled me in Shakespeare. I’m guilty of the very thing that was breaking my heart; how can I even add others into the equation? (Not that this is an equation…Jenna! no math metaphors!) I don’t know how far I’ve now drifted from my original topic, and I’m sure by now I’ve confused most, but reading King Lear really impacted me. I hope that I can leave this play behind having become more perceptive to those around me and how I relate to them. I want to see while I still have my eyes, and I want to serve while there are still people who need me.