King Lear and Oedipus Rex are both tragedies which involve a tragic ending for both protagonists Lear and Oedipus. Lear dies at the end showing remorse for disowning Cordelia who truly loved him and Oedipus pokes out his eyes after realising what has happened and what he has done. He also leaves Thebes and is portrayed to be guilty and hating his life. Therefore he pokes out his eyes leaving him to “walk through a cloud of darkness and it will last forever”. This shows how remorseful he is feeling which is also present in King Lear as Lear realises the mistake he committed by disowning Cordelia. As he holds her he points to her as if saying she is alive which shows he wants her to be alive.
King Lear and Oedipus Rex also contain the mutual theme of blindness which is both metaphorical and physical. The protagonists of the story are metaphorically blind not seeing what is happening to them, which proves them to be gullible and vulnerable.
The theme of blindness to the truth is represented in both plays. Just how King Lear is blinded by Goneril and Regan’s fake statement of their love for him, Oedipus is also blinded, however he is unwilling to accept the true statements. This shows a difference in both protagonists because Oedipus is given the true statements however he does not believe them, whilst Lear is given false statements of love which he fails to discover.
King Lear and Oedipus Rex also reflect the idea of guilt and present their circumstances for
the lack of belief.
Another similarity between the two plays is the theme families and relationships. It is clear in the plays how there are no real relationships and true love except for the love that Cordelia has for her father. Oedipus Rex is dominated by false relations such as Jocasta and Oedipus. They had a relation of marriage however really it was false due to the fact that he is her son. Also the relation of Polybus and Merope to Oedipus is fake, and he believes they were his real parents all along. A difference in the family ties and relationships of King Lear to Oedipus Rex is that Lear is presented with a real relation – the love that Cordelia has for him yet he is too blind to see it. This reiterates the protagonists, such as Lears’ blindness through the play.