"Meantime we shall express our darker purpose. Lear is blind and irresponsible as a father and as a ruler; he fails to see the truth about his three daughters. This is the first reference to sight and blindness in the play. In this quotation Lear refers to the royal "we". This is an illustration that he wants to retain the trappings of majesty without the "cares and business" of his ruling content. "Pre-eminence and all the large effect. That troop with majesty." (I.i.126 -127) This is an example of Lear being selfish and blind to the disastrous implications of what he desires will be. Lear's intention is to divide the Kingdoms greatest part to the daughter he loves the most - Cordelia. This generally known and Goneril and Regan know what they can expect. When Cordelia fails Lear's "love test", Lear foolishly splits his Kingdom between his two daughters whose husbands are rumored to be rivals - again Lear does not foresee the consequences that will occur because of this blindness to an important fact.
Gloucester is blind the humiliation that he causes his illegitimate son Edgar "There was good sport at his making" (I.i.19 - 20). In the quotation Gloucester is telling Kent about the night that his bastard son was conceived - with a prostitute. He jokes easily of Edgar's bastardy, suggesting that he has rather low morals. Gloucester does not know the, like Lear the consequences that will occur and therefore is blind to the situation. Edgar's feelings of uncontentment and defiance are revealed in a soliloquy in 1.2 "stand up for bastards". In scene I we are also introduced to Gloucester's legitimate son Edmund. In this scene both Gloucester and Lear misjudge their children, precipitating their own ruin, in both cases this is partly due to blindness.
There is a juxtaposition of the theme of blindness in King Lear, between the characters of Gloucester and Lear himself. Gloucester's physical blindness symbolizes the metaphorical blindness that grips both Gloucester and the other father figure, Lear.