Many literary techniques are used to emphasize the theme of the Shakespearean play "King Lear." The dramas' theme is blindness, both mentally and physically, to the truth. In King Lear, the techniques of imagery, foreshadowing, and irony help to reinforce the drama's theme that people are blind to the truth.
Imagery is used frequently and helps to create a vivid image for the audience. "Now all the plagues that in the pendulous air hang fated over men's faults lights on thy daughters." This quote uses imagery because part of the quote is "lights on thy daughters" which shows how Lear's daughters don't love him except for Cordelia, who does. Another example of imagery, is when Cornwall stomps out Gloucester's eyes. When Gloucester realizes his mental and figurative blindness, Cornwall physically blinds him. At the end of the play, everyone betrays everyone else. This is an example of imagery because the characters are also betrayed mentally by one another.
Foreshadowing also enhances the idea of figurative blindness because the character's actions are hinted at before they actually occur. "I've escaped the pursuit therefore to survive I'll disguise myself as a crazy, dirty, beggar." Edgar, by dressing so poorly, is foreshadowing that he will have to do a "dirty" deed, which is killing his brother, Edmund, at the end of the play. In act 2, scene 4 the fool is telling Lear that poor fathers treat their children badly, when rich fathers make their children happy, but Lear's children were still unhappy and wrong, even if he was rich. The fool was trying to tell King Lear that there was trouble amongst his daughters. This is an example of foreshadowing because the trouble the fool was telling Lear about could and did turn into something much more serious. "Never! I was king, but I gave away my kingdom. The storm is my master now." This quote demonstrates foreshadowing because the way Lear is babbling, and talking about the storm, can mean that he is going crazy.