Abstract

Is King Lear against the blind? Must enlightened moderns find the play ethically objectionable? The portrayal of Gloucester in his blindness certainly relies on stereotyped attitudes that modern disability studies have made visible for us. Gloucester’s blindness is the physical equivalent of Lear’s madness, both representing the destruction of what would seem central to a satisfying human existence. Both are crucial to the structure of the play and its tragic impact, but, because Shakespeare gets right how various human beings respond to Gloucester’s blindness, twenty-first-century readers and audiences can find both meaning and power in Shakespeare’s portrayal.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 153-165
Launched on MUSE
2012-08-18
Open Access
No
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