Art: The Alternative Tradition

Image of Lear, II by Noel Counihan

Image of Lear, II by Noel Counihan
Lithograph, 1977
© 2001 Patricia Counihan
Not to be reproduced without written permission

Physical blindness as a metaphor of moral blindness is a major theme of Shakespeare's King Lear, its significance needing no "modern dress" or adaptation to bring it up to date. Noel Counihan's 1977 "Image of Lear" lithographs bring home the import of Lear's advice to the blinded Gloucester:

"Get thee glass eyes,
And, like a scurvy politician, seem
to see the things thou dost not."
[Act 4, sc. 5, lines 162-64]