Essays On Madness

Essays On Madness-14
She is consumed by the whirlwind of mixed emotions and commands given to her by Hamlet, Laertes and Polonius.With her lover's banishment, her brother's residence in France, and her father's murder she is left with only silence.

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This paper seeks to provide a sociological account of one aspect of a highly significant redefinition of the moral boundaries of English society: a redefinition which saw the transformation of insanity from a vague, culturally defined phenomenon afflicting an unknown, but probably small, portion of the total population into a condition which could only be authoritatively diagnosed, certified, and dealt with by a group of legally recognized experts and which was now seen as one of the major forms of deviance in English society.

Where in the eighteenth century only the most violent and destructive amongst those now labelled insane would have been segregated and confined apart from the rest of the community, by the mid-nineteenth century, with the achievement of lunacy ‘reform’, the asylum was endorsed as the sole officially approved response to the problems posed by all forms of mental illness.

To state that madness and sanity are opposites grossly oversimplifies and omits significant shades of grey.

The term madness, whether used in a clinical or literary sense, is a fluid, ambiguous term encompassing many theories. We often complain that people or situations are driving us "mad," or "crazy" or "wild." The insanity of daily existence and of absurd situations can devastate tender psyches.

The entire collection of essays presents intriguing aspects of the Dionysian element in literature. " How can this thematic phrase aid in the understanding of literature?

Does it refer to the writer, the abnormal behavior of the characters or some nexus?While psychology and literature have made some significant advances in unlocking secrets of personality, it is nevertheless amazing that certain aspects of personality (What is madness and abnormal behavior? In Shakespeare's Hamlet, the fragile Ophelia is used, abused, and puppeted by the men she is surrounded by.He sets up an encounter between her and the already mad prince to prove his loyalty to the crown, heedless to the fact that she could be harmed."Ophelia, walk you here.../We are oft to blame in this:/ ' Tis too much prov'd, that with devotion's visage/ And pious action we do sugar o'er/ The devil himself"(III.i.43-49). Psychology and literature both try to explain unusual behavior, and the term "madness" seems to be a particularly useful tool in discussing certain literary characters.Strange, abnormal and deviant actions of literary characters offer an indispensable resource for investigating personality. ) are still baffling, open to semantic debates, and laced with relativity.When she at last finds love, he forbids her to entertain it, fearing that it will reflect badly upon him "...Or given my heart a winking, mute and dumb;/Or look'd upon this love with idle sight-/What might you(Claudius) think?In their absence she cannot function, so she becomes mad.She is a shape-shifter who takes on whichever identity is thrust upon her by any male figure.


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