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Madness at the Theatre


  • Date Published: July 2012
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781908020420

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About the Authors
  • Madness at the Theatre studies the theatrical representation of madness from the classical Greek period through to the 21st century. Professor Oyebode charts the portrayal of madness by the world's great playwrights across the centuries and argues that whereas acts of madness are described but unseen in Greek drama, Shakespeare brought these behaviours to centre stage. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries aberrant behaviour was portrayed in domestic settings by Ibsen - theatrical madness became a family drama. Tennessee Williams and Eugene O'Neill drew on their own families for their explorations of madness and addiction. Pinter's masterful use of the ambiguity of language finds strong echoes in the psychiatric clinic. Soyinka emphasised the social context - the personal malady as reflection of a greater malaise in society. Finally, Sarah Kane created plays that were the physical embodiment of her inner world. This book will be essential reading for anyone interested in the language of drama, the depiction of mental illness, and in the wider place of madness as a concept within society.

    • Deals with an aspect of drama that speaks to the fears, prejudices and insights of the audience
    • Makes explicit the rules and models governing the appropriation of madness as a metaphor within theatre
    • Explores the representation of madness in the works of important playwrights such as Henrik Ibsen, Eugene O'Neill, Tennessee Williams, Harold Pinter, Wole Soyinka and Sarah Kane
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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2012
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781908020420
    • length: 110 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 155 x 6 mm
    • weight: 0.2kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Greek tragedy and models of madness
    2. Greco-Roman comedy and folly
    3. Jealousy the green-eyed monster and madness in Shakespeare
    4. Ibsen and the domestication of madness
    5. Tennessee Williams and the theatre of the mind
    6. Soyinka's theatre of the shadowlands
    7. Sarah Kane: the self in fission.

  • Editor

    Femi Oyebode

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