Insanity as a Metaphor in The Yellow Wall-Paper, The Tell-Tale Heart, Hamlet, and Mad Song

Insanity as a Metaphor in The Yellow Wall-Paper, The Tell-Tale Heart, Hamlet, and Mad Song

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The sickness of insanity stems from external forces and stimuli, ever-present in our world, weighing heavily on the psychological, neurological, and cognitive parts of our mind. It can drive one to madness through its relentless, biased, and poisoned view of the world, creating a dichotomy between what is real and imagined. It is a defense mechanism that allows one to suffer the harms of injustice, prejudice, and discrimination, all at the expense of one’s physical and mental faculties.
Through the use of insanity as a metaphor, William Shakespeare, Edgar Allen Poe, William Blake, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman, introduced us to characters and stories that illustrate the path to insanity from the creation of a weakened psychological state that renders the victim susceptible to bouts of madness, the internalization of stimuli that has permeated the human psyche resulting in the chasm between rational and irrational thought, and the consequences of the effects of the psychological stress of external stimuli demonstrated through the actions of their characters.
The creation of a stressful psychological state of mind is prevalent in the story “The Yellow Wall-Paper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, as well as, Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart”, Ophelia’s struggles in William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, and the self-inflicted sickness seen in William Blake’s “Mad Song”. All the characters, in these stories and poems, are subjected to external forces that plant the seed of irrationality into their minds; thus, creating an adverse intellectual reaction, that from an outsider’s point of view, could be misconstrued as being in an altered state due to the introduction of a drug, prescribed or otherwise, furthering the percep...


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...oke about is the consequence of a man gone insane. He truly wanted to kill Fortunato but in a way that wouldn’t leave blood on his hands, so he cemented him into a small corner of the wine cellar. It was an evil act that displayed the ugly face of revenge.
Through the use of insanity as a metaphor, authors such as William Shakespeare, Edgar Allen Poe, William Blake, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman, have utilized the extreme feelings of fear, love, hate, anger, and revenge to illustrate: the creation of a weakened psychological state that renders the victim susceptible to bouts of madness; the internalization of stimuli that has permeated the human psyche resulting in the chasm between rational and irrational thought; and the consequences of the effects of the psychological stress of external stimuli demonstrated through the actions of their characters.






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