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Madness in Shakespeare (LELE)

Publié par Marion Coste le 06/02/2018
Madness is a recurrent theme in Shakespeare's works. Through this selection of texts and paintings, you will discover the range of aesthetic an dramatic functions assumed by insanity in three of the bard's most famous tragedies. Those who are not familiar with the plots of Hamlet, Macbeth and King Lear will easily find film adaptations, simplified texts and summaries. They can also read the famous "tales" by Charles Lamb on our pages:

Macbeth - Conveying madness through language

- Determination and denial of nature

- The sleepwalking scene

- Lady Macbeth, by Henry Fuseli, 1781-1784

Texts, painting and keys...


Ophelia's lyrical madness in Hamlet

- The King and the Queen witness Ophelia's madness

- Gertrude reporting Ophelia's death to Laertes

- John Everett Millais's Ophelia, 1852

Texts, painting and keys...


Feigned and real madness in King Lear

- Insanity as a disguise

- Satire under the cover of madness

- William Dyce's King Lear and The Fool in the Storm, 1851

Texts, painting and keys...


Final Task

On the occasion of the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth, groups of students will be asked to find other texts and works of visual arts illustrating madness in Shakespeare (with the help of their teacher). They will put up an exhibition associating texts and artworks with commentaries about how artists use, express or change insanity's function in paintings, drawings or photographs derived from Shakespearean scenes.

Pour citer cette ressource :

"Madness in Shakespeare (LELE)", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), février 2018. Consulté le 25/02/2018. URL: http://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/se-former/les-precis-et-le-workbook/workbook/madness-in-shakespeare-lele/madness-in-shakespeare-lele