The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
The Forum - On Line Opinion's article discussion area



Syndicate
RSS/XML


RSS 2.0

Main Articles General

Sign In      Register

The Forum > Article Comments > Was Shakespeare mad? > Comments

Was Shakespeare mad? : Comments

By Cireena Simcox, published 8/3/2006

Why did Shakespeare only leave his wife the 'second-best bed' in his will?

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. All
Ah, lay off the poor old Bard!
There isn't any doubt from the quality of his writings that he spent a lot of his talented time investigating the human condition.
Maybe too much.
I will settle for the clue that was dropped early in this article: sleep disturbance.
What bending of the mind occurs with single mothers, without support, having new-born infants making continuous and incessant demands?
What "confessions" might be possible in Gutanimo Bay under continuous sleep deprivation/disturbance?
So perhaps Will was not being unkind in leaving just his "second-best bed" to his wife - maybe that bed was the one with a lesser population of fleas.
Posted by colinsett, Wednesday, 8 March 2006 11:34:06 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
The best bed would have gone to his Heir.
Mad people are generally not able to perceive their own condition very well which makes it unlikely that Shakespeare was mad.
In a time where madness was mainly just madness, paranoia, schizophrenia, manic depression had not been invented. It is unreasonable in that time, or any other for that matter to expect a playwrite to give accurate Psychiatric diagnoses.
Your thesis is not clear and the reasons for it are unsound.
If I was marking this you would fail.
Posted by Bull, Wednesday, 8 March 2006 12:42:01 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
You make a good case for Hamlet being manic-depressive - I recognise all the elements from my own experience, and note that it's a great relief when manic episodes are added to unrelieved extreme depression! But the attempt to extend the condition to Shakespeare appears weak. I'm sure that if he'd come across anyone with bipolar disorder, he'd recognse the dramatic potential of the condition.

(And perhaps he'd left his best bed in London?)
Posted by Faustino, Wednesday, 8 March 2006 3:20:38 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Perhaps she just preferred the second-best bed.

What a very dull, pointless piece. The reader gets a certain thrill from the feeling of looking over Ms Simcox's shoulder during a death struggle with her thesaurus, but it is not enough to compensate. The whole betrays shoddy research, with the merest whiff of speculation produced as 'evidence', a confused view of mental illness, and a clear determination to use as opaque a style as possible. She is obviously and understandably keen to mine her studies for any publication brownie points she can get, but I strongly suggest she try a forum more suited to her attempts at the academic high style.

'Testeria' is a case in point. A gender studies neologism one would think the language neither needs nor can easily accommodate. But perhaps aspiring academic writers learned nothing from, or worse, have forgotten or never heard of the Social Text affair (http://www.physics.nyu.edu/faculty/sokal/).

Please, no more of this stuff. At least there's one consolation in cyberspace, no one can hear me scream.
Posted by anomie, Wednesday, 8 March 2006 3:35:26 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Polonius

"Why day is day, night is night, and time is time.
Were nothing but to waste night, day, and time.
Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,
And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
I will be brief. Your noble son is mad.
Mad call I it; for, to define true madness,
What is't but to be nothing else.....but mad?"

Act 2, Scene ii.
Posted by Hamlet, Wednesday, 8 March 2006 6:42:54 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
The best bed was stuffed.

Shakespeare wasn't.
Posted by keith, Thursday, 9 March 2006 10:01:02 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. All

About Us :: Search :: Discuss :: Feedback :: Legals :: Privacy