Madness in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and "Hamlet" Essay example

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The issue of madness has been touched by many writers. In this paper I will focus on two important writings which deal directly with the mental illnesses. The first one is "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" by Ken Kesey first published in 1962. The second is "Hamlet" written by Shakespeare approximately in 1602. Ken Kesey worked nights in a mental institution in California and his novel has a lot of truth in it. He faced patient's insanity every day and was confident that it was natural response to the overall madness of the corporate America. Shakespeare on the contrary, focused on the completely opposite side of the mental madness: through "Hamlet" he wanted to show that in degree of publicity mental disorders can harm observers.…show more content…
His attitude to each of them is easy to guess: for example, he talks about electroshock therapy as a mean of punishment rather then treatment. As I already mentioned above, the novel "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" deals with the mental diseases directly, talks about what and how ill people feel, about their treatment and possible consequences. Shakespeare only slightly touches these issues in "Hamlet." He does not go so deep into details and talks more about the relationships among people and how mental disorders influence these relationships. The revenge is a central issue in the play "Hamlet" and all problems, including insanity of both Hamlet and Ophelia, seem to be a result of it. ""Hamlet" is a play of unanswered questions" (Partridge 22). The reader remains wondering whether the host is friendly or evil, did Ophelia commit suicide or it an accident. Hamlet as a character is very difficult to understand. His insanity is hard to explain. Sigmund Freud viewed madness of Hamlet in terms of an Oedipus complex (a sexual desire towards his mother). His insane wish to kill his father, his uncle who has taken the place of the father is because of this sexual desire. Polonius attributes Hamlet's madness through his rejection by Ophelia. Hamlet suffers from his strong ambition to succeed his father on the throne of Denmark. Reader doubts, however, his madness. Hamlet "claims to be pretending being mad, Claudius

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