A Reconnoitre of The Fascination with Psychosis in Literature and Film - A Study in Archetypes
Literature and art in all their forms have done well in representing man’s mental disorders and afflictions in various ways, consecutively resulting in educating its consumers, moving its connoisseurs and inspiring future authors. “Psychosis” is a mental disorder, wherein reality is distorted, and “madness” denotes insanity, dementia; rash or irrational conduct. In this paper, these terms will be treated as such but, with an essential connotation toward heroism and eccentricity- both of which are character attributes that are of typical intrigue to readers. The aim of this study is to recognize, explore and expose the presence of a certain kind of fascination that the characters in literature and films embodying or representing certain kinds of madness have upon individuals. Recently, Todd Phillips’s Joker (2019), a movie featuring mental illness witnessed an extraordinary box-office turnout. Upon examination, it can be established that this appeal or inclination towards eccentric characters bordering on madness is not a recent phenomenon but an ongoing trend since the Greek plays of Euripides (c.315 BC) and Seneca, the younger (1 BC). The theory of Archetypes is employed to streamline the recurrence of characters embodying psychosis, and have an appeal among the targeted consumers.
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