The Winter's Tale | Critical Essay by Richard H. Abrams

This literature criticism consists of approximately 12 pages of analysis & critique of The Winter's Tale.
This section contains 3,568 words
(approx. 12 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Richard H. Abrams

SOURCE: Abrams, Richard H. “Leontes's Enemy: Madness in The Winter's Tale.” In Aspects of Fantasy, edited by William Coyle, pp. 155-62. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1986.

In the following essay, Abrams probes Leontes's seemingly “causeless, self-begetting jealousy” in The Winter's Tale.

Just before their duel, Hamlet apologizes to Laertes for his wild behavior at Ophelia's grave by placing the blame on an “enemy” that took over when Hamlet “from himself [was] ta'en away” (V.ii.234).1 This “enemy” in Hamlet's expansion of the figure becomes virtually a possessing demon, like the “unclean spirits” (cacodaemones) said to afflict the mentally ill in a tradition holding from Biblical times to the Middle Ages. In the Renaissance, this view of mental illness was in retreat...

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This section contains 3,568 words
(approx. 12 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Richard H. Abrams
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Literature Criticism Series
Critical Essay by Richard H. Abrams from Literature Criticism Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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