King Lear: An analogy

A quick analogy for these Lear-y times:

Remember when we were discussion madness in Hamlet (both the character and the play), and I said that depression may be the closest we can get to a diagnosis of Hamlet…and even that’s from what he shows himself, not the act he puts on for others.

I am old(ish). I remember a time when the SAT would include a section of analogies which would force students to create relationships between words and concepts. A is to B, as C is to D.




With that in mind (you see what I’m getting at in a minute)–and looking to the future discussions of this play, let me present a little analogy…

Hamlet:depression :: Lear:dementia

Each first half of the pair is a character who has been labeled by some (both in and out of the play that takes his name) as mad; the second half the more likely diagnosis of mental illness short of full-blown psychosis.

Food for thought.