Derek Russell Davis argues that mental health professionals working in a hospital or clinic setting can learn much from playwrights about the psychological processes in mental illness. Looking at such diverse characters as Orestes, Hamlet, Lear, Ophelia, Peer Gynt, Oswald Alving and Blanche Dubois, Dr Davis shows how madness in plays is put into the context of the crucial experiences in an individual's history and current relationships, and demonstrates that these stories can be a new and exciting source of insight into mental illness.
1: Introduction. 2: Lessons at the theatre. 3: Models of madness. 4: The stories plays tell. 5: Reality and illusion. 6: Family feuds. 7: Breaking free from the past. 8: Recoveries. 9: Conclusions. Notes and sources. Index.