Monty Python and Philosophy: Nudge Nudge, Think Think!

By Gary L. Hardcastle; George A. Reisch | Go to book overview

12

Madness in Monty Python's
Flying Circus

MICHELLE SPINELLI

I mean, some people think I'm mad. The villagers say I'm mad, the
tourists say I'm mad. Well, I am mad.

—Kevin, a village idiot (“The Idiot in Society,” Monty Python's
Flying Circus, Episode 20, “The Attila the Hun Episode”)

Some might say that “madness” is synonymous with Monty Python. After all, what makes the Pythons so funny is the extremes to which they take characters and situations. Everyday occurrences become ridiculous, bordering on the insane. But, how do the Pythons really see madness? How do they portray the mad? Can we learn anything from them about madness?

The Pythons' most comprehensive portrayal of madness is their sketch entitled, “The Idiot in Society” (Monty Python's Flying Circus, Episode 20, “The Attila the Hun Episode”). In it, the Pythons explore the role and character of the “village idiot,” a term that can be traced back to the Middle Ages. “What is called the Village idiot',” the philosopher and historian Michel Foucault (1926–1984) writes, “did not get married, did not participate in games, and was fed and supported by others.”1 In fact, the village idiot was considered quite mad.

1 Michel Foucault, The Essential Foucault: Selections from the Essential Works of
Foucault, 1954–1984, edited by Paul Rabinow and Nikolas Rose (New York: The
New Press, 2003), p. 375.

-153-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Monty Python and Philosophy: Nudge Nudge, Think Think!
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 292

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.