Literature Sheds Light on Mental Illness; Headmistress Sarah Evans Finds Parallels with Hamlet and Today's Troubled Students

By Evans, Sarah | The Birmingham Post (England), September 25, 2000 | Go to article overview

Literature Sheds Light on Mental Illness; Headmistress Sarah Evans Finds Parallels with Hamlet and Today's Troubled Students


Evans, Sarah, The Birmingham Post (England)


'O, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown!'

Would you like to find yourself in a hall of residence in the next room to Hamlet?

Someone must have in Hamlet's student days at Wittenberg and it can't have been easy.

Just imagine it - banging on your door in the middle of the night to talk for hours about how he was feeling, how he hated his step father, couldn't forgive his mother - they had ruined his life, telling you he'd love you forever one minute and breaking your heart the next.

We have all been there.

Although the details of Shakespeare's much loved play, now showing at the Birmingham Rep, puts Hamlet older than the average student, much suggests he is in that particular phrase of life.

He thinks at length about the meaning and purpose of existence, of Fate, of human will. He is introspective and self obsessed. He is highly idealistic, taking the high moral ground with others, and only one person in the play, his university friend, Horatio, comes anywhere near to living up to his standards.

He has massive mood swings. He is bitterly critical of the older generation, and finds his mother's sexuality impossible to consider rationally. He gets depressed to the point of suicide.

Each summer, I write to the young women who have left my school to ask how we might have prepared them better for their next stage.

I was very stuck this year by a few replies which spoke of having to come into contact with serious depression for the first time. They wrote of the shock and helplessness they felt and a sense of not knowing what was the best way to help and support.

With incidences of mental illness in young people rising, I think they will not have been alone.

Hamlet, a very regular A-level set text is one way into this issue. Like all great literature, it works on many levels and introduces an audience to a fascinating range of ideas and emotions. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

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 article

Cited article

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 article

Literature Sheds Light on Mental Illness; Headmistress Sarah Evans Finds Parallels with Hamlet and Today's Troubled Students
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

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 article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

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.