Dissecting Madness in Romantic Literature
Major: Biology and English
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Bruce Graver, English
In my thesis, I endeavor to expose how changes in medicine during the Romantic period affect literature of the time. Specifically, I show how shifts in attitudes toward the mind and the birth of neuroscience impact characters in various literary genres, including plays, poetry, and novels. These shifts in medical understanding are evident in depictions of madness and hysteria in many Romantic literary works, and I select Joanna Baillie’s De Monfort, William Wordsworth’s “The Thorn,” and Sir Walter Scott’s The Bride of Lammermoor to illustrate these new conceptions of the mind and its follies.
4-29-2021 12:00 AM