Shakespeare and the Madness of Crowds

A head made of pills ingesting another pill“Mad call I it; for, to define true madness,
What is’t but to be nothing else but mad?
But let that go.”
(Hamlet, act 2, sc. 2)

Tips for Use.  Excellent reinforcement of the idea of madness. The redundancy and the obviousness in the quote enable irony laced with some inoffensive sarcasm.
Among the limitless examples of popular madness, the chosen image  represents  the endemic and universal obsession with pills, tablets, supplements, capsules, lozenges, medicines, medicaments, vitamins, herbal and non herbal remedies, minerals, extracts, teas, tisanes, infusions, antidotes, counteractants, counteragents, universal or specific panaceas, elixirs, physics, naturopathic and allopathic correctives, corroborants, dietetic enablers, emollients, peptics, prophylactics, restoratives, anti-oxidants, omegas this and that… and the list is by no means complete…
Voltaire’s observer of Micromegas would roar with irrepressible laughter by observing the quasi-religious faith attending the belief of so many in the persuasive sirens of commercials and sundry other weapons of mass seduction.
The idea, of course, is that life is impossible without ‘medicines’. Few would remember Timon of Athen’s advice to some would-be robbers, “Trust not the physician – his antidotes are poison and he slays more than you rob.” (see the topic previous post).
It all shows the herd-like behavior of masses on which Shakespeare has much to say, as we will see in some of the next posts.
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And I promise, no sales calls, trade leads, venomous schemes, hidden plots, Machiavellian conspiracies, commercial ploys, psychological tricks, leads exchanges, barter proposals, suggestions or offers of any kind imaginable (and unimaginable).
Of course, if you acquire the book “Your Daily Shakespeare” you will not only enjoy it but you will find it very useful. The quote in this post and more than ten thousand others will lead you to find the words that perfectly strengthen your argument(s). After all Shakespeare wrote them, I simply extracted, structured and compiled them so as to make Shakespeare very “user friendly” as they say. And if you wish I will even sign the book. But this is the extreme extent of any “sales” effort, call or solicitation.

In the play.  Polonius believes he has identified the cause of Hamlet’s erratic behavior, namely that Hamlet is in love with Ophelia. Proud of his (actually wrong) diagnosis, Polonius delivers a lengthy and pompous introduction to the attending king and queen.

original image,

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