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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: May ::
Re: Lear Diagnosed
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1398  Wednesday, 23 May 2002

From:           Larry Weiss <
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Date:           Wednesday, 22 May 2002 12:12:00 -0400
Subject: 13.1381 Re: Lear Diagnosed
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1381 Re: Lear Diagnosed

>If, as Larry Weiss concludes, Lear's symptoms are a "tight fit" for
>296.44 in DSM-IV, do the writers of this reference acknowledge the play
>as their source?

These people are remarkably illiterate when it comes to matters
Shakespearean.  With the arguable exceptions of Freud and Adler, they
are almost always laughably incorrect.  For example, they call
irrational jealousy an "Othello complex" when Leontes would be apt.

Of course, the editors of DSM-IV were not trying to describe a Lear
Syndrome.  Evidently, the authors of the journal article set about
trying to diagnose Lear according the DSM criteria and came up with
296.44.  It is plausible, but not certain.

Anticipating the flak I would get for ascribing real illnesses to
fictitious persons, it is sorta fun to try to diagnose the ailments of
the various characters.  For example, Bardolph was pretty clearly a
rhinophyma sufferer.

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