Madness and Poetic Inspiration in Orlando Furioso



Individuals who demonstrate a remarkable creative propensity are often described as being on the periphery of sanity. The 1990 American thriller Misery (Rob Reiner, 1990), based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name, envisages creativity and madness at the opposite ends of the same axis.1 The film stars James Caan, who plays the best-selling novelist Paul Sheldon, and Kathy Bates, who won much critical acclaim for her protrayal of the insane fan Annie Wilkes. Holding the injured Paul captive after rescuing him from a car wreck, Annie’s behaviour becomes increasingly demented as she resorts to drugs, intimidation and torture in order to compel Paul to resurrect her favourite literary heroine. In one of the film’s most horrific and, it has to be said, most memorable sequences, Annie breaks Paul’s ankles with a sledge hammer, in an act of ‘hobbling’ (Illustration 7).


Theatrical Discourse Early Modern Period Stage Convention Critical Acclaim Stage Property 
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Copyright information

© Jenny Sager 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of NottinghamUK

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