4.48 Psychosis Character Analysis

1575 Words 7 Pages
Kane uses humour and grotesque beauty in 4.48 Psychosis to convey a fierce criticism against the failures of the Western medical model. Basing the play in an imaginary almost limbo-like world, Kane does not use theatrical devices of plot and setting, despite visually depicting a mind/ body split in both text and performance. Instead, she delivers prolific fierce dialogue against the medical treatment of mental illnesses, exposing what it means to be mentally ill and how compassion and understanding are required more than medical drugs.

The prominence of dark humour and grotesque beauty in 4.48 Psychosis is established in the written script. There are no identifiable characters, and fundamental features of a play such as plot, setting and a chronological time scheme remain absent. Furthermore, the form defies normative approaches to theatre, and perhaps
…show more content…
The body dancing on glass serves to be a metaphor of a puppet who is having to dance to instructions “spun by a doctor to argument the sane ”. This expresses the sheer pain which comes of a mind/ body split as the narrator comments how “madness is scorched from the bisected soul. ” This is darkly humorous for despite the narrator being mentally ill, they recognise they are mad and in pain, however nothing the doctor can say will help- for his words can only reason with those that are sane. Furthermore, the narrator’s body dancing on glass is grotesquely beautiful, for dancing is often considered to be abstractly beautiful, but the pain and fragility that comes from the description of glass, highlights the grotesque nature of internal thoughts. Kane therefore involves the audience in the inner workings of the narrator’s mind, depicting boundaries of broken trust and alienation via the metaphor of dancing on glass through the mind/body

Related Documents