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Wordl Lit Essay English

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World Literature Essay Paranoia as a literary tool in Oedipus The King and A Dolls House. Many famous literary works have characters with exaggerated personalities that in some instances become so extreme that they can be interpreted as being paranoid. Paranoia is a medical diagnosis, however; we often use paranoia as a layman's term to describe paranormal behaviour. In this essay paranoia is defined as a character trait where anxiety or fear is either overstated or indeed has no root in the real world at all. "Paranoia is a thought process thought to be heavily influenced by anxiety or fear, often to the point of irrationality and delusion"1. In literature paranoia can be a tool used to build a character, to prove a point or tell a story. This essay will examine the elements of paranoia present in Ibsen's A Dolls House2 and in Sophocles' Oedipus The King3. Quotes from the plays will be used to exemplify the paranoia, and characters from these plays displaying paranoid features will be compared. In addition, the importance of the use of paranoid character traits in these plays will be discussed. ...read more.


and being self-centred are central elements in a paranoid personality disorder. One might argue that other characters in A Dolls House display paranoid personality traits, however, as many of Helmer's suspicions are well founded, and Krogstad can be said to be right when he feels persecuted, these characters can not be said to be truly paranoid. There can be no doubt whatsoever that King Oedipus is truly paranoid. He appears to suffer deeply from both delusions of grandeur and paranoid personality disorder. A delusion of grandeur is when a person wrongly perceives himself to be of great importance. Oedipus believes he is one of the most powerful people on earth, regarding himself as the centre of the universe and a divine entity: "You pray to the gods? Let me grant your prayers."11 He also suffers from persecution paranoia, a common symptom of the paranoid personality disorder: "Oh I'll let loose, I have such fury in me-now I see it all. You helped hatch the plot, you did the work, yes, short of killing him with your own hands-and given eyes I'd say you did the killing single-handed!"12 Oedipus fears loosing his power as a king, and seemingly groundlessly distrusts his friends and advisors, believing that they conspire against him. ...read more.


If Nora had been a traditional Victorian era housewife, she would never have left her husband and children, and without a rebellious Nora Ibsen could not have written what is considered to be the first play about women's liberation. Paranoia connected to their roles and place in society are defining character traits for Oedipus and Nora. In conclusion A Dolls House and Oedipus The King would not have gained their place in world literature if Nora and Oedipus had been safe and secure in their given roles in society. Sources: A Doll's House, Ibsen. Cambridge University Press 1995. Oedipus the King, Sophocles. Simon and Schuster (June 26, 2001) Peter Pan Syndrome, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070501112023.htm, 07/05/2007 Definition of Paranoia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paranoia, 1 Definition of paranoia, Wikipedia. 17. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paranoia Januar 17:36 2 A Doll's House, Ibsen. Cambridge University Press 1995. 3 Oedipus the King, Sophocles. Simon & Schuster (June 26, 2001) 4 Definition of Paranoid Personality Disorder, Dictionary. 5 Peter Pan Syndrome http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070501112023.htm 13. Jan 18:12 6 A doll's House, page 82 7 A doll's House, page 11 8 A doll's House, page 12 9 A doll's House, page 84 10 A doll's House, page 82 11 Oedipus the King, page 15 12 Oedipus the King, page 20 13 Oedipus the King, page 23 ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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