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Madness In Pentheus And Don Quixote De La Man

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Madness is, for this essay’s purpose at least, defined by Merriam Webster as the act of being “completely unrestrained by reason and judgment.” To an extent, this definition fits our conventional idea of what madness is. We can look back at previous texts in the Literature Humanities curriculum and see different characters and the way in which they fit this established meaning of madness. Take, for example, Pentheus and Agave in The Bacchae, King Lear in William Shakespeare’s King Lear, and Don Quixote in Miguel de Cervante’s Don Quixote de la Mancha; all are impervious to reason and logic. In Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, however, the main character––Raskolnikov––defies this notion of madness, choosing instead to take on a different form of “insanity” ––one fueled by conviction and reason. By injecting these two elements into his thought process, Raskolnikov eliminates these two major components of madness. Additionally, by giving the reader insight into Raskolnikov’s mind, Dostoevsky constructs Raskolnikov as a methodical, yet tormented, individual. Thus, one wonders whether Raskolnikov truly…show more content…
In a society (St. Petersburg in this instance) filled with criminals like Svidrigailov and the pawnbroker, strong-minded individuals must exist to right these wrongs and improve society for the good of the many. Furthermore, we should not punish these individuals as they are crucial to maintaining a constantly dynamic society, one capable of change and innovation. When thinking of good in the world as a quantitative substance, any crime that increases the livelihood of more people than it hurts should be fully and entirely
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