Madness at the Theatre studies the theatrical representation of madness from the classical Greek period through to the 21st century.Professor Oyebode charts the portrayal of madness by the world’s great playwrights across the centuries and argues that whereas acts of madness are described but unseen in Greek drama, Shakespeare brought these behaviours to centre stage. In the 19th and early 20th centuries aberrant behaviour was portrayed in domestic settings by Ibsen – theatrical madness became a family drama. Tennessee Williams and Eugene O’Neill drew on their own families for their explorations of madness and addiction, which lent a freshness and authenticity to their characters. Pinter’s masterful use of the ambiguity of language finds strong echoes in the psychiatric clinic. Soyinka approached the subject from a different perspective, emphasising the social context – the personal malady as reflection of a greater malaise in society. Finally, Sarah Kane, whose own mental illness shaped her work, created plays that were the physical embodiment of her inner world. This book deals with an aspect of drama that speaks to the fears, prejudices and insights of the audience. It makes explicit the rules and models governing the appropriation of madness as a metaphor within theatre. Readership: It will be essential reading for anyone interested in the language of drama, the depiction of mental illness, and in the wider place of madness as a concept within society.