[Ads-l] mad king

Chris Waigl chris at LASCRIBE.NET
Sun Oct 15 15:23:09 EDT 2017


I think there are a lot of options for which historical figure or
literary character a speaker might think about when they evoke the "mad
king" trope.

My first thought would have been to Ludwig II of Bavaria, while a French
friend first thought of Charles VI of France.

For the English-speaking world, those with a solid education in
literature will probably point to King Lear, or some other Shakespearean
mad kings. There's apparently also a Mad King (Thorn) character in the
Guildwars2 video game franchise.

(And of course a Wikipedia page:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mentally_ill_monarchs )

Chris


On 10/15/17 11:11 AM, Barretts Mail wrote:
> In reference to Donald Trump, Charlie Sykes today said on ABC News’s “The Powerhouse Roundtable,” “Look, Republicans have the problem is [sic] they’ve allied themselves with a mad king….”
>
> http://abcnews.go.com/ThisWeek/video/sykes-republicans-allied-mad-king-50494531 <http://abcnews.go.com/ThisWeek/video/sykes-republicans-allied-mad-king-50494531>
> (11:30)
>
> Although I haven’t seen it, "The Madness of King George” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Madness_of_King_George <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Madness_of_King_George>) is a well-known movie and King George III's mental illness is well known.
>
> As an aside, according to Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_III_of_the_United_Kingdom#William_Pitt <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_III_of_the_United_Kingdom#William_Pitt>), King George III’s mental illness did not strike until 1788 (although there may have been an earlier minor episode), years after the American Revolutionary War ended. A 1966 article by I. Macalpine and R. Hunter discussing King George’s illness as porphyria can be downloaded at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1843211/ <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1843211/>. 
>
> When I Googled for “mad king” (not in Wiktionary or the Oxford Living Dictionaries), however, the top hit was from “Game of Thrones.” 
>
> According to a GoT wiki (http://gameofthrones.wikia.com/wiki/Aerys_II_Targaryen <http://gameofthrones.wikia.com/wiki/Aerys_II_Targaryen>), King Aerys II Targaryen is “popularly” called “the Mad King.”
>
> I assume that Sykes was referring to King George III, but Game of Throners may very well have assumed Skyes’s reference was GoT.
>
> Benjamin Barrett
> Formerly of Seattle, WA
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


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