[Ads-l] mad king

Dave Wilton dave at WILTON.NET
Sun Oct 15 20:09:23 UTC 2017

I would assume that Game of Thrones would be the most topical and intended reference, especially as the context of the discussion was Trump invoking the possibility of using nuclear weapons. In GoT, the mad king was assassinated by his palace guard when he attempted to burn the capital city.

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Chris Waigl
Sent: Sunday, October 15, 2017 2:23 PM
Subject: Re: [ADS-L] mad king

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 )


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-kin
> g-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

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

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

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