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Madness “Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest of intelligence – whether much is glorious – whether all that is profound – does not spring from the disease of thought – from moods of mind exalted at the expense of the general intellect.” – Edgar Allan Poe (Goodreads 2010). According to the American Heritage College Dictionary (vol. 4), madness is defined as the quality or condition of being insane (Houghton Mifflin, Co. 2002). Insane is defined as mentally ill; deranged; disturbed (Houghton Mifflin, 2002). However, madness should not be strictly viewed as such. The quote goes on to reflect upon a couple of different aspects of the term. Is true madness actually the equivalent of insanity, or does it run quite a bit deeper? Could it, simply, mean that this “madness” is actually a higher form of intelligence? Might it be that most human minds are too simple to actually fathom and fully comprehend its power? Madness can be both good and bad. It can also be closely correlated to determination. To those who do not understand the drive that someone has to succeed at everything he does, this term can easily be associated with, and linked to, that person’s actions and mentality which push him to dwell on these circumstances. Others will not understand, but only because they are not on the same mentally structured level. Some will derive that the person is crazy, or maybe even insane. However, the individual may simply be so wrapped in his self-realization and strive to, certainly, accomplish everything that is set before him. His mentality embraces the “never give up” philosophy. To him, failure is abnormal. Perfection is his motto, mentality, and his lifestyle. I am that man, and I refuse to give up! Yes, men have called me mad; they have called me crazy, as well. These are meaningless words of jealousy, in my opinion. Simple-minded people are unable to understand what their eyes cannot see. Comprehension is seemingly profound and much too complex, because their minds are remarkably simple and under-developed. I believe that this madness is, by far, the loftiest of intelligence – exalted by the knowledge one must possess. Perhaps, some are far too ignorant to understand what it is like to be truly mad.

Goodreads. (2010). Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe quotes by Edgar Allan Poe. Retrieved July 19, 2010, from:

Houghton Mifflin Company. (2002). The American Heritage College Dictionary (4th ed.). Boston, New York


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