Sarah Kane: 4.48 Psychosis

(1926 words)

Kane's most experimental play, and the one that represents the culmination of her quest to make form and content match, was her last – 4.48 Psychosis – completed shortly before her suicide in 1999 and produced posthumously. As with Crave, the playtext of 4.48 Psychosis presents a challenge to anyone wishing to stage it. On the page, there are no characters, nor is there any indication of how many actors are required. The text is laid out following the conventions of a modernist poem, rather than those of a playtext. This is a deliberate attempt to suggest the experience of psychological collapse, and in particular what happens to a person's mind when they suffer a psychotic breakdown, when the barriers which …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Sierz, Aleks, Julie Waddington. "4.48 Psychosis". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 June 2004
[, accessed 25 November 2015.]