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 …

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Sierz, Aleks, Julie Waddington. "4.48 Psychosis". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 June 2004
[, accessed 27 September 2016.]