Much Madness is divinest Sense —
To a discerning Eye —
Much Sense — the starkest Madness —
‘Tis the Majority
In this, as All, prevail —
Assent — and you are sane —
Demur — you’re straightway dangerous —
And handled with a Chain —

Analysis, meaning and summary of Emily Dickinson's poem Much Madness is divinest Sense

31 Comments

  1. alexis says:

    I was trying to understand what ths poem meant for my english 2 class but all I can understand is that its about being different and if your different then your “insane”, is this right? Email me if you can help 🙂
    Thanks

  2. megan says:

    Dickinson is telling us that it is better to be masters of our own decisions than to worry about what society accepts. “Madness” is the demurring from society, rejecting their views and becoming “dangerous”. To “Assent” is to remain a quiet shadow, not to be bothered with.

  3. daphnee paul says:

    this poem is basically saying that to be crazy is to be sane and to be sane is to be crazy. to people with deceptive eyes the sanest ones are actually the crazy ones. the majority who thinks of themselves as being sane are really the crazyones.

  4. daphnee paul says:

    this poem is basically saying that to be crazy is to be sane and to be sane is to be crazy. to people with deceptive eyes the sanest ones are actually the crazy ones. the majority who thinks of themselves as being sane are really the crazyones.

  5. daphnee paul says:

    this poem is basically saying that to be crazy is to be sane and to be sane is to be crazy. to people with deceptive eyes the sanest ones are actually the crazy ones. the majority who thinks of themselves as being sane are really the crazyones.

  6. daphnee paul says:

    this poem is basically saying that to be crazy is to be sane and to be sane is to be crazy. to people with deceptive eyes the sanest ones are actually the crazy ones. the majority who thinks of themselves as being sane are really the crazyones.

  7. daphnee paul says:

    this poem is basically saying that to be crazy is to be sane and to be sane is to be crazy. to people with deceptive eyes the sanest ones are actually the crazy ones. the majority who thinks of themselves as being sane are really the crazyones.

  8. daphnee paul says:

    this poem is basically saying that to be crazy is to be sane and to be sane is to be crazy. to people with deceptive eyes the sanest ones are actually the crazy ones. the majority who thinks of themselves as being sane are really the crazyones.

  9. lo pi says:

    to be great is to be misunderstood

  10. sahel says:

    hi i think that all of mad man are divinest signs. and thank you for this poem my friend emily i love this poem because its reality and true.

  11. titima says:

    Much Madness = Truth with a capital “T”.
    Divinest Sense = The ability to see Truth amidst distracting voices, sights, and sound.
    Much Sense = Whatever society deems of worth (good, bad, and ugly).
    The Starkest Maddness = Accolades for that which socially “makes sense” is madness (Emperor’s New Clothes? 7 immediate golden globe nominations for a movie about gay cowboys with explicit scenes?)
    The rest of the poem follows reason: Assent and you are part of the group. Demur and one finds oneself ostracized or marked as dangerous (Read 1984 or Brave New World for more on this).

    Emerson said: It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion, it is easy in solitude to live after one’s own. But great is the man who in midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.

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