Mind control in days of yore

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at indigo.ie
Fri May 16 16:04:49 EDT 2003


>A bit of an OT request this, but maybe the collective wisdom of the group
>can save me from a shocking error? I'm currently writing an essay about
>enchantment and hypnotism in children's books, and I'm awfully tempted to
>makes a categoric statement to the effect that complete mind control of the
>'Yes master I will obey' variety didn't make an appearance in literature
>until well after
>Mesmer - that basically it's a 19th century-till-now thing.
>Of course, enchantment existed, and in many forms. It involved physical
>effects (Circe) or physical abilities (as when Prospero uses the power of
>suggestion to make Ferdinand go all weak and wobbly) or physical perceptions
>(e.g. fairy glamour) or the affections (love potions, etc) or memory, or
>sleep - but I
>can't think of a single example that involves the absolute dominion of one
>will over another. Can you?

Taming of the Shrew? :-)  Seriously, are you looking for examples in 
children's books pre-Mesmer, or any literature?  I'm having a hard 
time thinking of too many examples of the former, and not sure I'd 
manage anything useful anyway, but might as well be clear what you're 
asking regardless.


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