The Madman by Kahlil Gibran

Thematic Analysis of The Madman by Kahlil Gibran

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The Madman is a poem by the Lebanese-American poet and artist, Kahlil Gibran. It was published in 1923 in the book, The Forerunner. The poem was written before Gibran turned 20 years old, which is why it has an immature tone. Nonetheless, it has become popular with many readers who believe that this poem do not provide any hidden messages or themes other than what is on the surface.

In the first section of “The Madman,” Gibran speaks directly to the reader, telling them that he has been watching people for a long time and has seen many sad things. The speaker’s tone becomes more understandable as he tells the readers that he has also seen much happiness. In this essay, I will take a closer look at how Gibran addresses the reader and what implications that has on our understanding of his message.

Tone of the Madman

The tone is that of a person who is wise and learned and speaks with authority. The author balances both argument and poetics, never abandoning either for the other. The tone of the madman is that of a person who finds joy in nature and finds peace through solitude. Kahlil Gibran’s voice speaks to the reader so eloquently and with such conviction, ushering them gently but purposefully towards a new way of thinking.

Analysis of the themes in The Madman

Gibran uses a madman as a warning against the dangers of conformity and materialism in society. The madness of the madman is not the lunacy of medicine, but rather, his refusal to conform to society’s standards and follow its rules. He has been confined and has seen the outside world only in brief flashes when he is allowed out into life; this confinement has caused him to form an obsessive desire to escape that he cannot quench.

Madman is a short story which explores the themes of freedom, love, and madness. The story is told from two perspectives: as a narrator and as an observer. It is as if the narrator were describing the world to someone who wasn’t there. Let’s dive into some of the important themes in Madman.

Theme of Self

Gibran’s “The Madman” is a short story that discusses the theme of self and self-realization. The narrator starts out by talking about how the world is trapped in a cycle of unending selfishness, and no one there was ever happy. The madman, however, sees the present world as an “eternal round of sorrows.” He believes that he can change this situation by showing people their true selves and making them feel ashamed.

The theme of self can be found in many different aspects of the madman. The madman is pessimistic and believes that people’s selfishness causes them to hurt one another and themselves. He believes if we cease to help one another, we will only cause more destruction. This theme is abundant and evident in the madman’s thoughts and actions.

Theme of Spirituality

The theme of the madman is spirituality. Gibran states that he will “make it a deep draught, intoxicating and heady”. The madman’s goal in life is to find God’s love by finding himself. He believes this path will help others avoid the pitfalls of society. The theme of spirituality is prevalent in The Madman. It can be seen through the discussion of religion, philosophy, the individual’s relationship with the divine, and the importance of honoring one’s self.

Read About: Interpreting Kahlil Gibran’s “The Madman”

Theme of Humanity

The main theme in the Madman is humanity. From the first word to the last, Gibran attempts to demonstrate that we are all fundamentally connected and that we should treat each other with respect and kindness. Humanity is the most important theme in this book, as it is often mentioned. Gibran uses humans as an example to give advice on life and love. He says that people should be kind with one another, no matter their race or religion.

Theme of Dreams

The theme of dreams is the most important aspect of this poem. The dreamer spends his days dreaming, but can’t seem to find his way out. When he first meets the madman, he doesn’t know whether or not he should trust him. He has all these doubts until the madman finishes his story about how everyone on earth has an equal right to share in sorrow and joy.

Theme of Memory

Memory is a great theme in the Madman. Memory is what binds the Madman to the world around him. Even though he can feel his life slipping away, he still remembers all of his past memories. Memories are what bring joy to the Madman’s life because they are what keep him connected to his family and friends. The theme of memory in the madman is about how our memories define who we are.

The madman begins with his desire to forget everything that he has forgotten because if he remembers everything then he will be back to the man he was before. He pretends that he remembers but discovers that it’s not enough and eventually comes to the realization that forgetting is not the answer, “for I am what I remember, and I would not be what I have forgotten.”

Theme of Artistic Beauty

The artistic beauty of the madman is an example of the beauty that can be found in everything. The madman, with his craziness and his indifference, can also be seen as a “king” because he is able to see the world in such a different light. Gibran is pointing out that there is beauty in everything and everyone if we only choose to see it.

Theme of Freedom

Freedom is a driving theme in the madman. The madman insists that he is free because he can do anything he wants and he has no one to answer to. He also says, “I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” This idea is repeated multiple times in the poem and is often thought to be a representation of Gibran’s own frustrations with not being able to return home.


The madman in the poem has a vision of what might be, and the vision is founded in what is. The poet tells him to listen to his inner voice. The madman is able to see the power in himself; he sees that the only thing stopping him from becoming who he can be is fear. He does not let fear get in the way like it had before, and when he finally does break through, there are no obstacles left for him to face.

The poem ends with hope; it concludes by telling us that what seems impossible right now will very soon become possible. It reminds us that it will only take one person—just one person—to make change happen.

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