Narcissistic personality disorder  

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"Most of the Renaissance megalomania from Aretino to Tamburlaine is the immediate child of typography which provided the physical means of extending the dimensions of the private author in space and time. But to the student of manuscript culture, as Goldschmidt says (p. 88) : "One thing is immediately obvious: before 1500 or thereabouts people did not attach the same importance to ascertaining the precise identity of the author of a book they were reading or quoting as we do now. We very rarely find them discussing such points." --The Gutenberg Galaxy (1962) by Marshall McLuhan


"In Christopher Marlowe's Tamburlaine (c. 1587), the merciless, power-hungry tyrant of the play's title — who arrogates to himself the appellation "the Scourge of God" — demonstrates vicious, bloodthirsty traits that we would well identify with a psychopathic personality."--Sholem Stein

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Megalomania (from the Greek word μεγαλομανία) is a historical term for behavior characterized by delusional fantasies of wealth, power, genius, or omnipotence - often generally termed as delusions of grandeur. The word is a collaboration of the word "mania" meaning madness and the Greek "megalo" meaning "very large", "great", or "exaggerated", thus combining to denote an obsession with, either in the form of irrational perceived need for or preoccupation with in one's own estimation having and/or obtaining, grandiosity and extravagance (especially in the form of great fame and popularity, material wealth, social influence or political power, or more than one or even all of the aforesaid) and accompanying complete desirous and bombastic abandon; a common symptom if not the key diagnostic feature of megalomania.

It is often symptomatic of manic or paranoid disorders.

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Narcissistic personality disorder

Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the diagnostic classification system used in the United States, as "a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and a lack of empathy."

The narcissist is described as turning inward for gratification rather than depending on others and as being excessively preoccupied with issues of personal adequacy, power, and prestige. Narcissistic personality disorder is closely linked to self-centeredness. It is also colloquially referred to as "the God complex."

Cultural depictions

In the film To Die For, Nicole Kidman's character wants to appear on television at all costs, even if this involves murdering her husband. A psychiatric assessment of her character noted that she "was seen as a prototypical narcissistic person by the raters: on average, she satisfied 8 of 9 criteria for narcissistic personality disorder... had she been evaluated for personality disorders, she would receive a diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder."

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Narcissistic personality disorder" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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