In the “Introductory Discourse” to her “Plays on the Passions” (1798), Joanna Baillie described her intention to reveal how a character succumbs to a compulsive emotion, which then wreaks its dramatic consequences. She also emphasized the “sympathetic propensities” which prompt a “strong curiosity” to observe the changing moods of others. In her plays, dramatic action involves not just the audience but the characters themselves in watching those changes unfold. She chose to represent dramatic character not in terms of traditional literary models, but rather in relation to the accounts of mental pathology in contemporary medical science. 1 Although she was by no means limited to the works on pathology by her brother, Matthew Baillie, she shared in her early endeavors the typology of mania that her brother had forwarded in his lectures on the “Anatomy and Physiology of the Nervous System” (1794).