Plate 8 of “A Rake’s Progress” by William Hogarth depicts the protagonist Tom Rakewell being admitted to the notorious Bedlam Hospital, suffering from insanity.
Bedlam was a popular attraction for the public during the 18th century, a place where individuals with mental illness were kept in inhumane conditions for entertainment. This painting shows the decline of Tom’s social and moral well-being, leading to his downfall and admission to Bedlam.
William Hogarth’s style focused on depicting scenes of everyday life and its follies, using satire as a means of social commentary. Through “A Rake’s Progress,” Hogarth illustrated how wealth and indulgence could lead to corruption and eventual ruin.
Overall, Plate 8 serves as an example of Hogarth’s critique on society during his time, emphasizing the value of morality over excessive material possessions.