Did you know that Charles VI was the French king who thought he was made of glass? No big problem with that now is there? I mean, it offers a level of transparency that few autocrats would ever allow. But glass has one significant weakness, and that is it’s fragility. As you know, glass breaks easily, and if you think that you are made out of glass, that’s a huge problem to deal with.
There’s nothing better than a little madness to brighten a dark day. While most people who are a few sandwiches short of a picnic are just your average insane Joe’s, history is full of characters who were raving lunatics. It just gets all that more interesting when they are the ultimate supreme leader of their country. This was the frightful situation faced by France when Charles VI thought that he was made of glass.
Let’s just make this clear. Charles VI was about as crazy as they come. But he wasn’t always that way. Early on in his reign he was often refereed to as Charles the Beloved. But by the time his mid twenties had come around his personality had transformed so dramatically that he became known as Charles the Mad. So what was the extent of his insanity of the French who thought he was made of glass?
We know that Charles VI believed he was made of glass, but that was just the tip of his madness. He would suffer episodes where he would often forget his name and that he was king, forget who his family were, and would wildly run through the corridors of his palace which would require the doors to be boarded up to prevent him from running outside. He went for months without bathing, but that wasn’t too uncommon in that period of time. However, he wouldn’t even change his filthy clothes either. Without a doubt though, the glass delusion was the most interesting, and potentially the most fun.
Have you ever been t a hypnotist who has a subject thinking that they are made out of glass? I have, and it is an hilariously funny situation. The fear at shattering into a thousand pieces results in some humorous, but unnecessary attempts at self preservation. They will try to protect themselves from contacting hard objects, and will cover up for protection. A cruel person would have fun and test how prone to shattering they actually are. While no one would have risked their head to prank Charles VI, the situation would have been a fun and interesting one to watch.
According to reports from the time, he would cover himself up to prevent accidental breakage. He would also take excessive precautions with anything that could cause him to shatter. He even went as far to insist that his clothes be inserted with iron rods to protect his fragile body. This guy was nuts.
Charles VI suffered from a condition recognised today as glass delusion. It makes people think that they are made of glass, and could break and shatter at a moments notice. It was most prominent during the late Middle Ages throughout Europe. But this was only one of his many problems. Had be been born centuries later he would have probably been institutionalized for his and the public’s safety.