method to madness


method to madness
also method in madness


  • a purpose in doing something that is seemingly crazy
  • there’s a reason for someone’s strange behavior
  • there’s a plan behind the odd behavior of a person

Example Sentences

  1. You may be thinking that I have gone crazy, but there’s a method to my madness.
  2. When she’s working on her painting, it would seem that she’s out of her mind, but when she finishes, you’ll see that there’s a method in her madness.
  3. The way the houses were built seemed strange, but when we heard of the natural calamities affecting the region, we realized there was a method to the madness.
  4. They have a crazy schedule but taking all things into account, there’s a method to their madness.
  5. These are turbulent times, but it must come to an end sometime. There must be some method to this madness.
  6. They are selling it at a throwaway price, but they have a plan to recover their money. There’s a method to their madness.
  7. He used to live a chaotic life, but later we realized that there was a method in his madness.
  8. He keeps talking to himself loudly, but he insists there is a method in his madness.


The idiomatic expression comes from a line in the play Hamlet, written by the English dramatist William Shakespeare in the year 1602. It reads:

Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t.

In this play, the main character, Hamlet, is the prince of Denmark. His father died, and his father’s soul visited Hamlet to tell him that he had been assassinated.

Hamlet chooses to pretend that he has gone crazy, in order to spy on those at the castle and find who killed his father. So, even if he seems insane, he has a plan.

The phrase may exist before Shakespeare, but he coined it in its present form.

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