->''"Our play's chief aim has been to take to bits''\\
''[[ValuesDissonance Great propositions and their opposites,]]''\\
''See how they work, and [[BattleInTheCenterOfTheMind let them fight it out,]]''\\
''To point some light on our eternal doubt.''\\
''Marat and I both advocated force''\\
''But in debate each took a different course.''\\
''Both wanted changes, but his views and mine''\\
''On using power never could combine.''\\
''On the one side, he who thinks our lives''\\
''Can be improved by axes and knives,''\\
''Or he who, submerged in the imagination,''\\
''Seeking a personal annihilation."''
-->--'''Creator/MarquisDeSade''', [[WordOfGod explaining the play.]] [[MindScrew Maybe.]]

''The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade'' (often shortened to ''Marat/Sade'', for simplicity's sake) is a 1963 play by Peter Weiss which tells the story of, well...[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin the title sort of covers that.]]

A brilliant play-within-a-play, the principal characters of the Tragedy are played by inmates with various wacky little quirks, ranging from narcolepsy to paranoid schizophrenia. HilarityEnsues.

Oh, did we mention that this is also [[TheMusical a musical?]]

The film-version, which was made by the Royal Shakespeare Company, is excellent. It can be watched (for the moment) [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aur-t-RtOJM on YouTube]].

There is also the 1967 film adaptation, directed by Adrian Mitchell.

!!! "The tropes of the asylum at Charenton":
* ActingForTwo: [[invoked]] Sort of. In the prologue, the Herald introduces both the characters and the patients playing them, but blurs the line somewhat--for example, introducing Jacques Roux but not the actor playing him. And throughout the play, the actors slip in and out of 'character' (between the person they're playing, and the person that person is playing).
* AsideGlance
* AsideComment: Lots of this is done, mostly by the Herald, de Sade, and Marat.
* AxCrazy: A few of these.
* BedlamHouse: Charenton.
* BreakingTheFourthWall: In ways you can't even imagine. Marat indirectly ends up mentioning to Atom Bomb.
* [[BreakThemByTalking Breaking Speech]]: de Sade has a few of these. Especially [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=hxux2UGItas his discussion with Marat on the nature of Life and Death, and the nature of Nature.]]
* ChewingTheScenery: The main cast are all inmates in an asylum. It goes with the job description.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Again. House full of crazy people.
* CoolPeopleRebelAgainstAuthority: The film is about UsefulNotes/TheFrenchRevolution. Come on.
* CrapsackWorld: Oh, so ''very'' much.
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: The title.
* ExecutiveMeddling: [[invoked]] One of the few times that this occurs ''during'' the actual play.
* FanDisservice: Marat's skin-lesions, depending on how graphic the production makes these.
* FourthWallPsych: Plenty of it.
* FreeLoveFuture:
--> ''What's the point of a re-vo-lution...''
--> ''without general...''
--> ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=jTNx_5jwp-I&NR=1 general copulation, copulation, copulation, COPULATION!!]]''
* UsefulNotes/TheFrenchRevolution: The play-within-the-play deals with the aftermath of this.
* GoAmongMadPeople: It says something about the background-level of Crazy, when the Marquis de Sade is doing this.
* HeroicBSOD: Charlotte has one of these. Well, if you see her as the hero. (Also, she's mentally deranged to begin with, so it's not a big jump.)
* HistoricalDomainCharacter: All the named characters. Bonus for the fact that de Sade himself is doing this, within the play.
* InAndOutOfCharacter: Most of the inmates.
* InteractiveNarrator: Both the Herald (in the more usual sense) and de Sade.
* LargeHam: A few, but the Herald gets to really play it up.
* LawfulStupid: Coulmier. de Sade is clearly playing with him--as are most of the other inmates. They may be crazy, but they're not stupid.
* LongTitle: The longest.
* LyricalDissonance: There are some very catchy songs with scary lyrics.
* MadnessMantra: "Freedom!", quite literally.
* MadOracle: Jacques Roux.
* {{Minimalism}}: The play contains elements of this.
* MonsterClown: The Chorus, in the film at least, are four of these.
* MoodWhiplash: The film has some really shocking moments of these, especially with Charlotte.
* TheMusical: Some of the songs were so popular that they were recorded by artists in the 60s.
** And at least one of these has regained popularity today, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOZXFNI0Q1M as part of the Occupy movement.]]
* UsefulNotes/{{Network Executive|s}}: Coulmier.
* ObstructiveBureaucrat: Coulmier.
* OnlySaneMan: Marat. Maybe.
--> ''Woe to the man who is different, who tries to break down all the barriers. Woe to [[BornInTheWrongCentury the man who tries to stretch the imagination of Man]]. He shall be mocked. He shall be scourged by the blinkered guardians of morality. You wanted enlightenment and warmth and so you studied light and heat. You wondered how forces can be controlled so you studied electricity. You wanted to know what man is for so you asked yourself, "What is this soul this dump for hollow ideals and mangled morals?" You decided that the soul is in the brain, and that it can learn to think--For to you the soul is a practical thing a tool for ruling and mastering life. And you came one day to [[UsefulNotes/TheFrenchRevolution the Revolution]] because you saw the most important vision: That our circumstances must be changed fundamentally, and without these changes everything we try to do must fail.''
---> [[MadOracle Jacques Roux]], speaking about Marat
* OutOfCharacterMoment: Several.
** One of the most shocking is during the "Homage to Marat", when they are talking about the French peasants wanting their freedom, and one of the inmates starts weeping and saying "Let us out! We want our freedom!", prompting the rest of them to join in an ''actual'' cry for freedom. It's heartrending, because it's so unexpected and so earnest.
* ThePenIsMightier: Marat wants to prove this. [[spoiler:He doesn't.]]
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Marat and de Sade trade these.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Both Averted and played straight. Coulmier obviously is acting as the censor for the play, and in addition to being a Napoleonic lanky. Generally however, he is too dim to notice the amount of subversive messages both Marat and Sade can slip into their speeches. Throughout the course of the play the Herald must add various speeches praising how the masses must listen to the wise leader's advice so they won't become a mob. However, the end of the play shows that for all of his faults, he does have a somewhat legitimate point.
* RefugeInAudacity: de Sade does this a few times, but only to shut Coulmier up.
* TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilized: The whole play, but [[spoiler:especially the end.]]
* RoomFullOfCrazy: In the most literal sense.
* RousingSpeech: Marat makes [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qafHaPZLErI&feature=endscreen&NR=1 a few of these]]
* RuleOfThree: Charlotte comes to Marat's door three times. Lampshaded ''several'' times.
* SanitySlippage: Imagine that Sanity is wearing just his socks, and he's stuck out in the middle of a frozen lake which is covered with a layer of oil. ''That'' kind of slippage.
* ScrewedByTheNetwork: Invoked by the Herald, who mentions that [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure Coulmier]] has edited certain 'objectionable' parts of the play. And he continues to protest throughout the play.
* ShowWithinAShow
* SympathyForTheDevil: Whatever you might think of de Sade's writings, Weiss paints a ''very'' sympathetic (or at least more philosophical) picture of the man.
** "If I am extreme I am not extreme in the way you are. Against Nature's silence I use action--in the vast indifference, I invent a meaning. I don't watch unmoved; I intervene."
* TooKinkyToTorture: He is literally the {{Trope Namer|s}} for this. Of course.
* VillainousBreakdown: Averted. There are ''lots'' of breakdowns, but there aren't any clear heroes or villains.
* WordOfGod: [[invoked]] Played with, seeing as [[Creator/MarquisDeSade the author]] [[WriterOnBoard is literally on board.]]
* WorldOfCardboardSpeech: de Sade makes a few of the bleakest of these ever written.
* WriterOnBoard: de Sade is one, literally.
* YourTerroristsAreOurFreedomFighters: This is discussed in depth, in regards to UsefulNotes/TheFrenchRevolution.