The Scream

What does this picture mean to you?

Is it a person screaming?
Is it someone hearing a scream and covering his ears in shock?

I always imagined the person screaming.

I always thought it was someone hollering.

I say the guy is screaming, but at what, I don’t know.

He’s probably saying, HELP ME I’M ON FIRE!

Aren’t there a number of different versions of this painting?

My impression is that the person is screaming.

I think he’s both screaming and feeling the world scream. I’ve read Munch’s words to that effect.

Guy is screaming in fear and horror, somehow I think it was a scream about modern life.

I think about how Munch was really, really messed up.

Munch wrote, about the picture:

“I was walking along a path with two friends – the sun was setting – suddenly the sky turned blood red – I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the fence – there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city – my friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with anxiety – and I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature.”

Nope, that’s definitely not it. I think he got it wrong.

Yeah, what did he know?

I worked The Scream into one of my Star Trek fanfics, along with two other munch paintings. It was fun.

I never thought the figure was screaming, at least not physically. He is reacting to something horrific in front of him, and that something is the thing that is screaming (why his ears are covered). However, the something in front of the figure is not real (hallucination? maybe), since the two figures in back of the central figure are not reacting to it (which is also why I don’t believe the figure is screaming, the walking couple would be reacting to the sound too).

Either that, or the figure is a ghost or a specter or something else not real, and he is screaming, but since he is not real to the other people in the picture they don’t notice him, the scream is only “audible” to you, a person who exists outside of the world of the painting. And that’s the real theme of the picture, IMO, the question of what is real, you (since you are, possibly, what the figure is looking at that’s making him so upset) or the figure.

This is one of my favorite paintings/carvings, BTW.

He wants someone to change the Glade plug-in. :cool:


He is screaming “Help, I’m being stolen.”

In that case, he’s screaming, “Ahhh! The acid is too strong man!”

I’ve always thought that this was a perfect representation of horrific psychological suffering of one kind or another. He’s thinking, “Stop the world! I want out!” Then at university we had to study Dr. Faustus. Now I’m reminded of this:


Yeah, the fact that he seems to be covering his ears as he screams makes me think that, too.

A bit creepy perhaps, but ever since high school when I saw this picture and a photo of the Hiroshima aftermath (the one with the person’s “shadow” burned onto the ground) within a couple weeks of each other, I’ve associated the two in my mind. So to me he is screaming at the horror of the bombing.

I never thought he was a person, but rather, a *psyche * screaming internally and trying to shut out the world’s noises.

shrug Guess I’m weird.