Examples Of Insanity In Prince Hamlet

analytical Essay
997 words
997 words

One of the most complex characters in literature is Prince Hamlet from William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet. Hamlet was one of the first characters that appeared to be three-dimensional. There always seemed to be more than what was being said. The most intriguing aspect about Hamlet is the state of his sanity. Hamlet’s state of sanity may be questioned, however Shakespeare brilliantly uses dialogue and speech pattern to imply that Hamlet is in fact sane. Although the murder of Polonius and his encounter with the ghost in his mothers’ chamber are two prime examples of his madness, there are also moments in which Hamlet seemed completely in his senses. His ability to devise a plan in he will act insane in order discover the truth and execute a brilliant …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how shakespeare uses dialogue and speech pattern to imply that hamlet is in fact sane. the murder of polonius and his encounter with the ghost in his mothers’ chamber are prime examples of his madness.
  • Analyzes how hamlet's madness comes to light when he kills polonius who is hiding behind the arras, believing it to be claudius.
  • Analyzes how hamlet's sanity is evident when he makes horatio and marcellus swear to keep his acting a secret and to never speak of the ghost.
  • Analyzes how hamlet's insanity is nothing more than an act. he speaks in poetry and pros, and behaves strangely when in the company of horatio and marcellus. the play he devised imitates his fathers' death.

The first example is in Act I scene v when the ghost reveals that Claudius murdered the king to Hamlet. Upon learning this information Hamlet created a brilliant plan in which he acts insane in order to discover the truth. This exemplifies Hamlet inhibits the ability to make elaborate plans that will be advantageous to him. It is evident that Hamlet is in fact in control of his thoughts and actions. Another example of where Hamlet’s sanity is apparent is when he makes Horatio and Marcellus swear to keep his acting a secret and to never speak of the ghost. “How strange or odd soe’er I bear myself…That you at such times seeing me, never shall… such ambiguous giving out-to note that you know aught of me…”(I, v, 171-181) The fact that Hamlet questions the ghost’s motives and refuses to take any rash actions before finding evidence proves that he is sane. Another example is when Polonius and Claudius discuss Hamlet’s behavior “And I do doubt the hatch and the disclose/Will be some danger”(III, I, 165-166). Claudius admits that Hamlet’s behavior is strange but it doesn’t seem like it’s due to madness. In act III scene iv Hamlet reveals to his mother that he only pretending to be mad. Instead he says that he is “mad in craft”(III, iv, 188-189) showing once again that he is completely aware of what he is doing. The final example is that Hamlet devises a plan to recreate his fathers’ death in a play in order to “catch the conscience of the king (II, ii, 581-582). Hamlet refuses to kill Claudius until he finds out if he truly is guilty for the murder of his father. This plan can only stem from a man who is clever, intelligent and calculative. This play serves two purposes for Hamlet. The first was to test Claudius and to see if he reacts. The second was to learn the intentions of the ghost. Hamlet was never certain if the ghost had good or bad intentions. It was only after

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