Hamlet

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THESIS STATEMENT In Hamlet by William Shakespeare, Hamlet’s madness was not feigned; it was real and controlled his actions. PURPOSE STATEMENT The purpose of this paper is to explain the different events in Hamlet that show evidence of Hamlet being truly mad and how it led to his death. INTRODUCTION The play provides evidence that Hamlet showed signs of insanity. His original intention was to feign his madness to give him reason to meddle in Claudius’ affairs. Hamlet was given multiple opportunities to complete his goal of revenge and kill the illegitimate King of Denmark. But when the time came, he couldn’t do it. The reason why is because Hamlet truly became mad, and this madness influenced Hamlet’s decisions. There’s evidence in the play that supports Hamlet is actually mad. Hamlet’s father died and he seems to be the only one concerned. Not too long after, the love of his life, Ophelia, leaves him. He has nobody to turn to. He is on his own. He’s a lone wolf that only seeks revenge. He used his feigned madness to investigate Claudius, but there are instances where he seems to be truly insane. “Shakespeare is ambiguous about the reality of Hamlet's insanity and depicts him as on the border, fluctuating between sanity and madness”(Lidz). As the play progresses, Hamlet strays closer and closer to insanity. His madness will influence his decisions and ultimately decide his fate. PURPOSE OF MADNESS Hamlet, by William Shakespeare tells the story of a man who had recently lost his father and his uncle, Claudius, takes his place on the Danish throne. Hamlet had suspected foul play by Claudius but he had no proof to back up his assumptions. A ghost then begins to appear outside the castle, Hamlet chases the ghost an... ... middle of paper ... ... linked with culture”(Showalter). Hamlets madness is linked with the events going on around him. He may have feigned it at the start, but the weight of his burdens begins to break him down. This is evident in his “To be or not to be” soliloquy. Thoughts of suicide are on his mind. Coping with these burdens took it’s toll and drove Hamlet to insanity. Hamlet’s troubles began to cloud his judgment. He never thought through his plan too kill Claudius. He constantly waited and let each opportunity slip out of his grasp. This clouded judgment was evident in the confession scene where Claudius admits to the murder of Old Hamlet. Hamlet was waiting for Claudius to repent his sins, but once he gets what he wanted, he decides that Claudius doesn’t deserve to go to heaven. Hamlet’s madness caused his hesitation, and the constant delay cost Hamlet his own life.

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