Satisfactory Essays
Hamlet Paper Assignment

In the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare, the main character, Hamlet, is often perceived by the other characters in the play as being mentally unbalanced because he acts in ways that drive them to think he is mad. Hamlet may very well be psychotic; however, there are times when he “feigns insanity” in order to unearth the truth surrounding his father's death. This plan seems to be going well until Hamlet's mental state slowly begins to deteriorate. What began as an act of insanity or antic disposition transitions from an act to a tragic reality. After studying Hamlet's actions, one will notice that as the play progresses, his feigned insanity becomes less and less intentional and devolves into true mental illness.
Major life changes bring about the rise of Hamlet's insanity. The play begins with Hamlet returning home to Denmark to discover that his father had died. Aside from his father's death, Hamlet also had to accept that his mother was now married to his father's brother, Claudius. In Hamlet's first soliloquy preceding his father's death, he tells the audience “O that this too, too solid flesh would melt. Or that the Everlasting had not fixed, His canon 'gainst self-slaughter!”(Act 1. Scene 2. lines 130-133) This gives us a brief preview of Hamlet's mental state in the beginning of the play. Hamlet is extremely depressed and admits that but says it would be a sin to kill himself. Hamlet goes on to describe the world as "weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable" and compares it to an "unweeded garden” (Act 1. Scene 2. lines 133-135). Hamlet shows red flags for depression; however, he seems to be reacting as a normal person would to the death of a loved one, losing a sense of understanding and love fo...

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...with Hamlet because instead of relying on people to help him, he disrespects them and pushes them away. Further research is needed to determine which condition(s) may be behind his increasingly impulsive and violent behavior,
Hamlet’s plan of faking insanity to avenge his father’s death eventually backfires and he winds up hurting those closest to him. What began as feigned madness slowly becomes reality. In the beginning of the play, Hamlet could be characterized as a respectful, well-mannered son who is mourning the death of his father and shows signs of depression. In the end of the play, Hamlet turns into an irrational, unforgiving maniac who is unaware of the complete and utter chaos that he inflicts on himself and everyone he loves. Instead of controlling his “antic disposition”, Hamlet's antic disposition controls him, resulting in tragedy and death.
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