Hamlet Act Of Insanity In Hamlet

Powerful Essays
One of the most famous play by Shakespeare, Hamlet, is about the revenge the protagonist must take in order to avenge the murder of his father. One of the biggest questions that arises when reading the play is whether or not Hamlet is pretending to be mad. After analyzing the evidence, it is shown that it’s Hamlet’s choice to put up an act of insanity as part of his plan to murder the one who murdered his father, King Claudius. Due to his impulsive and irrational actions, Hamlet’s act of insanity becomes so believable that even his mother, Gertrude, starts to think he is actually crazy. However, it is portrayed through his thoughts and actions that he is in fact putting up an act. He shows his understanding and conscious awareness of what is…show more content…
Furthermore, Hamlet uses his form of speech to toy with people to make them confused and allow him to continue with his divisive planning. When Hamlet tells his friends, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern he is not crazy, they report to the king that they believe he truly is. Hamlet does this in order to give them what they want to hear and in doing so, Hamlet frees himself from any questioning or suspicions about any plans he has. Another example of Hamlet’s clever speech is when Hamlet calls Rosencrantz and Guildenstern sponges and describes it as sponges that “soaks up the king’s countenance, his rewards, his authorities… When he needs what you have glean’d, it is but squeezing you, and, spunge, you shall be dry again” (4.2.14-19). This shows how Hamlet is conscious of their deception and how they are being used by Claudius, although it just confuses them when they hear the words that come out of Hamlet. In addition, Hamlet uses his actions as a way to show that he is sane by leaving the people around him looking like fools. This is first seen when the first explanation for his “madness” is his love for Ophelia. As Ophelia tells Polonius, her father, the way Hamlet acts towards her, Polonius starts wondering if he’s mad in love. He makes a plan, along with Claudius, that consists of putting Ophelia in…show more content…
The spirit that I have seen
May be the devil, and the devil hath power
To assume a pleasing shape; yea, and perhaps
Out of my weakness and my melancholy,
As he is very potent with such spirits,
Abuses me to damn me. I'll have grounds
More relative than this: the play's the thing
Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king.” (2.2.530-341)

In saying this, Hamlet is admitting to realizing that the ghost may have not been real; therefore, he chooses to use the play as a form of seeing whether Claudius was guilty or not, and if he was, then he’d plan out his revenge. This in turn shows the way in which Hamlet is thinking about the situation and that he chooses to use proper judgement. In conclusion, reading the play Hamlet by Shakespeare does make everyone wonder whether Hamlet is crazy or not. At first glance, I did start believing that Hamlet wasn’t pretending due to his irrational actions, but after taking a closer look and analyzing the play, I realized that Hamlet does indeed prove that he is just putting on an act of insanity as a way of being able to plan out his revenge against Claudius to the full extent. This is shown through Hamlet’s conscious awareness of his surroundings, thoughts, actions, and