By looking at the different events that Hamlet overcame, we can observe the passion for acting that many readers do not come across; knowing the importance of acting is imperative when questioning Hamlet’s sanity, since he is only acting insane, and is rational and in control of himself throughout the play. For those who do not recall the story of Hamlet, this play is one of revenge, scandal, and lies. Hamlet, the prince of Denmark, is living a life that one would not want to live. His father, the King, was murdered by his brother, who is now married to Hamlet’s mother. Hamlet beings his brilliant acting and conniving when he learns that he must avenge his father’s murder.
The writer of this tragic play; William Shakespeare leaves the audience to conclude whether Hamlet is just putting on an act of antic disposition or not just truly mad. Throughout the play Hamlet’s madness is question and explored through his actions of real madness, feigned madness and the reactions and opinions others have towards his madness. For instance, Hamlet’s madness can be viewed as acts of feigned antic disposition. For examples in the exchange of words that Hamlet had with Polonius he is extremely sarcastic. In one in particular Hamlet goes on to ridicule Polonius while taking advantage of his antic disposition.
Existentialist philosopher Friedrich Nietzche states, “There is always some madness in love. But there is also some reason in madness.” This statement can be proven by looking at the characters in the play Hamlet. Both Ophelia and Hamlet show madness over the love they have for each other, and Hamlet uses the appearance of madness to hide is plot for revenge. Hamlet’s sanity is also questioned by the audience to figure out if he is truly crazy. These examples from the play Hamlet help prove the concept of madness in Nietzche’s statement.
The character of Hamlet in William Shakespeare’s play of the same name is one of the more complex and interesting characters in the western canon – in attempting to take revenge on his uncle Claudius for his alleged murder of Hamlet’s father, the young prince feigns insanity in order to get the man’s guard down and keep him off balance until finding the right time to strike. However, the question remains – by the end of the play, just how much is Hamlet pretending to be insane? Is it really an act, or has Hamlet really taken on an “antic disposition” as Hamlet vows to put on (I.v.172)? While it can be confirmed that Hamlet’s insanity is more or less a ruse, his own dedication to his task, as well as the uncertainty he has about following through with it, lead to several moments of true insanity for the character of Hamlet. The character purports to put on a veneer of madness merely as a simulation, but his own grief and the weight of his intended plan leads him to go down a path that clouds his mind with sadness and into insanity at various points.
Hamlet uses his craziness as a tool, changing insanity into the form of being witty, with clever word choice and actions. Furthermore, Hamlet only acts insane towards his enemies or their allies. One example, Hamlet attacks Ophelia, who is with Claudius, with words: "are you honest" (III.i.104), "are you fair" (III.i.106). Hamlet "speaks daggers" (III.ii.387) to Gertrude, because she is the only thing that sep... ... middle of paper ... ... things he has earned from the deed, “My crown, mine own ambition and my queen” (III.iii. ) Hamlet then justifies not killing Claudius for he doesn’t want to kill him after repenting for he would go to heaven.
Hamlet's Sanity Throughout Shakespeare?s play, Hamlet, the main character, young Hamlet, is faced with the responsibility of attaining vengeance for his father?s murder. He decides to feign madness as part of his plan to gain the opportunity to kill Claudius. As the play progresses, his depiction of a madman becomes increasingly believable, and the characters around him react accordingly. However, through his inner thoughts and the apparent reasons for his actions, it is clear that he is not really mad and is simply an actor simulating insanity in order to fulfill his duty to his father. Hamlet only claims madness because it allows him to say and perform actions he otherwise would be prohibited from, while keeping people from taking his actions seriously.
One of the main arguments surrounding the famous play, Hamlet, written by Shakespeare, is focused on whether the main character Hamlet was actually insane, or just pretending to be. Shakespeare does not directly state Hamlet’s madness but rather he hints at it throughout the play and this lets the reader decide on their own interpretation. Hamlet’s insanity can be seen in his reckless decisions, extreme mood swings, and daring manner in which he speaks to the king. However it can be judged reasonable because being mad temporarily satisfies his conscience, gives him some protection from Claudius, and it buys some time for Hamlet to prove Claudius’s guilt. In the play as a whole, Hamlet’s choice to be mad characterizes him as intelligent and reveals the inner turmoil surrounding his mission to avenge his father’s death.
Hamlet’s first soliloquy begins with, “O that this too sullied flesh would melt,” (1.2.133). This reveals that he is depressed and appalled, but does not provide any evidence of insanity. In the same act Hamlet also directly tells Horatio that he is going to “feign madness” and that if Horatio notices any strange behaviors, it is because he is putting on an act (1.5.166). In the second act of the play, Shakespeare continues to drop hints that Hamlet’s madness is deliberately feigned in order to confuse and disconcert the king and his attendants. In one instance when Hamlet speaks to Polonius, Hamlet states, “Slanders, sir; for the satirical rogue says here that old men have gray beards; that their faces wrinkled; their eyes purging thick amber and plum-tree gum” (2.2.197).
There is much evidence in Shakespeare’s Hamlet that the titular character deliberately feigned fits of madness in an attempt to confuse and disorient Claudius and his cadre. His explicitly stated intention to act "strange or odd" and to "put an antic disposition on" (I. v. 170, 172) is not the only indication. The latter phrase should be taken in its context and in connection with Hamlet’s other remarks on the same topic. To his old friend, Guildenstern, he says that "his uncle-father and aunt-mother are deceived," and that he is only "mad north-north-west." (II.
Whenever he interacts with the characters he is wild, crazy, and plays a fool. At other times, he exemplifies intelligence and method in his madness. In instances when he is alone or with Horatio, he is civilized and sane. Hamlet goes through different stages of insanity throughout the story, but his neurotic and skeptical personality amplifies his persona of seeming insane to the other characters. Hamlet comes up with the idea to fake madness in the beginning of the play in order to confuse his enemies.