Hamlet Madness Essay

analytical Essay
659 words
659 words

Madness is a condition in which is difficult to identify whether it is true or not. William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” is a drama in which the main character (Hamlet) devotes himself to avenge his father’s death. However, Hamlet does not know how to avenge his father. Hamlet shows signs of hesitation, depression, and even madness. The first two qualities, are explicit from the text. Hamlet’s madness however is a topic of debate even to this date. So the question is, was Hamlet truly mad? Hamlet was a man who struggled to express himself, this was evident throughout the play. Some believe that the death of his father drove Hamlet to apparent insanity. The prince displays erratic behaviors throughout the play because he does not know who he can trust in his own small circle. Those that were supposed to stand beside him have forsaken him and have left Hamlet surrounded by empty promises and lies. Hamlet behaves in an irrational manner to expose the transgressions of others and restore justice and peace to a world of deceit and chaos.

Hamlet’s soliloquy “O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I!”, confirms that Hamlet is indeed not mad. The soliloquy not only reveals Hamlet’s in depth plans to catch Claudius’ guilt, but it also exposes Hamlet’s true conflict. For there is no doubt that Hamlet will eventually avenge his father’s death, Hamlet just needs to figure out when the time is right. A man that is insane, would not wait to strike, especially when given such a golden opportunity such as Hamlet was after “The Mouse Trap”. "Hamlet's sense of himself as a coward is derived from a crude, simplistic judgment turning on whether or not he has yet taken any action against the man who murdered his father. His self-condemnation takes several...

... middle of paper ... acts on impulse. There is no way Hamlet could be mad, going through all these precautions before restoring justice. In this scene he seems to prove that he is not insane after all, given the effortlessness with which he alternates between wild, erratic behavior and focused, sane behavior. He is excited but coherent during his conversation with Horatio before the play, but as soon as the king and queen enter, he begins to act insane, a sign that he is only pretending. Before the scene ends, Hamlet is seen acting mad in front of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. The two explain to Hamlet that Gertrude wishes to speak to him. Before they meet however, Rosencrantz questions Hamlet of his “distemper”, to which Hamlet angrily lashes out against him. Hamlet goes to speak to Gertrude alone, but before the encounter, he regains his wits, seeming to be perfectly sane again.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how shakespeare's "hamlet" shows signs of hesitation, depression, and madness. some believe that the death of his father drove hamlet to apparent insanity.
  • Analyzes how hamlet's soliloquy, "o, what a rogue and peasant slave am i!", confirms that he is indeed not mad.
  • Analyzes how hamlet's "mouse trap" proves that he is sane. he goes into great detail with the actors to know how claudius reacts with signs of guilt.
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