Hamlet Was Not Mad

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To Be Sane or Not to Be in Hamlet

‘ “To be or not to be” -- “that is the...” soliloquy. “Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to...” agree, the question that no one knows. To think, to know, to know perchance to understand, the truth behind it all... ’ Was it, or was it not true that Hamlet was faking his insanity, really suffering, or perhaps even both. First, this is what insanity is; insanity is acting peculiar, but not knowing that they are. Also, it is going through a lot of stresses at the same time causing you to not think straight. Hamlet was not completely suffering from insanity. It wouldn’t make sense.

First of all, I’m not saying that Hamlet was faking the whole thing. I mean obviously, having your father die is bad enough, but to have your mother within a month, marry your uncle. What’s more is to see the ghost of your dead father! Obviously, that will make you a little crazy, but not to the extent that everyone thought Hamlet was experiencing.

If it weren’t for Hamlet’s insanity, the King (Claudius), would have obviously known that something was up with his nephew, and surely have him killed. If Hamlet didn’t act so he made his uncle believe that he was insane, then the King would have seen it in Hamlet’s eyes that he knew the truth. Think about it... in today's society, if someone thinks you’re crazy, you can say anything and get away with it. For example, someone can notion the slightest bit of sexual harassment, and get in a lot of trouble. Whereas someone who seems obviously insane, can say a hundred things that suggest sexual harassment and get away with it. Look at all the trials today! Murderers are constantly pleading in court to experiencing temporary insanity, and getting away with it! If you are believed to be insane, you can get away with anything. That is what was on Hamlet’s mind. It was truly an ingenious plan.

“...[I am only] mad north-by-northwest.” Anyone that would hear that, what instantly say, he’s a nut. However, there is logic to this quote. North being straight ahead, or up, meaning normal. Saying that it is “north-by-northwest,” means that he is only insane slightly off to the side. Hamlet seemed to be somewhere along the line of southwest, meaning really crazy, (south being the opposite direction of north, hence the opposite direction of normal).

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