“Hamlet is of the faction that is wronged;/ His madness is poor Hamlet’s enemy.” In the William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, Hamlet struggles internally throughout. After his father, Hamlet, is killed by his uncle, Claudius, Hamlet looks to seek revenge. Claudius is now king, and married to young Hamlet’s mother, Queen Gertrude and now holds power over the kingdom. In his plot to kill Claudius to avenge his father, Hamlet takes on insanity as part of the act. While pretending his insanity, he mistakenly kills Polonius, councillor to the king, and also drives his lover, Ophelia, to suicide. In addition, Hamlet abandons all those he once called friends except for his one confidant, Horatio. Eventually, the insanity, once feigned by Hamlet, morphed into reality and became his enemy.
The insanity Hamlet adopted led to ruthlessness and errors of judgement as Hamlet was blinded by the revenge of his father. As Christina Autiero asserts in a paper given at a conference held in Westchester - Putnam School, “Blinded by [his] passions,...Hamlet indirectly causes the death of Ophelia and his mother...revenge and Hamlet’s method of madness primarily cause his death and actions. Unfortunately, the only approach [he] felt would vindicate [his] honorable name essentially destroyed [him]” (Autiero 53). Young Hamlet believed that the only choice to redeem his father was to murdering the murderer. In doing so, however, Hamlet became mad, and struck out at any and all who crossed his path. At one point in the play, Hamlet stabs Polonius, believing him to be King Claudius. And yet, no remorse is felt. In addition, Hamlet drives Ophelia, his lover, over the edge and leads her to suicide. Throughout the play, young Hamlet toys with her emotions, trying t...
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...w this, though, his insanity tricks everyone, including himself. The consequences due to this are great, including the death of Hamlet, himself.
As the play progressed, young Hamlet became victim to the insanity he first feigned. Not only did it bring the death of others, but it eventually killed Hamlet, too. Often, what people set out feigning at first, will, in the end, become them. In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, this could never be more true.
Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Evanston, IL: McDougal Littell, 1997. Print.
Thiher, Allen. "The Modernity of Madness." Revels in Madness: Insanity in Medicine and Literature.
Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 1999. 162. Print.
Autiero, Christina. "Shakespeare's Paradox of Honor: Prince Hamlet and Othello the Moor." A
Conference for Student Scholars at Two-year Colleges Funded by a Coalition of