Sanity In Hamlet

Good Essays
One of the most popular characters in Shakespearean literature, Hamlet endures difficult situations within the castle he lives in. The fatal death of his father, and urge for revenge leads Hamlet into making unreasonable decisions. In William Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, Hamlet’s sanity diminishes as the story progresses, impacting the people around him as well as the timing and outcome of his revenge against Claudius.
There are many occurrences that have caused Hamlet to fully lose his sanity. Hamlet acts very melancholic from both his father’s death and his mother’s hurried marriage to Claudius. Hamlet becomes very upset by all the tragedies that occurred within his family. Hamlet says he wants to “resolve itself into a dew,/ Or that
…show more content…
During a confrontation between Hamlet and Ophelia, Hamlet denounces her by saying he never loved her and she should enter a nunnery isolated from society. Afterwards, Ophelia says, “That unmatched form and feature of blown youth/ Blasted with ecstasy, O, woe is me/ T’ have seen what I have seen, see what I see!” (Shakespeare 3.1 162-164). Ophelia is shocked how Hamlet could suddenly changes his personality. Before, Hamlet was joyful, noble, and full of youth. She believes he has now been ruined by madness, and she feels heartbroken seeing both sides of Hamlet, especially because they were supposed to be in love with each other. According to Mack, “He now sees everywhere, but especially in his own nature, the general taint, taking from life its meaning, from woman her integrity, from the will its strength, turning reason into madness” (Mack 11). Hamlet has been raging at Ophelia, damaging her integrity, and isn’t being rational, specifically because of his increasing instability and madness. In another scene, Hamlet stabs Polonius through a curtain. After murdering Polonius, Hamlet refuses to give away his location. Hamlet says, “Not where he eats, but where ‘a is eaten. A/ certain convocation of politic worms are e’en at/ him. Your worm is your only emperor for diet” (Shakespeare 4.3 19-21). Hamlet says that Polonius is beating eaten by worms, and they are getting fatter by eating at his…show more content…
The situations where Hamlet unexpectedly acts were not relevant to his task, such as the murder of Polonius. During the play rehearsal, Hamlet is shocked by the emotion poured out by the actor over Hecuba, whom doesn’t even exist. Hamlet, whose father was murdered, does not have as near the passion that actor had. Hamlet criticizes himself, saying, “A dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak/ Like John-a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause,/ And can say nothing” (Shakespeare 2.2 578-580). Hamlet calls himself a coward for not doing anything to avenge his father, but rather just staying depressed and weep all day. According to Bradley, “Hamlet was restrained by conscience or a mural scruple; he could not satisfy himself that it was right to avenge his father” (Bradley 4). Hamlet is aware of his constant delays, but still cannot ready himself to kill Claudius because of the excuses he continuously makes up. After criticizing himself, Hamlet sets up a plan that only prolongs his chance of killing Claudius. Hamlet says, “The play’s the thing/ Wherin I’ll catch the conscience of the King” (Shakespeare 2.2 616-617). Hamlet creates a play that reenacts a specific scene, which resembles Claudius murdering his father. Hamlet wants to see Claudius’s reaction to the scene, and confirm his guilty reaction. According to Eliot, “The delay in revenge is unexplained on grounds of necessity or expediency;
Get Access