Shakespeare's Hamlet Was Certainly Sane

analytical Essay
2213 words
2213 words

In Shakespeare's tragedy, Hamlet, the character of Hamlet feigns insanity. For a person in his situation, having one's peers think of one as crazy can be quite beneficial. His father, the king, had just died, and he is visited by a ghost who appears to be his father's spirit. The ghost tells Hamlet that he was murdered by his brother Claudius, who is now the current king and who recently married the former king's wife. Hamlet vows revenge and, as a tool to aid him in that plan, convinces people that he is crazy. The fact that he is acting, as opposed to actually being insane, can be seen in Hamlet's conversations with a watchman, two childhood friends, and his mother. Also, there are many actions in the play that he would not have been able to carry out had he not had the veil of insanity, adding motive for Hamlet to feign insanity. More important than the clues that one may find proving Hamlet's sanity is the motive behind Hamlet's simulated madness. The first reason Hamlet would have to make people think that he is crazy is the freedom it grants him. As in any society, the world in which Hamlet lives has social norms and taboos. However, if one is insane, then one is not expected or required to abide by those standards. Therefore, if the people in Hamlet's life are convinced that he is insane, then he is no longer bound by the social restraints of society. The best example of Hamlet using his "madness" to do things otherwise inaccessible to him can be found right before Hamlet's players put on "The Murder of Gonzago." The scene involves Hamlet speaking to Ophelia in the theater, saying, among other things, "that's a fair thought to lie between a maid's legs." 1 If the scene is played so that Hamlet's lines to O... ... middle of paper ... ...on Hamlet. Ed. Don Nardo. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1999. Excerpted from Stories from Shakespeare. N. p.: E. P. Dutton, 1956. Danson, Lawrence. "Tragic Alphabet." Modern Critical Interpretations: Hamlet. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House, 1986. Rpt. from Tragic Alphabet: Shakespeare's Drama of Language. N. p.: Yale University Press, 1974. Felperin, Howard. "O'erdoing Termagant." Modern Critical Interpretations: Hamlet. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House, 1986. Rpt. of "O'erdoing Termagant: An Approach to Shakespearean Mimesis." The Yale Review 63, no.3 (Spring 1974). Hart, Bernard. The Psychology of Insanity. London: Cambridge, 1914. Landis, Carney, and James D. Page. Modern Soceity and Mental Disease. New York: Farrar and Rinehart, 1938. Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Norton Critical ed. Ed. Cyrus Hoy. New York: Norton, 1992.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how hamlet feigns insanity in shakespeare's tragedy. he vows revenge and convinces people that he is crazy.
  • Explains that hamlet's simulated madness is more important than the clues that one may find proving his sanity.
  • Analyzes how hamlet uses his "madness" to do things otherwise inaccessible to him in "the murder of gonzago." if the scene is played so that his lines to ophelia can be heard by all in the room, it would be rude and unacceptable.
  • Analyzes how hamlet concludes that the insane are not treated as full human beings due to their mental state. claudius might let his guard down in front of him, thereby avenging his father.
  • Analyzes how the scene in which ophelia recants to her father, polonius, is one of many examples of hamlet acting strangely, something he does throughout the play.
  • Analyzes how hamlet acts "insanely" during ophelia's funeral, which can be interpreted as either trying to maintain his veil or speaking from his heart.
  • Analyzes how hamlet's hyperbole can be understood in the face of the death of a lover, and is not evidence of insanity.
  • Analyzes hamlet's sanity in the scene directly after he speaks with the ghost.
  • Analyzes how hamlet reveals to his childhood friends that his strange behavior is actually a charade in this exchange.
  • Analyzes how hamlet is trying to fool the people around him into thinking he is crazy. claudius flees the theater, and gertrude, his wife, calls her for son.
  • Analyzes how hamlet puts aside the benefits of insanity in return for having his mother listen to him as a person.
  • Analyzes how shakespeare illustrates the advantages and disadvantages of having one's peers think of one as insane. hamlet, prince of denmark, is compelled to feign madness for two reasons.
  • Analyzes how hamlet appears to lack control of his mental capacities during the scene in which he comes to ophelia after seeing the ghost and the burial scene. however, his actions can be understood not as madness but as reactions of an unexceptional man put under exceptional circumstances.
  • Analyzes how hamlet confesses that he's sane in three actions of the play. these scenes prove that the man isn't insane and paint a picture of an intelligent man who uses seeming
  • Analyzes hamlet's lines 125-126, act 3, scene 22. ophelia, 78-80 and 166-167, acts 2, scene 13.
  • Cites marchette chute's "the story told in hamlet." readings on shakespeare. don nardo. san diego: greenhaven press, 1999. danson, lawrence.
  • Explains felperin's "o'erdoing termagant." modern critical interpretations: hamlet. ed. harold bloom.
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