The play Hamlet by William Shakespeare depicts the story of young Hamlet trying to avenge his deceased father who was killed by his uncle Claudius, who went on to claim the throne as his own and marry Hamlet’s mother, Gertrude. This situation supposedly causes young Hamlet to succumb to madness and insanity. With this insanity, Hamlet and the rest of the royal family goes through a journey that causes Denmark to go into chaos. The play ends with the death of all the royal family and the prince of Norway, Fortinbras, taking over the throne and ruling Denmark. Madness is one of the central theme in the play and appears in many of the characters throughout the play: Ophelia mad with love, Laertes mad with revenge etc. But one character’s madness
The idea of madness is common among many literary pieces, including 1 Samuel, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Odyssey and Hamlet in which feigning madness portrays the sanity of the characters. The play, “Hamlet,” by playwright William Shakespeare, demonstrates the tragic story of the Prince of Denmark, Hamlet, who may or may not be insane. His overall change in behaviour was caused due to the murder of his late father, King Hamlet, by his uncle who is the current king and his mother’s second husband, King Claudius. Ophelia’s lack of affection and attention also affected his sanity. Throughout the play, Hamlet puts on an act to be mad around certain people to show that he is not a threat and to demonstrate his capability to elaborate and execute
“How strange or odd soe 'er I bear myself, As I perchance hereafter shall think meet To put an antic disposition on.” (Shakespeare Act I Scene 169-172). Here, Hamlet is telling Horatio and Marcellus that he is going to put on this mad behavior and that they are to swear not to tell anyone. Also, his insanity is only exhibited around certain characters. When Prince Hamlet is around King Claudius, Gertrude, Ophelia, Laertes, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and Polonius, he physically and mentally feigns madness, while he is his original self around those like Horatio, Marcellus, Francisco, or the Players. “They are coming to the play: I must be idle:” (Shakespeare Act III Scene II 79). The facts that he confessed his plan and that he can turn his act on or off are ample evidence that Hamlet is not really insane, but merely pretending. While his madness is an act, one must remember that his mental illnesses are
Within Shakespeare's play Hamlet, there is a large question of the main character's sanity. Some claim that he was truly insane, perhaps a schizophrenic. Others believe that Hamlet was merely an extraordinary actor, attempting to fool his foes into believing he was mad in order to carry out his plans. I believe the former, Hamlet truly was insane and was not feigning his craziness.
Throughout the development of the play Hamlet, it is questioned if Hamlet was pretending to be out of his mind or if it had actually struck him. Many scholars and Shakespeare fans have disputed the true mental state of the character. Although it will never be really known what Shakespeare had hoped the audience would think about his famed character, we can all assume that he may have possibly meant it to be for the viewer to decide. Hamlet is such a complex character that one answer may not be enough.
While Hamlet was being in his "antic disposition" stage it allowed him to do several things that he otherwise would not be able to do if everyone thought he was in a normal state. The purpose of Hamlet feigning madness is in order to be undercover and see for certain if what has been told to him by the ghost is true. By not revealing the fact that he is not insane, he is able to get more information about the death of his father. Did his uncle kill his father and how can he get his mother away from his uncle are what Hamlet is set out to find.
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.
Should insanity be considered a curse or a blessing in disguise? In the play, Hamlet, by Shakespeare, there are many characters whose intentions were all masked by lies and deception. The character, King Claudius, often comes to mind since he was the one to spark the future sequence of events filled with violence and death that would occur in the play by killing King Hamlet; however, Prince Hamlet’s questionable character and sanity are often over-looked. Hamlet portrays his mental stability as rapidly faltering in order to seek the revenge of his father’s death. The need for revenge led to Hamlet’s idea to deceive those around him by seeming insane. His success in deceiving those around him helps to support the idea that lies and deceit will
In one of William Shakespeare's tragedy plays, Hamlet, the main character Hamlet, the prince of Denmark, was seen and described as both as a sane prince and an insane madman. For example, one of Hamlet’s soliloquy that he recites to himself, “To be or not to be, that is the question:” (3.1.57). This is an example, where Hamlet takes a moment and thinks aloud and questions if he is noble kind or has he gone mad and lost touch in reality. This then creates the question, is Hamlet just going through an emotional state which causes him to pretend to be mad, or is he, in fact mad? To exemplify, according to Merriam- Webster, the definition of madness is being in, “a state of severe mental illness,” and “behaving or thinking that is very foolish or dangerous.” Therefore by definition Hamlet cannot be considered mad or insane.
In the reading the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare we are to assume that the main character, Hamlet, has gone crazy. After the loss of King Hamlet, young Hamlet begins to pretend to be insane. Although he is putting on a good act he really is sane. Hamlet uses the death of his father to give him a reasoning to make people believe he has fallen mentally ill, in which he is far from that. He puts on a show to those closest to him to help plot his revenge on King Claudius, before even knowing Claudius is the one who killed his father.