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Shakespeare's Hamlet and His Hallucinations

Powerful Essays
Hamlet is arguably the most famous play written by the highly renowned English playwright, William Shakespeare--a man known in much of the western world as the father of english literature. Part of the reason for this title is for Shakespeare’s ability to take a character, and through a basic plot, transform said character into becoming something that many scholars have debated over for years. Hamlet in this play is this character; a character whose mental instability or sheer lack of perception has lead to countless debate and argument over the actual explanation for the characters behavior. Schizophrenia can be defined as a lasting mental disorder that forms a fundamental impediment in thought and emotion (as well as behaviour). This disorder can then lead to a lack of judgment in perception, and unusual actions and feelings, all in addition to an overall withdrawal from reality and a devolution of personal relationships to delusional perceptions of oneself and his surroundings--in all, schizophrenia is a mental disorder involving the breaking down of the mind and one’s grip on reality (National Library of Medicine). With the above definition, it may at first seem rash to criticize Hamlet and declare that he has Schizophrenia; however, once it is considered the varying degrees in which Schizophrenia can manifest itself, it no longer becomes such a farfetched thought. It must be contended then, that Hamlet is neither insane nor lazy, but merely a man who suffers from Schizophrenic-hallucinations; hallucinations that spiral up the plot into one focused primarily on Hamlet’s search for truth.

Seventeenth century Denmark was largely Protestant, and is home to the University of Wittenberg, the school where Hamlet matriculated. In...

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...reader to gain inside thought into how bad the mental condition is affecting him as his behavior allows for further indication of craziness as a result from the schizophrenia. The evidence presented in this play for the scientific explanation of this literary classic is quite prominent as it gives an insight into what a schizophrenic acts, thinks, and behaves like.

Works Cited

Adams, Gordon. “To thine own self be true”. American University, 2012. Web. 19 May 2014.

Maki, Shawna. Ophelia’s Realization, Madness, and Tragedy. McKendree University, 2012. Web. 19 May 2014.

Mancewicz, Aneta. MIT Global Shakespeares. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2011. Web. 15 May 2014.

National Library of Medicine, National Institute of Health. Schizophrenia. 31 Jan 2013. Web. 15 May 2014

Shakespeare, William, and Harold Jenkins. Hamlet. London: Methuen, 1982. Print.
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