The act of insanity he plays not only convinces others of his madness, but almost manages to lead himself to believe it to be true. The front Hamlet exhibits manifests itself when he is engaged with certain characters. Particularly, when Hamlet is around Horatio, Francisco, Bernardo, the Gravedigger, and the Players, he acts rationally. On the other hand, Hamlet’s behavior becomes irrational when with Polonius, Gertrude, Ophelia, Claudius, or Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. For example, when having a conversation with Polonius, Hamlet says: HAMLET.
The spirit that I have seen May be the devil, and the devil hath power To assume a pleasing shape; yea, and perhaps Out of my weakness and my melancholy, As he is very potent with such spirits, Abuses me to damn me. I'll have grounds More relative than this: the play's the thing Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king.” (2.2.530-341) In saying this, Hamlet is admitting to realizing that the ghost may have not been real; therefore, he chooses to use the play as a form of seeing whether Claudius was guilty or not, and if he was, then he’d plan out his revenge. This in turn shows the way in which Hamlet is thinking about the situation and that he chooses to use proper judgement. In conclusion, reading the play Hamlet by Shakespeare does make everyone wonder whether Hamlet is crazy or not. At first glance, I did start believing that Hamlet wasn’t pretending due to his irrational actions, but after taking a closer look and analyzing the play, I realized that Hamlet does indeed prove that he is just putting on an act of insanity as a way of being able to plan out his revenge against Claudius to the full extent.
HAMLET Shakespeare’s tragedy Hamlet, is one of the most analyzed plays in existence due to its vivid dramatization of melancholy and insanity. There is sufficient evidence displayed in the play that Hamlet deliberately feigns his fits of madness. He puts on this act to deceive people such as the King and his following attendants into thinking he was no threat. Hamlet needed to distract attention from the investigation concerning his father’s death so he could baffle those who intend on preventing him in his quest for revenge. In light of the fact that Hamlet had claimed to “put an antic disposition on” (1.5.180) his choice to do so actually lead to his downfall.
Hamlet’s first soliloquy begins with, “O that this too sullied flesh would melt,” (1.2.133). This reveals that he is depressed and appalled, but does not provide any evidence of insanity. In the same act Hamlet also directly tells Horatio that he is going to “feign madness” and that if Horatio notices any strange behaviors, it is because he is putting on an act (1.5.166). In the second act of the play, Shakespeare continues to drop hints that Hamlet’s madness is deliberately feigned in order to confuse and disconcert the king and his attendants. In one instance when Hamlet speaks to Polonius, Hamlet states, “Slanders, sir; for the satirical rogue says here that old men have gray beards; that their faces wrinkled; their eyes purging thick amber and plum-tree gum” (2.2.197).
Jerome Mazzaro says that "Madness becomes, consequently, a closing off of one's self from others and from one's past..." (101). Whether or not Hamlet and Ophelia fit this definition exactly is unclear; however, this definition does describe each of them somewhat. The degree of their madness differs, but both Hamlet and Ophelia are indeed mad. A constant argument that arises when talking about Hamlet is that of is his madness real or is it simply an act. The answer to this question can be gathered by looking at his actions and his words.
Similarly, in another scene, he is able to tell Polonius his true feelings through his guise. Upon Polonius deciding to ?take leave? of Hamlet, Hamlet replies, ?You cannot, take from me anything that I will more willingly part withal (2.2.233).? Furthermore, Hamlet uses his madness as almost an excuse, and definitely part of his apology, towards Laertes for his murdering of Polonious. Would a madman be able realize he was mad and call his actions uncontrollable?
The writer of this tragic play; William Shakespeare leaves the audience to conclude whether Hamlet is just putting on an act of antic disposition or not just truly mad. Throughout the play Hamlet’s madness is question and explored through his actions of real madness, feigned madness and the reactions and opinions others have towards his madness. For instance, Hamlet’s madness can be viewed as acts of feigned antic disposition. For examples in the exchange of words that Hamlet had with Polonius he is extremely sarcastic. In one in particular Hamlet goes on to ridicule Polonius while taking advantage of his antic disposition.
Aware of what has been going on with Hamlet, the Queen questions Polonius. In his response, Polonius continues to proclaim "That he's mad, 'tis true. 'Tis true, 'tis pity, / And pity 'tis 'tis true - a foolish figure" (105). Although not believing it in her heart, the Queen later admits that Hamlet may be mad. After their conversation, Hamlet enters and has his own conversation with Polonius.
This comes up in the situation after Hamlet has seen his father's ghost and is with Horatio and Marcellus. He, on this occasion warns them that he does "think meet to put an antic d... ... middle of paper ... ... and off at his will, being it a means for an end. This again, shows that the madness is feigned because true madness lacks method. Finally, the cleverness of his madness shows it to be feigned because he expresses his true opinions through the madness, being able to even mock others willingly, a characteristic that clearly renders his madness fake. Shakespeare lets us know that his main character is mad through all these proofs he leaves behind.
Hamlet, a well-known play written by Shakespeare is a story where a good amount of ink has been spilled. Hamlet outwardly acts mad to disguise a violent plan to avenge his murdered father. However, many wonder if Hamlet’s madness was real. Based off The article Hamlet’s Grief by Arthur Kirsh, I believe that Hamlet truly did only fake madness; any further instability in came from mourning and not a true mental illness. This Article discusses more than just Hamlet’s story and character but it does tell the reader about Hamlet’s madness.