The play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, looks at the issue of madness and how it effects the characters of the play. Madness can be looked at from very different perspectives, such as strong and uncontrollable emotions, a person’s desires, and also a persons mental stability. Throughout the play, the audience is questioning the sanity of the main character, Hamlet, as he goes on his quest for revenge. The people around him also show signs of madness, such as Ophelia and Claudius, but in different forms. Existentialist philosopher Friedrich Nietzche says, “There is always some madness in love. But there is also some reason in madness.” What Nietzche is saying is that when you are in love with someone or something, there is always a little bit of madness or crazy to it, but there is also some reason, some explanation, to madness. This essay will prove Nietzche’s statement by looking at Ophelia and Hamlet’s relationship, Hamlet’s plot to fool everyone, and Hamlet’s true sanity.
The relationship between Ophelia and Hamlet in the play Hamlet is unknown and is views as constantly changing to the audience. It is known early in the play that there is some sort of relationship. At first it seems that Hamlet does not really care about Ophelia and is just using her for sexual pleasure. However, as the play goes on the views of the relationship changes, as Hamlet appears to have gone mad over his inability to be with Ophelia. The relationship is again put into question when Hamlet forcibly grabs onto Ophelia is a mad fit, showing anger. This raises the question again of if he truly cares for her The audience does not know if this madness is real or if its fake because of Hamlet’s planned madness to fool everyone. It is known to the audience...
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...is some reason behind madness. The Ghost may have appeared at this time to help fool Gertrude into thinking that Hamlet is mad, seeing that only Hamlet can see the Ghost. The audience continues to question Hamlet’s sanity as the play goes on.
Existentialist philosopher Friedrich Nietzche states, “There is always some madness in love. But there is also some reason in madness.” This statement can be proven by looking at the characters in the play Hamlet. Both Ophelia and Hamlet show madness over the love they have for each other, and Hamlet uses the appearance of madness to hide is plot for revenge. Hamlet’s sanity is also questioned by the audience to figure out if he is truly crazy. These examples from the play Hamlet help prove the concept of madness in Nietzche’s statement.
Shakespeare, William, and Roma Gill. Hamlet. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1992. Print.