Hamlet and Insanity William Shakespeare’s creation of the character of Hamlet within the tragedy of that name left open the question of whether the madness of the protagonist is entirely feigned or not. This essay will treat this aspect of the drama. George Lyman Kittredge in the Introduction to The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, explains the lack of success with Hamlet’s pretended insanity, and in so doing he implies that the madness is entirely feigned and not real: The necessity for some device like the play within the play is due to the failure of Hamlet’s assumed madness to achieve its purpose. [. . .]
In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the theme of guilt and conscience is one of many explored throughout the play. Macbeth, is a well respected Scottish noble who in the beginning of the play is a man everyone looks up to; however as the play progresses he makes a number of bad decisions. Eventually, as a result of his actions he suffers guilt and this plays heavily upon his character until his personality is completely destroyed. Shakespeare uses a range of techniques in order to develop this theme such as, characters, imagery.
The author of Macbeth is William Shakespeare, and he is well known for his plays and language. The play starts off with our main character Macbeth who is told of his prophecy by the three witches of him being the king of Scotland. Knowing this Macbeth is then persuaded by his wife to take the life of his king and take the throne. Macbeth is now paranoid about what he has and had done now to become king and securing it. William Shakespeare uses the literary elements; imagery, alliteration, and symbolism to illustrate the theme guilt.
Hamlet is still a young man of great intellectual abilities, but whose mind and heart are both clouded by anger and sorrow, resulting in actions that might be viewed as madness. Hamlet’s affliction began even before the contact with his father’s ghost, and was worsened when the truth about Claudius was revealed to him by the apparition of his late father. Hamlet’s actions are not results of insanity but outcomes of the pain he suffers because of the loss and betrayal of loved ones.
... as it unfolds. It is saddening to see these characters fail again and again to understand each other, and themselves. Within our own lives however, we are not so different from the characters of the play. Many things are beyond our comprehension, and it is easy for suffering to arise when people are without understanding. Alas, Shakespeare has given us fair warning of the tragedy that could spring from incomprehension. It would be unwise to take this warning for granted; perhaps a pursuit of greater understanding will correlate with less tragedy among our lives.
Shakespeare is perhaps most noted for his many tragic plays. One of his most acclaimed works Macbeth, is a great example of this. In Macbeth by William Shakespeare there are many incidents within the play that agree with the fact that Macbeth’s greatest tragedy is the deterioration of its main characters Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. The most prominent reason for the fact that Macbeth’s and Lady Macbeth’s character is decaying is noticed with the hallucinations that both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth experience as a result of guilt. The decline of their character is manifested into the inability to remain true to ones character, delusional behavior, and a conscience that only works once the harm is committed. Guilt should be held accountable for the degradation of what would have been one of the most courageous and honorable characters in all of Shakespeare’s plays.
Shakespeare’s a problem of “artistic 'inevitability' lies in this complete adequacy of the external to the emotion; and this is precisely what is deficient in Hamlet.”(Eliot) Hamlet continues as he wonders how so many soldiers, numbers of “twenty thousand men...[in his minds eye rush to their] immanent death… for a fantasy and trick of fame…[ and without question] Go to their graves like beds,[to] fight for a plot… [never knowing why they are fighting, and such a great number that there] is not tomb enough and continent to hide the slain?”(Shakespeare Act IV) Using this as an example he then tries to cajole himself and get rilled up to do the deed by saying "O, from this time forth, My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth!”(Shakespeare Act IV) This is an example of how an artist or poet tries to express what cannot be said and what cannot be shown— in a way it “is the buffoonery of an emotion which can find no outlet in action; in the dramatist it is the buffoonery of an emotion which he cannot express in art.”(Eliot) Anyone can say things because speaking words are usually easy, but making ideas into reality proves to be more challenging as we see in Hamlet that he makes endless "resolutions which he so often embraces and always leaves unexecuted."(Schlegel) He wants to be brave but his self doubt "implies that there is no greater dissimilarity than between himself and Hercules."(Schlegel) Thus we see Hamlet is “both a hero and a dreamer, hard and soft, cruel and gentle, brutal and angelic, like a lion and like a dove…" because he truly wants to be better and "[individually] these judgments are all wrong [but when stated altogether] they are .... right”(Goddard)
Shakespeare, William. "Hamlet." The Norton Introduction to Literature. Eds. Alison Booth, and Kelly J. Mays. Tenth. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, 2011. 1024-1129. Print.
Everyone deals with guilt at least one time throughout their life, and several authors use guilt to help build up suspense in their story. Guilt in Macbeth not only affects his mental state of mind, but it also destroys him physically, along with a few other characters such as Lady Macbeth. The characters are affected by guilt so much, that it actually leads to their death essentially, just because they were not able to handle the consequences for the events that occurred. Despite being destroyed by guilt, they were still forced to carry on with their lives and they did have to try to hide it, even though Macbeth was not doing so well with that. His hallucinations were giving him up and eventually everyone knew the he had murdered Duncan so he could become the next king.
Hamlet, a young prince preparing to become King of Denmark, cannot understand or cope with the catastrophes in his life. After his father dies, Hamlet is filled with confusion. However, when his father's ghost appears, the ghost explains that his brother, Hamlet's Uncle Claudius, murdered him. In awe of the supposed truth, Hamlet decides he must seek revenge and kill his uncle. This becomes his goal and sole purpose in life. However, it is more awkward for Hamlet because his uncle has now become his stepfather. He is in shock by his mother's hurried remarriage and is very confused and hurt by these circumstances. Along with these familial dysfunctions, Hamlet's love life is diminishing. It is an "emotional overload" for Hamlet (Fallon 40). The encounter with the ghost also understandably causes Hamlet great distress. From then on, his behavior is extremely out of context (Fallon 39). In Hamlet's first scene of the play, he does not like his mother's remarriage and even mentions his loss of interest in l...