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hamlet

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Was Hamlet truly mad..... or was it all a big act to keep his vengeful motives confidential. Hamlet is seen to be a tradegy in many eyes. Hamlet is on a quest to avenge his father’s death. Most would say that the fact that he saw the ghost of his dead father would be enough to warrant that he is insane. The only fact that hinders this observation is the fact that others saw the ghost as well and were even the ones who told Hamlet of his appearance. Hamlet is upset that his mother has remarried so quickly, especially to his Uncle Claudius. Hamlet is confronted by the ghost of his father to reveal who the killer of his father was. After the news, Hamlet then seems to be looked at 'differently' in others eyes. His avowed intention to act "strange or odd" is not the only indication. When Guildenstern refers to Hamlet as "a crafty madness." (III. I. 8.) after Hamlet had said all of these comments about him and his family. Was Hamlet truly sane through his revenge period, when there are many things that make us see otherwise.

In some cases Hamlet’s madness can be seen for real. For example,'Oh, that this too, too sullied flesh would melt, thaw, and resolve itself into a dew, Or that the everlasting had not fixed his canon 'gainst self-slaughter!”(I, II, 129-132). This line is clear and shows what Hamlet is thinking about, he is considering suicide. His father has died, his mother has remarried to his uncle, everything is going downhill for Hamlet. Hamlet tells his mother that he is essentially not mad, but ‘mad in craft.' (III.IIII.188-189). Hamlet believes in his sanity at all times, he never doubts his control over his sanity. He realizes his flaw as a man of thoughts and not actions. His cold act of Polonius' murder is out of rage...

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...putting on a act of madness. Hamlet's choice to put on an ‘antic disposition' leads to his downfall. It is a tragic error in judgement which destroys his relationship with Ophelia and Gertrude. Another result from Hamlet's peculiar actions, is that in his own mind he begins to believe that he is mad. It is unfortunate that Hamlet's plan did not succeed, not only did it lead to his own downfall but he had to witness the downfall of all of the people he loved. Hamlet’s madness is questioned through his real madness and feigned actions. We will never know if Hamlet was made out to be a mad man or not, Shakespeare really leaves the audience to make that decision on their own. To fully understand the character we would have to understand renaissance thinking, or ask Shakespeare ourselves.... since that isn't possible Hamlet is only understood through self interpretation.
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