Hamlet 's Mental State Of Mind Essay

Hamlet 's Mental State Of Mind Essay

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In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, he tells a story of Hamlet who has not only lost his father but has found that his uncle is the killer. To make matters worse, his uncle has married Hamlet’s mother making his father’s killer the new king. Throughout the play Hamlet appears to have gone insane. The characters in the play are left to wonder what has caused Hamlet’s sudden depart from reality. The main speculation is that his madness is due to the loss of his father and from a broken heart from the rejection of Ophelia, who is Hamlet’s love interest. The purpose of this paper is not to discuss why Hamlet was mad, but instead to argue that he was not mad at all. Since madness is one of the main themes of the play there have been many papers written on the Hamlet’s mental state of mind. Ernest Wolf wrote a paper where he classified theories of Hamlet’s mentality into groups. One of those groups in fact did classify Hamlet’s character as, “…representing a true feigned psychosis in a weak and indecisive soul” (Wolf, 1973). While there is clearly evidence to cause speculation that Hamlet was mad, there are plenty of people that believe that it was just another act in the play made to hide Hamlet’s grand plan to avenge the death of his father.
One of the first indicator’s that Hamlet was only acting insane is in the way Hamlet talks to the characters Polonius. There are several occasions when Hamlet speaks to Polonius where he seems to be speaking nonsense. However, in most of his dialogue Hamlet finds ways to cleverly insult both Polonius and Claudius. In the second act hamlet refers to Polonius as a fishmonger. This causes Polonius to think that Hamlet does not know who he is. Polonius tells Hamlet that he is not a fishmonger and Hamle...


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...While Hamlet may not have become insane he did become overcome with grief which caused him to fight with Laertes. Hamlet was so upset with the fact that Laertes jumped into Ophelia’s grave and was being so dramatic about his loss that Hamlet jumped in after him to show that no one loved her more than he did. One of the few scenes where Hamlet mentions his madness is during his duel with Laertes. Hamlet proclaims that killing Polonius was due to his madness, however, it can be argued that the madness Hamlet is referring to is actually the pain and anger that he has towards Claudius and Gertrude.
While Hamlet clearly appears to be mad throughout the play there is plenty of evidence to make a strong argument against it. Unlike Ophelia, who drowned in her own insanity, the character of Hamlet was as good an actor as the those that William Shakespeare hired to play him.

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