Hamlet's Wild Roller Coaster Ride Essay

Hamlet's Wild Roller Coaster Ride Essay

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Alternating between the darkest plunges of depression and highest peaks of mania, Hamlet was accused of being melancholic and even insane. But, in present times, it would have been recognized that Hamlet had bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder where the sufferer goes back and forth between episodes of mania and depression (Basile). So, in modern day, Hamlet would have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and it was one of his manic episodes that ultimately lead to his death.
Hamlet shows signs of depression starting after his father’s death. In the beginning of Hamlet, Hamlet is grieving over his father’s death and resents his new father, Claudius. Hamlet says, “She married. O, most wicked speed to post/ With such dexterity to incestusous sheets!/ It is not, not it cannot come to good./ But break, my heart, for I must hold my tongue” (I.ii.158-161.). Hamlet is unable to escape from his depressive state because of his continuing grudge towards Claudius. Hamlet now not only loathes his new father, but his mother as well for remarrying so quickly and to his father’s, her late husband’s, brother. Hamlet mourning is prolonged and extreme as he continues to wear a dark wardrobe long after his father’s death, unable to accept what has happened and move on with his life. Hamlet’s depressive mood swings are a symptom of his bipolar disorder. According to The Gale Encyclopedia of Genetic Disorders, the mood swings associated with bipolar disorder range from mania (elevated or irritable mood) to depression (a mood characterized by loss of interest and sadness). Symptoms of a depressive episode include, persistent sad, anxious, or empty mood and feelings of irritability, hopelessness, or negativity (Basile)....


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...cinations, and the manic episode that lead to his death. Bipolar disorder was like a roller coaster ride for Hamlet. He life was unpredictable, full of wild twists and turns, and dizzying heights and terrifying plunges; there were brief periods when the ride gentle and stable, but they didn’t last for long. He was just strapped in for the ride and couldn’t get off until it was over, and, for Hamlet, it wasn’t over until his death.







Works Cited

Basile, Maria. "Bipolar Disorder." The Gale Encyclopedia of Genetic Disorders. Ed.
Narins. 2nd ed. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale, 2005. 166-170. Gale Virtual Reference
Library. Web. 03 May 2014.
"Bipolar Disorder." NIMH RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 May 2014.
Caruso, Kevin. "Bipolar Disorder and Suicide." - Suicide.org! N.p., n.d. Web. 04 May
2014.
Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2009. Print.

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