Essay on Motif of Madness in Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Essay on Motif of Madness in Hamlet by William Shakespeare

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Motif of Madness in Hamlet by William Shakespeare


It is the driving force of mankind that has delivered man from the age of stone to that of industry. This force is also the essential ingredient that produces the inescapable prison of the mind, a frightful disease that may be viewed as the greatest irony of life. Pain is a dreadful disease in which every individual has felt the everlasting effects. The grief of pain can become a crashing wave that leaves behind only a semblance of sanity in its wake. For in thinking there is both life and death. Trapped inside the prison of his mind, chained by a grief consciousness served only to torture him, Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark, reveals to the world his methods of dealing with pain. Hamlet was a well-developed character in which his rapid and unorthodox decision making lead others to believe his was insane. In Shakespeare's, The Tragedy of Hamlet, the playwright utilizes the motif of madness to help depict that appearances are deceptive.
Hamlet, the young prince of Denmark loses his father at an early age. Ever since this tragic event occurred, Hamlet was perceived as a troubled individual in a state of madness, a type of madness that develops into insanity. Hamlet presents many clues that in fact he appears to be insane. William Shakespeare does an outstanding job in leading the reader to believe that in fact, Hamlet is insane. "Why, then, 'tis none to you: for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so: to me it is a prison. (Hamlet II. ii. 252-254).
Hamlet displays his indecisiveness while talking to Guildenstern and Rosencrantz. He tells them about the prison in which his mind battles. After the murder of his father, Hamlet begins to qu...


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...ve in the manner to further prove the theme of appearances is deceptive. Appearances may not always be what they seem. Hamlet learns this tragic lesson too late.
Shakespeare utilizes the motif of madness to help depict the theme of appearances are deceptive. He also uses the characters within the play all help to show the theme, that being appearance verses reality. As each character is presented in the play all appear to be good and honest making it a difficult task for Hamlet to uncover the hidden truth about the nature of each character. As Hamlet dies, he dies with his dignity and revenge. Appearances may have been deceptive, but Hamlet was not mad. He was a tragic hero, and accomplished his goal, one that derived much pain and anxiety.





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Work Cited

Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1991.

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