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Manic: affected by violent madness . When one is affected by mania it becomes the dictator of his or her actions . This holds true in William Shakespeare's Hamlet . In the play, Hamlet is depressed to the point of mania. His entire existence is engulfed in his melancholia. Hamlet's words, thoughts, interactions and most tangibly his actions make his heavy-heartedness an undeniable reality. The degree of Hamlet 's depression is set by his ennui and his melancholy itself is revealed through his tenacity. Throughout the play Hamlet's actions are plagued by his overbearing depression. This depression in combination with Hamlet's mania is what makes his a bipolar disorder sufferer.
Psychologically, mania is described as a mood disorder characterized by euphoric states ,extreme physical activity ,excessive talkativeness, distractedness, and sometimes grandiosity. During manic periods a person becomes "high" extremely active , excessively talkative, and easily distracted. During these periods the affected person's self esteem is also often greatly inflated. These people often become aggressive and hostile to others as their self confidence becomes more and more inflated and exaggerated. In extreme cases (like Hamlet's) the manic person may become consistently wild or violent until he or she reaches the point of exhaustion. Manic depressives often function on little or no sleep during their episodes.
At the opening of the play Hamlet is portrayed as a stable individual . He expresses disappointment in his mother for her seeming disregard for his father's death. His feelings are justified and his actions are rational at this point, he describes himself as being genuine. As this scene progresses it is revealed that Hamlet views himself as being weak: "My father's brother, but no more like my father/ than I to Hercules" (1.2.153) The doubts that Hamlet has concerning his heroism become particularly evident in his actions as the story progresses. These doubts are a major hindrance to his thoughts of revenge.
Hamlet wishes to avenge the murder of his father and rectify this great injustice. The conflict between his desire to seek revenge and his own thoughts of incompetence is the cause of his initial unrest. "Haste me to know't , that I , with wings as swift / As meditation or thoughts of love , / may sweep to my revenge (1.5.29-31). Here Hamlet pleads to the Ghost of King Hamlet to reveal the name of his murderer.
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Since Hamlet displays many manic depressive characteristics, the play seems to be made up of hills and valleys. Oscar James Campbell describes Hamlet as a series of meditative pauses followed by bursts of action – this is consistent with manic depressive behavior. Hamlet's depressed phase is marked by brooding inaction and his manic phase is characterized by abrupt lunges toward action. During the entire play, Hamlet is in a state of paralyzing perplexity; from scene to scene he contemplates deeply over which course of action he should adopt.
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Bipolar Disorder is a mood disorder in which both mania and depression are present. In bipolar disorder periods of mania and depression alternate (each lasting between a few days and a few months), sometimes with normal mood interventions. (Gershon, 1990) Hamlet expresses these characteristics exactly . From day to day Hamlet goes from seemingly rational or "normal" to irrational, tenacious and impulsive. His patterns of action clearly prove that he is a bipolar disease sufferer.