The question of Hamlet's "antic disposition"(1.5.192) has long since been a point of scrutiny when discussing Shakespeare's Hamlet. Is his madness true or feigned? In the beginning of the story, Hamlet makes it clear that he plans to fake going insane in order to complete his mission in killing Claudius. The aspect of madness is often revealed through the madness of the characters throughout the story. Hamlet and Ophelia both are afflicted by madness.
Hamlet’s Sanity “What if it tempts you toward the flood, my lord ... And there assume some other horrible form Which might deprive your sovereignty of reason And draw you into madness?” (1.4.77-82 Shakespeare). Horatio says this to Hamlet while warning him he may go mad if he continues to talk to his father's ghost. This helps demonstrate how certain characters question Hamlet’s sanity. Countless literary critics have written about Hamlet’s insanity throughout the years. Though many may believe Hamlet had gone mad, Hamlet is, in fact, not insane but rather going through an extremely tough time in his life and experiencing regular human emotion.
In the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare, the delusion of madness and irrational behavior contributes largely to the development of the character Hamlet. Following the death of his father, Hamlet decides to inspect how his father passed away. The clearest way to processed is to act helplessly insane. With numerous events of deranged encounters, Hamlet portrays this as a reasonable behavior. The first case of Hamlet’s impersonation as a madman begins when he races to see his previous girlfriend, Ophelia.
Hamlet has only one way to find out if what the ghost said is true. The only way to do this is by pretending to go insane. Then there is the real question. Hamlet in some parts of the play acts as if he were actually insane. Is he actually insane or is he just pretending to be insane?
Crawford states that Shakespeare includes Hamlet’s fits of madness were deliberately used to make Claudius and his attendants confused and for them to think Hamlet’s mental health is deteriorating. Crawford analyzes, “The fact that he [Hamlet] has made it appear like real madness to many critics today only goes to show the wideness of his knowledge and the greatness of his dramatic skill” (Crawford. 1916. p 1.). Crawford states that Hamlet is merely acting insane and he is extremely clever for doing this. He says that because there is such a big debate over Hamlet’s sanity goes to show how clever Hamlet was in his approach to revenge.
Hamlet denies it. Who does it, then? His madness. If’t be so, Hamlet is of the faction that is wronged. His madness is poor Hamlet’s enemy.”(5.2.180-85) The mental instability that Hamlet manifests lies not in his own consciousness, but in the pragmatic way of thinking that he adopts, and that ultimately poisons his faculty of reason: " I essentially am not in madness/ But mad in craft."
Hamlet and Ophelia “This was sometime a paradox, but now the time gives it proof. I did love you once… I loved you not” (3.1.114,119). Confusion clouds the audience’s judgement reading this quote from Hamlet. His paradox insinuates that he is insane and truly did not love her. Contrary to belief though, this quote was a way to set his “mousetrap” and force her to be in the background of his grand scheme.
The subsequent murder of a friend displays his progressive unsteadiness, but the massacre of an entire family demonstrates his transformation from instability to deviance. Lady Macbeth tries to mask her guilt by covering up for her husband, but eventually comes to grips with her own instability. In Macbeth, Shakespeare asserts that power drives the title character and his wife to insanity, particularly after their conspiracy to kill Duncan. For starters, prior to killing Duncan, Macbeth imagines the likely consequences of his future actions and whether or not they signal his destiny. At the beginning
In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the protagonist acts insane, but there is evidence that it is nothing more than a sham. Hamlet, the protagonist, acts insane to a selected group of people, specifically nobles. Some of the nobles see through this act and have a hunch that he
He tells him at the beginning to not turn his back on him. At some points in the play it's really hard to tell if he is faking his madness, or if he is actually starting to go crazy. The reason he acts crazy is because he knows his father was murdered by his uncle. He thinks that if he acts mad, he will have a better chance at getting revenge on Claudius. In the beginning of the play the ghost of Hamlet's father visits him.