Hamlet's Insanity Throughout the play, Hamlet’s madness changes from being an illusion and forms into a harsh reality. Even though he claims the reason behind him acting deranged is to disconcert King Claudius, his behaviour and actions towards other characters in the play really emphasize his insanity. As the play progresses, everyone becomes aware of his mentally ill state, including King Claudius, who sends him to England to have him killed. This way Hamlet won’t be able to reveal his corrupt ways. Hamlet's behavior begins to change drastically as the play advances.
This shows an advancement of his mental illness, where he is struggling to care whether he lives or dies. As Hamlet reaches the climax of the play, his entrapment comes in the form of malevolence towards Claudius in Act III, scene iv. This is when Hamlet stabs Polonius through the curtain, and then voices how he will fully commit to violent actions against the king, after the Ghost tells Hamlet again to do what he has been told. “I do repent; but heaven hath pleased it so, to punish me with this, and this with me, that I must be their
The entire driving force of the play is Macbeth’s desperate desire to become king. And in order to achieve that, he must get rid of the current king, King Duncan. He expresses these desires in act one during which he is in a discussion and says aside “Stars, hide your fires;/ Let not light see my back and deep desires./ The eye wink at the hand, yet let that be/ Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see” (I.iv.57-60). From early on Macbeth exhibits these evil minded ambitions. He experiences guilt and questions whether or not he should go through with killing Duncan.
Macbeth's lust for power becomes blatantly obvious based upon his fears that "to be thus is nothing, but to be safely thus", prompting him to kill Banquo and make an attempt at his son, Fleance. To relieve himself of his insecurities, he manipulates two murderers to believe than Banquo is their "enemy" and the source of all of their problems, displaying his twisted nature. He does not, before the act is already committed, share news of the "deed of dreadful note" with his "dearest chuck", Lady Macbeth, proving he has made his face a "vizard to [his] heart" not only for the public, but also to his once-cohort. Macbeth's peers' opinion sinks so low that he is often merely referred to as a "tyrant" rather than by his name. He is not only a traitorous and cruel king, but the extent to which he is "unfit to govern" makes him "unfit to live" - deserving of death for how he has let down Scotland.
One of the most prominent external conflicts Hamlet faces is man versus man, or Hamlet versus Claudius. Throughout Hamlet, Hamlet’s overall goal was to avenge his father’s death by killing Claudius, his uncle, for not only taking the throne but also for marrying his mother. Even after that throughout the play to cover up Hamlet’s intentions to kill Claudius, he begins to act insane, which in hopes people will dismiss him and suspect nothing. This also leads to Ophelia to become insane because the fact Hamlet acted like he did not love her. In the end Hamlet kills Claudius however, how he kills him is ironic because Claudius killed Hamlet’s father with poison and Claudius gets killed by his own poison.
“To be or not to be?” is the question Hamlet often asks himself along his journey of revenge, where many emotional encounters and obstacles continue to test him. Violence arises when Polonius dies, Ophelia drowns herself, and the killing of Claudius after the intense fencing match between Hamlet and Laertes. These violent decisions all relate back to Hamlet’s scheme of how he plans to retaliate for the death of his father, whether he uses mental or physical sources of violence. Shakespeare creates violence throughout the plot to contribute to the overall meaning of the play. Each of these violent segments have the readers asking questions to figure out what the purpose and reasonings are behind all of these heartless acts of brutality that take place during the play.
With witchcraft of his wit, with traitorous gifts,-/ O wicked wit and gifts, that have the power / So to seduce! - won to his shameful lust” (Act I, Scene v, 42-45) The King is in such a rage that he demands his son, Hamlet, "bear it not” without thinking of the consequences (I, v, 83). Even in his anger, Hamlet is aware of the trouble his father's anger will cause; "The time is out of joint: O cursed spite – That ever I was born to set it right" (I, v, 190). This revenge led to the tragedy in the play. This proves the fact that revenge always has disastrous consequences.
Macbeth’s eagerness leads him to attempt to fulfill the three prophecies by murdering for the kingship. Macbeth starts to suffer from a guilty conscience causing him to go ludicrous which leads him to his tragic demise. Some consequences of Macbeth’s ambition result to
To keep this secret Claudius acts upset that his brother was killed and tells the kingdom that it is a great lost but they will grow from this. He also goes to great lengths to keep the murder a secret in which he tries to send Hamlet away after he finds out of Claudius’ actions. His last method to keeping the crown is to manipulate servants into doing his dirty work. An example, is the use of
This is shown through Macbeth’s obsession with manslaughter when Macbeth says, “To make them kings, the seed of Banquo kings! Rather than so, come fate into the list, and champion me to th' utterance” (Shakespeare 3.1 73-74). Macbeth’s paranoia regarding Banquo’s children surmounting he is at such a great extent that Macbeth is willing to take extreme precautions in order to forestall the prophecy from ending his reign. However, not everything goes in Macbeth’s favor as the plan to murder both Banquo and Fleance is double the toil and trouble as Fleance escapes. This further agitates Macbeth’s anxiety causing him to feel “cabined, cribbed, [and] confined” (Shakespeare 3.4 25) by his own fate.