Insanity is when someone isn’t able to determine right from wrong, cannot differentiate fantasy from reality, or has irrational thoughts and impulsive behavior. This doesn’t describe Hamlet, the main character from William Shakespeare’s play The Tragedy of Hamlet. Hamlet is overwhelmed with grief from his father’s death and his mother’s overhasty incestuous marriage with her deceased husband’s brother, Claudius. The ghost of King Hamlet appears from the shadows to reveal the truth – “The serpent that did sting thy father’s life now wears his crown” (I, 5, 27). To add on to his burdens, Hamlet has to get revenge on his uncle for murdering his father. In order to disguise his true intentions and deceive his enemies, he pretends to be insane.
Everyone at some point in their life sets a goal that they wish to accomplish for some reason or another, and in William Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, the goal of the main character is to avenge the death of his father who was killed by his uncle, Claudius. Furthermore, when achieving these goals, people are willing to go to the extreme to make sure that these goals are completed. In Shakespeare’s play the main character, Hamlet, falsely portrays himself as mentally unstable which adds a crafty element to the storyline because his false derangement allows him to undertake rash decisions without consequence to achieve his ultimate goal.
What would one expect the personality of a man whose father was murdered by his uncle, who becomes his step-father? The personality in question points to Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark—who William Shakespeare depicts in his play “Hamlet.” A character analysis of Hamlet reveals that through his internal dialogue, his interpretation of his father 's murder, and his actions, his traits—bitterness, depression, and anger—emerge. Scholars have studied Hamlet for decades, and most have concluded that Hamlet 's personality indicated insanity. However, after observing Hamlet 's actions, his actions throughout the play do not resemble those of an insane person. An overwhelming amount of evidence shows that Hamlet faked his insanity to confuse the king and his accomplices.
Since the early times, people have discussed whether those among them are truly sane or not. During the Shakespearian Era, nobody actually understood who was insane and those who were merely more eccentric than most. One of the most debated plays of all time is Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Many professors and scholars have analyzed and questioned Hamlet’s sanity. Hamlet displays the characteristics of sanity throughout the play.
In Hamlet, Shakespeare uses many references to sanity and insanity. Throughout the play, Hamlet goes back and forth between sanity and insanity, whether pretending to be insane just to mess with those he does not like or to save himself from getting in trouble. Hamlet is actually one of the smartest characters in the play, which is why he can pull off acting crazy so well. Shakespeare uses this idea of sanity and insanity to help the plot change and take a different directions.
Throughout the play, Hamlet claims to be feigning madness, but his portrayal of a madman is so intense and so convincing that many readers believe that Hamlet actually slips into insanity at certain moments in the play. Do you think this is true, or is Hamlet merely playacting insanity? What evidence can you cite for either claim?
GALATÉA DODD INDEPENDENT STUDY STAGE 2 ENGLISH STUDIES Throughout William Shakespeare's play The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark and Herman Koch's novel The Dinner the conception of insanity is explored through techniques of character and setting; the central theme of insanity is expressed through the physical form of prominent protagonists. The way in which supporting characters interact with the protagonists varies with the different environments they advance from. Both Shakespeare and Koch show the manifestation of insanity through the setting the protagonists are placed in.
In the play, Hamlet, William Shakespeare reflects the common early modern beliefs and perspectives about madness by using the character development of the protagonist who feigns madness throughout the play. Given Hamlet 's status as a prince, current knowledge of madness during the time period, and the contrast of the different types of madness of other characters in the play, Elizabethan audiences would have found it plausible that Hamlet feigns madness as part of his plot to avenge his father 's death. This new historicist perspective steers the modern reader away from anachronistic psychological interpretations of the play.
Insanity is an idea that has been examined for a long time in numerous mediums such as films, music, plays, and even works of literature. William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” is no exception to that rule. Hamlet is one of Shakespeare’s most complex characters, and many scholars have been debating for centuries whether or not Hamlet is truly insane, or whether there is a particular reason for his odd behavior. In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Hamlet merely pretends to be mad but in reality is sane.
Madness is often a symptom, and in the case of Hamlet this may be the reason behind his actions. The death of Hamlet’s father is the catalyst for Hamlet, causing him to see the ghost and ultimately become obsessed with the idea of revenge. A common theme for shakespeare is to explore a character’s mind and reasonings, and Hamlet’s character being mad was a perfect opportunity to continue this theme. Hamlet’s debatable madness, Ophelia being truly mad and the death of every character involved with Hamlet or his father is a prime example of tragedy, which Shakespeare is known for. While Hamlet’s madness is not certain, it is indisputable that the play Hamlet was built off of the idea of what is madness, and how does it affect one’s
There are many examples of times where Hamlet seems truly insane. We have the time when he is talking with Polonius in the castle, after the King, the Queen, and Polonius were discussing the love letter that Hamlet wrote to Ophelia. Hamlet walks in reading a book, and Polonius asks “What do you read, my lord?” Hamlet replies with “Words, words, words.” “What is the matter, my lord” “Between who?”
In the play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, as the play progresses Hamlet portrays himself as going insane. However, I believe that in reality Hamlet is really just acting as if he was insane to deter attention from his plot to kill Claudius, his father's murderer. For instance, at the very beginning of the play when Hamlet, Horatio, his good friend, and Marcellus see the ghost of Hamlet's father Hamlet makes them both swear that they will not tell anyone about the ghost. He also says, “How strange or odd soe'er I bear myself (
A thing a lot of psychologist people forget that hamlet is a character acting inside the play. During the entire play it is very easily noticed when he is acting as an insane person. The way he speaks and the words he chooses is evidence towards the idea of Hamlet being sane. Most modern day men act like Hamlet when he is insane but the modern men are not always seen
In Shakespeare’s tragedy, Hamlet, there are a series of events that causes Hamlet to act abnormally. He has to deal with his father’s death, mother’s remarriage, and his lover Ophelia. However, it is often argued whether Hamlet’s madness is real or fake. Throughout the tragedy, he is over-exaggerating his madness for his plan of revenge.