Horatio's Madness In Hamlet

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When discussing the topic of madness, Hamlet is a profoundly controversial topic. Some may define madness as the state of being mentally ill, whereas others may define it as a generally foolish behavior. Hamlet has acted strangely toward multiple people throughout The Tragedy of Hamlet; moreover, there are many examples throughout the text that support the assumption that he may or may not be acting mad. Starting in Act 1, Scene 4, Horatio is untrustworthy of the ghost that appears. He believes it is a spirit who has taken the form of Hamlet’s father, whereas Hamlet believes it is the spirit of his father. Horatio speaks to Hamlet saying, “What if it tempt you toward the flood, my lord,; Or to the dreadful summit of the cliff; That beetles o'er his base into the sea,; And there assume some other horrible form,;…show more content…
They describe Hamlet’s infatuation with Ophelia. Prior to the readings, Polonius says, “Madam, I swear I use no art at all.; That he is mad, 'tis true: 'tis true 'tis pity; And pity 'tis 'tis true: a foolish figure;” (2.2.96-98.). Still refraining to give up his strong opinions, Polonius later says to himself, “Though this be madness, yet there is method in ‘t.” (2.2.205-206.). At this point in the play, Polonius starts to develop a suspicion of Hamlet’s actions, later resulting in his murder by Hamlet in the Queen’s closet. In Act 4, Scene 1, the Queen is asked about Hamlet by Claudius. She replies, “Mad as the sea and wind, when both contend…” (4.1.7.). Lastly, to support the argument that Hamlet’s madness is false, before the fencing match with Laertes, Hamlet says, “Give me your pardon, sir: I've done you wrong; But pardon't, as you are a gentleman.; This presence knows,; And you must needs have heard, how I am punish'd; With a sore distraction.” (5.2.226-230.). Hamlet says this to Laertes to gain his goodwill by which he says he has fallen victim to his own

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