How Does Shakespeare Present Ophelia's Madness In Hamlet

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The play Hamlet by William Shakespeare is of a son whose murder madness and indecision takes a toll on avenging his father’s murder. The main character’s madness can be seen in multiple scenes of the play affecting numerous characters and the meaning of the play as a whole. This can be seen through analyzing his madness throughout the play, the recurrence of this madness as a motif, and the overall outcome. At the beginning of the play, Hamlet is met by his father’s ghost and is explained on how King Claudius, Hamlet’s uncle, murdered his father to gain access to the throne. Following this conversation, Hamlet returns to Horatio and Marcellus and proceeds to say “Here, as before, never, so help you mercy, how strange or odd soe'er I bear myself,…show more content…
Along with Hamlet, Ophelia turns mad in the play. The main reason Hamlet acted mad was so he could easily have a way to examine closer to Claudius's guilt. This is seen at the play scene when Hamlet switches up some of the play to reenact the death of his father to see if Claudius reacts. Claudius does react and yells “Give me some light. Away!” (Hamlet 3.2.254). This is the definite reaction Hamlet wanted and this reaction is what made his madness somewhat successful. Another reason for the recurrence of this madness was to distract people from thinking he was any threat. They even got so carried away with him that they sent Hamlet to england on a ship. “With fiery quickness: therefore prepare thyself; the bark is ready, and the wind at help, the associates tend, and every thing is bent for England” (Hamlet 4.4.42-44). One of the last main reasons for this madness is so that Hamlet could say foolish things about his father’s death and have it so it doesn’t strike a nerve on…show more content…
Ophelia seemed to be Hamlet's’ girlfriend throughout most of the play, but turned mad after losing her father to the stabbing from Hamlet. Claudius talks about the fair Ophelia at her funeral and describes her insanity. “Poor Ophelia. Divided from herself and her fair judgement, without the which we are pictures or mere beasts” (Hamlet 4.5.91-93). Hamlet is dead, Ophelia is dead, Claudius is dead, Gertrude is dead, Rosencrantz is dead, Guildenstern is dead, and Laertes is dead. This is the final result of all the madness, and here we can analyze the meaning of the play. The whole play was powered on love between the characters and Hamlet’s intense love for his mother made him act in some of the ways that he did. It’s one of the main reasons he dislikes Claudius as well. Overall, we can see Hamlet as a play full of strict madness. Through analyzing the insanity in the play, we can define its reasoning towards the main character, Through the motif of madness, we can define the relationship between madness and the characters in the play, and through the outcome, we can determine how madness affected the meaning and ending of the play. This is why Hamlet’s madness is a key element in making the story

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