preview

Insanity Quotes In Hamlet

Good Essays
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.…show more content…
For instance, he wasn’t sure if the ghost was telling the truth so he modifies the play, The Murder of Gonzago, to resemble the murder of his father. While the actors are performing the play, he will watch Claudius’ reactions to see if he truly is guilty. He also asks Horatio to watch Claudius to have a second opinion because Hamlet’s judgment may be bias. He says, “The play’s the thing wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the King” (II, 2, 60). Another scene in the play where Hamlet thinks logically before lashing out is when he sees Claudius praying and is completely vulnerable, but restrains from killing him. Hamlet says, “Now might I do it pat, now he is praying; And now I’ll do’t. And so he goes to heaven, and so am I revenged. That would be scanned. A villain kills my father; and for that, I, his sole son, do this same villain send to heaven” (III, 3, 85). He realizes that if he kills him while he is confessing his sins then it wouldn’t be full revenge because Claudius would go to heaven while King Hamlet is in Purgatory. Someone who is consumed with insanity would just impulsively act without thinking rationally or considering the consequences beforehand. Therefore, Hamlet is merely acting insane to fool those around
Get Access