Is Hamlet Insane Essay

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Hamlet is in control of his mental state in the entirety of the play. Although he attempts to present himself as insane, it is only a manipulative tactic he is using in order to hold back suspicion from his uncle and the circle around him while Hamlet plans to murder him. Hamlet has been told by his father’s ghost that Claudius, his father’s brother, had poisoned him in order to become king of Denmark.
First, clear evidence that Hamlet was sane throughout the play was the fact that he stated it himself. Hamlet let his mother in on his secret by telling her, "I essentially am not in madness, But mad in craft," (III. iv. 187-8). He is explaining that he is not truly insane, but is strategically calculating his actions in order to deceive those …show more content…

When he is in the presence of Claudius, Gertrude, Polonius, Ophelia, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, he acts insane. However, when he is around the other characters in the play, he reverts back to his normal self and drops the act. He does this to manipulate the characters he is suspicious of not only to draw their attention away from his scheming, but also to observe their potential guilt. The trickery executed by Hamlet when he pretended to be mad while speaking of Ophelia highlighted his tactical manipulation. He attempted to convince Claudius and Polonius that his madness was due to his love for Ophelia, but he did not fully convince either one of them as he wished to, because pure insanity is impossible to …show more content…

He did not attempt to murder Ophelia’s father, but simply mistook him for Claudius. If Hamlet had been aimlessly killing people all around him, that would have been a greater sign of madness. However, the fact that he attempted to stick to his target shows that he had a competent extent of sanity. The contrast of Hamlet’s personality while he is in the presence of Horatio, Bernardo, Francisco, The Players and the Gravediggers helps to present a clear image of his intentful manipulation towards the others. This further emphasizes the fact that Hamlet is sane and in control of his actions and emotions.
Although Hamlet’s intentional insanity was an attempt to drive away any suspicion from his plotting against Claudius, the fact that Hamlet was not insane was still visible to Claudius. In regards to Hamlet’s actions, Claudius proclaimed, "What he spake, though it lack'd form a little. Was not like madness," (III. i. 163-4). Although Hamlet tried to convince those he did not trust that he was insane, even they could see through it. This is likely due to the fact that Ophelia was available as an example of true madness. Against her insane actions, Hamlet’s tricks were at least partially

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