Is Hamlet Playacting Insanity In Hamlet

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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?

In William Shakespeare’s classic, Hamlet, the question concerning Hamlet’s underlying sanity is a major element in the interpretation of the text. In the play, Shakespeare portrays Hamlet as a dynamic character to cause a mental state conundrum among the audience and explore themes of suicide, spying, friendship, madness, love, hate and humour. Furthermore, by utilising literary devices such as soliloquy, characterisation,
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Govern these ventages with your fingers and thumbs... You would play upon me... do you think I am easier to be played on than a pipe?”. Hence, Shakespeare utilises personification and metaphor to explore the theme of friendship and highlight the motif of betrayal by close friends and family. All of this conveys that Hamlet is not a fool and knows his bogus friends agenda. On the other hand, act 3 scene 4 questions Hamlet’s sanity as he is the only individual in the play able to view the ghost as Gertrude says, “Alas, how is’t with you, That you do bend your eye on vacancy... Whereon do you look?”. However, the audience can actually see the ghost and Hamlet’s words are coherent as he advises Gertrude on ways of seeking forgiveness, therefore Shakespeare uses dramatic irony to explore the theme of madness and advocate his sanity. Moreover, Hamlet also says to Gertrude “That I essentially am not in madness, But mad in craft.” Shakespeare exploits this dialogue to illustrate Hamlet is indeed aware of his actions, which seems absurd for a

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