Madness In Hamlet Essay

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The Misdiagnosis of Insanity: The Problematic Interpretation of Madness in Othello and The Tragedy of Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Introduction:

This drama study will critically evaluate the problem of “madness” that arises in the characterization of insanity in Hamlet and Othello in Othello and The Tragedy of Hamlet by William Shakespeare. Two articles by Levy (2000) and Macaulay (2005) present evidence of the complex variables that are involved in the perception of madness in the behaviors of Hamlet and Othello. Levy (2000) defines the complex interrelationship of “reason” and “madness that occur after Hamlet witnesses the ghost, which provides evidence of the realness of the ghost through the multiple observations of Marcellus, Bernardo, and Horatio. This perspective defines the deception of Hamlet’s “madness” he is not merely a singular vision/delusion , but one that has been shared by others. In a similar way, Othello is often presented as being “mad, but he is actually tricked into a paranoid state of mind by Iago. This presents a problem in the
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In Macaulay’s (2005) critical perspective provides a longstanding question about the true nature of Othello’s mind, as he is continually manipulated through the clever treachery of Iago. In this context, Iago certainly manipulates the naivety of Othello, but it not Othello’s lack of mental or cognitive stability that allows him to drive him into “madness.” Therefore, Othello is not entirely to blame for his madness, just as Hamlet is not to be blamed for “madness” in his plot to get revenge against
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