Mental Illness In Hamlet

1083 Words5 Pages
As for the 1969 film adaptation of Hamlet, the only resemblance Nicol Williamson’s character bears to Hamlet is the name. This Hamlet shows no symptoms of depression or insanity whatsoever. Compared to Shakespeare and Tennant’s Hamlets, this version appears sane throughout the plot. When he gives his first soliloquy, which is supposed to be a moment of insight about Hamlet’s mental illness, he neither sobs or collapses onto the floor in visible anguish. Despite the language being the same as the original text, the audience does not gain any sense of suicidal tendencies or nihilism from Hamlet. Instead, the scene reads as Hamlet merely being annoyed and disappointed with the situation at hand. Hamlet’s sanity does not weaken even upon seeing his father’s ghost. Yes, he is shocked like any reasonable person would be if they found out their uncle murdered their father, but his reaction remains within rationality. He does not shed a tear or become hysterical over what he has heard, proving once again his sanity remains intact. The unmistakable depression found within the “to be or not to be” soliloquy is lost in this adaptation as it is calmly said by a Hamlet who is lying atop a bed. He speaks as if he is tired of solving some difficult math problem instead of life. There is also the problem of how this Hamlet does act his age, furthering the notion he is putting on an act of madness. This Hamlet is stable, mature, and emotionally intelligent. His moods do not switch
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