Illness In Hamlet

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The Tragedy of Mental Illness in Hamlet Hamlet is not only renowned as one of the greatest plays in the literary world, but as one of the most tragic ones as well. Although the play does fall under the classical definition of a tragedy, such as having a tragic hero with a fatal flaw, the portrayal of mental illness is what makes Hamlet even more tragic. From Hamlet’s depression to its effects on the women in his life, Shakespeare explores a subject that forms and drives the other tragedies within the play. Furthermore, the tragedy of mental illness is not lost on the 2009 film adaptation for the most part. Instead, this motif is heightened due to the acting and characterization changes from the original text. However, the character of Hamlet…show more content…
But his plan just ends up backfiring on him, alienating him from the court and getting him sent away. In fact, people become even more suspicious of him. Subsequently, he continues with his thoughts of death in the most famous soliloquy in the play. He asks himself if being alive while suffering is better than being dead, going on to compare death “to sleep / no more- and by a sleep to say we end / the heartache, and the thousand natural shocks / that flesh is heir to! ‘Tis a consummation / devoutly to be wished” (3.1.60-64). This tells the reader and audience that Hamlet is suffering from some sort of depression if he is imagining death so often. However, the most important indication Hamlet is mentally ill is when he sees his father’s ghost again in Act 3, scene 4. Hamlet is the only one who can see the ghost this time, which raises the question if Hamlet has indeed lost his mind? While there is no doubt that some of his acts of madness are indeed just acts, such as frightening Ophelia, it can be said that Hamlet is not lying when he tells Rosencrantz and Guildenstern he has recently “lost all [his] mirth, forgone all / custom of exercises; and indeed, it goes so heavily / with [his] disposition that this goodly frame, the / earth, seems to [him] a sterile…show more content…
From his first appearance, it is obvious that Hamlet is a little more than melancholy. He already shows signs of depression, isolating himself from the rest of the court. His sullen expressions and tone already show the cracks of instability, disturbing the other characters in return. He immediately breaks down upon being left by himself, crying out his first soliloquy. As Hamlet is a sacred text, the dialogue is kept the same as in the original text. However, there is much more emotion and grief on display here since the text does not specifically state that Hamlet falls to the floor and visibly cries. The audience feels Hamlet’s pain and grief, believing that he truly wants his life to be over. His instability intensifies and becomes more evident after he talks to his father’s ghost. He looks crazily towards the audience and speaks frantically to them, cutting his hand with a dagger before passing out. There is also the genius of Hamlet saying he will put on an antic disposition while behaving this way since it only adds doubt and uncertainty to this being a façade. In Hamlet’s “to be or not to be” soliloquy, the film takes advantage of visuals as he enters the room in stupor. He gives this soliloquy while leaning on the wall, shutting his eyes as he imagines death. The weariness is clear on Hamlet’s

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