Since the early times, people have discussed whether those among them are truly sane or not. During the Shakespearian Era, nobody actually understood who was insane and those who were merely more eccentric than most. One of the most debated plays of all time is Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Many professors and scholars have analyzed and questioned Hamlet’s sanity. Hamlet displays the characteristics of sanity throughout the play. Many have debated what the true definition of sanity is. The subject of sanity and insanity has been discussed for thousands of years and the even now all of the definitions vary. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary sanity is, “the quality or state of being sane; soundness or health of mind” (Merriam Webster. p. 1.). Sanity is believed to be a healthy mind. Sane people are able to think more clearly, logically, and morally. They know right from wrong and are able to show feelings of remorse or regret. Sanity has many different definitions; however, they all say to have a healthy mind. Hamlet appears to have a sound mind despite using his antic disposition to appear to be insane. Hamlet had a plan …show more content…
Crawford states that Shakespeare includes Hamlet’s fits of madness were deliberately used to make Claudius and his attendants confused and for them to think Hamlet’s mental health is deteriorating. Crawford analyzes, “The fact that he [Hamlet] has made it appear like real madness to many critics today only goes to show the wideness of his knowledge and the greatness of his dramatic skill” (Crawford. 1916. p 1.). Crawford states that Hamlet is merely acting insane and he is extremely clever for doing this. He says that because there is such a big debate over Hamlet’s sanity goes to show how clever Hamlet was in his approach to revenge. Crawford explains Hamlet was sane and was only pretending to insane to perplex
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The topic of insanity commonly arises on many occasions, particularly in the law. The term “insanity” is defined as the “unsoundness of mind sufficient in the judgment of a civil court to render a person unfit to maintain a contractual or other legal relationship or to warrant commitment to a mental health facility” (Document A). In terms of the law, there exists an insanity defense, which is a plea that defendants are not guilty because they lack the mental capacity to realize that they committed a crime (Document C). This concept arises in several of Shakespeare's plays as well. In Hamlet, many readers claim that Prince Hamlet was actually mad, his actions guided by the grief he experienced when his father was murdered by his uncle King Claudius.
The Mirriam-Webster Dictionary defines sane as having a healthy or sound mind however no one could possibly know what it means to be sane. Some people would consider, that to be sane means to be normal, but there really is no such thing as normal. Mostly everyone has thoughts and emotions in the world and they can differ from person to person. A mind can be influenced by culture as well as genetics and therefore sanity can be viewed differently depending on someone’s’ beliefs. Just like in One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, someone can behave a certain way if that is what is expected in the society for which you are expected to fit in.
Polonius explains Hamlet 's madness to Claudius and Gertrude, “Mad call I it, for, to define true madness. What it 't but to be nothing else but mad? But let that go (Act 2, Scene 2, lines 93-94). Polonius then goes on to describe his ides of the stages of Hamlet 's madness and his inability to sleep, “And he, repelled-a short tale to make- Fell into a sadness, then into a fast, Thence to a watch, thence into a weakness, Thence to a lightness, and by this declension Into the madness wherein now he raves, And all we mourn for” (Act 2, Scene 2, lines 146-151).
A Man’s Insanity Hamlet’s sanity was debated. He had really started to show this when he had seen his father’s ghost. The being had told him to kill the king, Hamlet’s uncle, Claudius. Hamlet had started to have some noticeable bits of insanity. Hamlet had referred to the ghost as if it were a real person.
The differences in their madness strongly support the assertion that Hamlet is, in fact, not truly mad. "The mad role that Hamlet plays to perfection is certainly a proof of Shakespeare's genius, but by no means a surety of the insanity of the prince, unless we be prepared to maintain that no one saves a madman can simulate dementia" (Blackmore). As Blackmore points out, his crazy behavior is such that only someone who is not mad could play the part so well. Again, a truly mad person would not have so much control over his actions and
“Man pleaded innocent by reason of insanity for the murder of his mother”(Gross). Although the case of the man murdering his mother is not entirely similar to what Hamlet does they do share some similarities. In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet , Shakespeare uses the idea of a someone murdering one of their own family members in his play. In Hamlet the once ruler of Denmark ,king Hamlet, is long dead before the play begins with everyone thinking his cause of death was from the bite of a snake This is proven to be a lie however, when Ghost of king Hamlet visits his son Hamlet and reveals to him that his true killer is Hamlet’s uncle ,the new king of Denmark, Claudius. The play then follows Hamlet as he tries to take revenge for his father’s death.
In the play, Hamlet by Shakespeare, the noble Hamlet claims to be feigning great madness. However, the portrayal of a crazy madman is so intense and so convincing that Hamlet himself begins to actually slip into a great magnitude of insanity at certain moments in the amazing play. Some example of Hamlet actually slipping into madness are when, he kills the wise Polonius when Hamlet finds him spying on him while he is having a conversation with his mother. The second example of him going into insanity is when he performs the great speech about whether to be or not to be. The last example of him falling into a great state of insanity is when he kills himself after he battles Laertes to the death, and ends up drinking the same poison himself
In Shakespeare’s tragedy, Hamlet, there are a series of events that causes Hamlet to act abnormally. He has to deal with his father’s death, mother’s remarriage, and his lover Ophelia. However, it is often argued whether Hamlet’s madness is real or fake. Throughout the tragedy, he is over-exaggerating his madness for his plan of revenge.
He did not want anyone knowing about his encounter with his father’s ghost. This shows that Hamlet can not be acting mad. Consequently, he believes that one should not perform a role, but actually become the person they 're pretending to be. This shows in his stunt when instead of pretending to be mad, he becomes mad in all
The question of whether or not Hamlet was insane is of a never-ending debate. Was he always crazy? Was he always faking it? Or was he somewhere in between? In this paper I will share three different views and provide my own interpretation of Hamlet’s sanity.
In Hamlet, Shakespeare uses many references to sanity and insanity. Throughout the play, Hamlet goes back and forth between sanity and insanity, whether pretending to be insane just to mess with those he does not like or to save himself from getting in trouble. Hamlet is actually one of the smartest characters in the play, which is why he can pull off acting crazy so well. Shakespeare uses this idea of sanity and insanity to help the plot change and take a different directions. One of the most discussed topics of the Hamlet is whether Hamlet is insane or if he was just pretending the whole time.
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 William Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, Hamlet assumes the disguise of a man that has lost his mind. Hamlet uses this madness to masquerade around in such a way as to not draw attention to his true plan, to avenge his murdered father. Many readers debate as to whether Hamlet is truly mad, or whether he is fully aware of his actions and what he is doing. However, both sides of the debate can agree that Hamlet’s apparent madness is a key element of the play, Hamlet. There are many reasons as to why readers debate Hamlet’s madness.
An overwhelming amount of evidence shows that Hamlet faked his insanity to confuse the king and his accomplices. Often revered for their emotional complexities, William Shakespeare’s tragic characters display various signs of mental illness. Sylvia Morris notes “Hamlet contains Shakespeare’s most fully-developed study of mental illness, and has always intrigued commentators on the play.” (“Shakespeare’s Minds Diseased: Mental Illness and its Treatment”). When looking at the play, one can infer that Shakespeare makes the relationship between sanity and insanity undistinguishable from one another.
In the play, Hamlet, William Shakespeare reflects the common early modern beliefs and perspectives about madness by using the character development of the protagonist who feigns madness throughout the play. Given Hamlet 's status as a prince, current knowledge of madness during the time period, and the contrast of the different types of madness of other characters in the play, Elizabethan audiences would have found it plausible that Hamlet feigns madness as part of his plot to avenge his father 's death. This new historicist perspective steers the modern reader away from anachronistic psychological interpretations of the play. Hamlet’s status as a prince gives the character certain roles and expectations to fulfill, such as avenging his father’s