The story of Hamlet by William Shakespeare is a story of betrayal, revenge, and intrigue. Hamlet, the title character discovers that his uncle killed his father and married his mother effectively stealing the throne. Hamlet decides he must kill his uncle Claudius as revenge for what he had done. However, as the new king, Hamlet isn't sure how to get to him, so he decides to fake madness, but his plan backfires as Claudius doesn't trust him and makes sure he is always watched. In his fumbled plan for revenge, Hamlet accidentally kills Polonius, forces Polonius's son Laertes to seek revenge against him, and drives Ophelia crazy causing her to kill herself. Hamlet's insane behavior is a significant part of the story because it is supposedly part of his revenge plan, but also because of the additional problems, it creates. Some have argued that his madness was indeed an act, but rather real madness that he was trying to cover up by telling people
Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a revenge calamity which concentrates on his wish and effort to solve his father’s murder. Throughout the course of the play, the relationship between Hamlet and Ophelia could be described as a rollercoaster. Although Ophelia is not in every single scene in Hamlet, her impact on the play is highly noted. One way a reader could interpret her presence is because of how tragic her experiences in life is. She experiences the misfortune of love and security, but in order for her death to be truly tragic, she has to come to terms with the realization of her powerlessness without the men in her life. In her madness, Ophelia eventually does make this realization and because of her lack of alternatives, she accepts death.
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.
It is or is it not true that Hamlet was faking his insanity? I’m not saying Hamlet was faking the whole thing. The meaning for insanity on Dictionary.com is “a permanent disorder of the mind.” I don 't think Hamlet had a permanent disorder of the mind he knew what he was doing and even planned the majority of the events that happened. Most of the time anyway.
“But never doubt that I love” (2.2.119). Throughout the play The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark by William Shakespeare, Hamlet professes much love to his girlfriend Ophelia. However he begins to mistreat her through his antic dispositions caused by revenge on his uncle, King Claudius, who killed his father. Hamlet has not only become distraught from his conniving and lying stepfather but also his mother, Queen Gertrude as well. The unfaithfulness that Gertrude shows to Hamlet’s father and Hamlet has a toll on him and plays a part in his insanity. The facade that Hamlet displays slowly leads to his insanity, causing him to show mistreated love towards Ophelia.
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. Hamlet is sane because he only acts mad in front of certain people, he told his friends of his plan of revenge, and the fact that many people continuously doubted his insanity.
This passage is from Act 4, scene 7, lines 163-183 of Hamlet. Laertes, hearing of his father’s death, storms the palace seeking revenge. Claudius, in an effort to calm Laertes’ rage, conspires with him on how to effectively kill Hamlet shortly before Gertrude interrupts with the news of poor Ophelia’s death. Laertes, heartbroken after hearing that his sister has died, seeks to mourn in peace, but Claudius insists that he and Gertrude follow him so that he can keep an eye on his temper. This passage highlights how man’s incessant need for power and retribution leads him to neglect the weak, ultimately leading to their downfall.
When Laertes arrives back from Paris, he confront Claudius at the castle, only to have Ophelia interrupt him. Upon hearing her song, he remarks, “This nothing’s more than matter” (4.5.173). The reason that these meaningless words mean more than words with meaning is because they are in fact not meaningless. Ophelia is still very much conscious and perceptive as before, except unlike before, she is verbalizing her thoughts and observations. Although she still retains some gender appropriate behaviors in this enlightened state--like encrypting her intent in song form instead of blurting them out--her assertive tone, unabashedness, and willingness to take action all contradict her previous teachings. Thus, Ophelia’s “madness” is determined by the extent to which she subverts female gender expectations. The more she exhibits traits traditionally associated with men, the more “mad” she becomes. In this context, Ophelia serves as both a caricature and a warning against female enlightenment as told through a patriarchal lense. She is ultimately ostracized from society, implying that women who seek freedom will receive the same fate as
Emily Dickinson once said “Much madness is divinest Sense— To a discerning Eye—“. This type of madness can be found in the play “Hamlet by William Shakespeare. Though many characters show madness throughout the play, Ophelia’s madness is the most prevalent. Ophelia has good reason for this irrational behavior because of the trauma she has gone through. First, her boyfriend dumps her, then he calls her vulgar names, and lastly, he kills her father. Just one of these traumatic events could make a character go mad, but the combination of the three justifies Ophelia’s madness. The use of these three tragic events in Ophelia’s life makes her madness reasonable.
Ophelia’s character went through quite a large transformation. In the play her father tells her that she is to stay away from Hamlet and she readily agrees. In the movie Ophelia doesn’t disagree with her father but she also doesn’t agree just to please him. This shows that Ophelia isn’t easily persuaded, even by her own father. Despite her father’s warning about Hamlet, Ophelia met with him in secret at her apartment until her father found out. After their secret was discovered, Hamlet rushed out of Ophelia’s apartment and Polonius stopped Ophelia from going after him, causing her to drop the letter that Hamlet had given her. After reading the letter Polonius hurries to tell Claudius and Gertrude what he’s discovered. Polonius and Ophelia find them at their private pool, where Polonius proceeds to tell them that he thinks that Hamlet’s madness has been caused by his love for Ophelia. While her father is telling Claudius and Gertrude about his theory, Ophelia continuously tries to take the letter away from him. After finally giving up in her attempts to keep her letter private, Ophelia stands near the edge of the pool and imagines jumping in, which could point to suicidal tendencies. After Polonius finishes reading the letter Claudius, Gertrude and himself decide to use Ophelia as a spy. While her father was putting a wire on her, Ophelia had tears rolling down her face. Once the wire was in place
To be a foil character, one must “contrast with other characters in order to highlight particular qualities of the other characters.” Throughout Hamlet, four prominent characters are foil characters to Hamlet: Laertes, Fortinbras, Horatio and Claudius. In many cases, Hamlet and the foil characters react differently for each other in varying situations but yet show similarities in their reactions.
Insanity is an idea that has been examined for a long time in numerous mediums such as films, music, plays, and even works of literature. William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” is no exception to that rule. Hamlet is one of Shakespeare’s most complex characters, and many scholars have been debating for centuries whether or not Hamlet is truly insane, or whether there is a particular reason for his odd behavior. In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Hamlet merely pretends to be mad but in reality is sane.
"When a man gives his opinion he is a man. When a woman gives her opinion she is a bitch."- Bette Davis Throughout time society has used woman as a scapegoat for societal issues that have occurred. In the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare, Shakespeare uses character and rhetoric to display how ones hatred and anger are impulsively taken out upon woman, from this the reader learns how misogyny is difficult to acknowledge, but rather easy to practice.
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.
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?