Shakespeare's Hamlet: The Reality Behind Madness

716 Words3 Pages
The Reality Behind Madness Madness is the most contradictory element in William Shakespeare 's, Hamlet, in IV.v.160-193 shows an act of true madness. The essential need for madness begins in Act I, when Hamlet decides acting mad is the only way to revenge his father 's death. This progresses the underlying meaning of the play, is Hamlet genuinely crazy? The argument continues when Hamlet murders Polonius with no remorse. Ophelia denies seeing Hamlet, which is the reason everyone believes is the cause of Hamlet 's madness. The stress of Hamlet 's “antic disposition” and the death of Polonius, pushes Ophelia to her downfall, resulting into madness. When in madness, Ophelia is metaphorically handing over pieces of herself. She is the only Shakespearean character that relates to nature, the flowers representing parts on her, also showing significant nonsense. She hands out rosemary, representing remembrance, following pansies. The parts of nature Ophelia are handing out symbolizes her perception on the death of Polonius.…show more content…
Ophelia 's madness progresses conflict with core characters. Ophelia is struggles within herself, which results in suicide. Ophelia says, “There’s a daisy” but does not imply on who she hands the flowers to. Daisies symbolize troubled love. One interpretation is she doesn 't specifically hand it to anyone because Hamlet is not there. This shows the further conflict in Hamlet and Ophelia 's relationship. Laertes also is struggles with Ophelia through her madness and now has a preeminent need for revenge on Hamlet. Laertes says, “Burn out the sense and virtue of mine eye!/ By heaven, thy madness shall be paid by weight”. Laertes cannot stand to see his sister this way. He then says he now has a more fitting use for revenge on Hamlet. Larets claims if Ophelia was “sane and could urge [Laertes] to take revenge” her madness is persuading him more. Laertes makes another connection to Ophelia 's madness. Conflict within the characters

More about Shakespeare's Hamlet: The Reality Behind Madness

Open Document