The Importance Of Madness In Hamlet

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In Hamlet by William Shakespeare, it can be seen that Hamlet intends to feign madness as a means to kill the king, Claudius. However, readers have argued about the legitimacy of Hamlet’s madness and whether or not it is truly an act. There have been instances in the play where it is apparent that Hamlet is faking his madness and there have been scenes in different parts of the play where the madness seems to be too convincing to be considered an act. The fact that readers are arguing about whether Hamlet is truly mad or not shows how convincing Hamlet’s acting is. To answer the question, Hamlet is not actually crazy and all of his actions are part of a bigger plan to convince Claudius that he is crazy. By closely analyzing Hamlet’s actions…show more content…
That shows how convincing Hamlet was in leading people to believe that he is truly insane. The fact that most characters do not understand the reason for Hamlet’s madness made it more convincing because they believe it came out of nowhere. For example, Polonius believes the madness to be the cause of Hamlet’s affection for Ophelia. He tries to rationalize to Claudius the reason for Hamlet’s madness and spins a tale of his daughter who “should lock herself to his resort, admit no messengers, receive no tokens…And he, repelled, a short tale to make, fell into a sadness, then into a fast…Into the madness wherein now he raves.” (Shakespeare 2.2.143-150) Polonius is the first to declare Hamlet as mad due to this. This lead to Polonius scheming of an idea to figure out why Hamlet is insane. Hamlet’s madness effectively baffled many characters to the point that they had to make up a reason for his madness. In fact, Hamlet’s madness stressed Claudius out so much that he decided to convince Hamlet’s friends to send him off to England to be killed. If Claudius believed that Hamlet’s insanity was not sincere, he would not have made the decision for the prince to the throne to be killed off. Hamlet’s constant reference to death and his snappish attitude towards the court members unnerved the king. By deciding to have Hamlet shipped off and killed, Claudius shows that he is threatened by Hamlet’s convincing

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