The Role Of Antic Disposition In Shakespeare's Hamlet

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The question of Hamlet's "antic disposition"(1.5.192) has long since been a point of scrutiny when discussing Shakespeare's Hamlet. Is his madness true or feigned? In the beginning of the story, Hamlet makes it clear that he plans to fake going insane in order to complete his mission in killing Claudius. The aspect of madness is often revealed through the madness of the characters throughout the story. Hamlet and Ophelia both are afflicted by madness. However, Hamlet is sane throughout the play because he is able to show self control. He only acts insane in front of certain people, to others he acts like a proper prince. Even more so, Hamlet is self aware of his so called madness. Hamlet puts on the guise of insanity, but in reality he is sane all through the story. Ophelia, on the other hand, her sanity shatters suddenly and truly goes mad. She struggles with her fathers death and her lovers absence so much that she is driven insane and eventually commits suicide. One of the most important quotes from Hamlet is "As I perchance hereafter shall think meet, To put an antic disposition on"(1.5.191-192). This quote is crucial to the story as a whole because it tells the audience that from then on Hamlet will only be acting mad. This is part of…show more content…
But, that's the genius of Hamlet. He cleverly puts on the mask of madness because he has much to gain from it. He is sane because he is constantly internalizing his surroundings and thinking things through. The guise of madness allows him to do things a prince would not be able to do. And he only acts crazy in front of certain people this consistency indicates that there is a sort of on and off switch to his supposed madness. Further proving that he is, in fact, sane. An insane person could not have so skillfully outsmarted people as Hamlet outsmarted Claudius. Essentially Hamlet is "not in madness, but mad in
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