The Role Of Insanity In Hamlet

645 Words3 Pages
One definition of madness is “mental delusion of the eccentric behavior arising from it.” However, as Emily Dickinson once wrote, “Much madness is divinest Sense/ To a discerning Eye.” In Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, the main character, Prince Hamlet, shows apparent madness which proves to serve an important role throughout the story. This erratic behavior consists of his seemingly senseless dialogues, his loss of care for Ophelia, and his increasingly aggressive nature. Such behavior often proves justified by the play’s audience due to its convincing nature despite Hamlet’s predisposition towards insanity.
Primarily, Hamlet provides hints towards his apparent madness through his seemingly insane dialogues. This is most prominently displayed
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One primary example which proves the insanity behind Hamlet’s loss of love for Ophelia is when he berates her for being a pawn of her father. During his encounter with Ophelia, Hamlet states that, “If thou dost marry, I’ll give thee this plague for thy dowry. Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny. Get thee to a nunnery, go. Farewell” (x). By verbally harassing Ophelia and estranging himself from her, Hamlet provides the apparent image of losing his prior care without a great amount of consideration. Additionally, Hamlet further displays his anger for his father’s death through this display. By dissolving his relationship with Ophelia, Hamlet furthers his image of insanity to further illustrate himself as incapable within Claudius’s eyes while still communicating distaste for his loss of his father. With Hamlet’s intentionally swift change of heart for Ophelia, Hamlet’s procedure warrants a certain level of sanity. Regardless of the sudden nature, Hamlet’s continual barring from Ophelia possesses procedure which causes further doubt of Hamlet’s mental instability from the audience of the
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