Although Hamlet is a major victim in the play, he commits deception as well as every other character. Hamlet’s feigned madness acts as deceit to all of the other prospects in the play. The explanation to Marcellus and Horatio after their encounter with the ghost is the first instance in which Hamlet verbalizes his plan to act mad in the play. Forcing the two men to swear to never tell of his plan, Hamlet states “as I perchance hereafter shall think meet / to put an antic disposition on,”
His indecisiveness has puzzled many. Shakespeare uses the indecisiveness of Hamlet to demonstrate that human life is about acting, not thinking. At the beginning of the play Hamlet encounters a ghost while out with his friends. The sight shocks him, but he decides to follow it. The ghost is his father, and they begin to have a full conversation.
In the play The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, one of the greatest tragedies written by William Shakespeare, the issue of appearance versus reality is a recurring feature. In Act One, readers realize that lies and delusions are constant obstacles that block the characters from seeing the truth and authenticity. Characters in the play have trouble recognizing the difference between what seems to be and what is. The play emphasizes the difficulties that come with identifying appearance from reality. Lies and deception are woven into all the characters.
King Hamlet’s ghost in Hamlet plays a very significant role in Shakespeare’s play even though he only appears briefly in the very beginning and two other times throughout the play. King Hamlet’s ghost furthers the play in many ways. He affects action by setting the play in motion, he affects the theme of revenge, and he helps develop other characters, specifically his son, Hamlet. He sets the play in motion by causing the wheels to spin inside of Prince Hamlet’s head, the ghost is the whole reason for Hamlet trying to extract revenge upon his murderous Uncle Claudius who is now the King of Denmark. The ghost affects the theme of revenge by causing Young Hamlet to be seized by vengeance, the whole play turns into a story of Prince Hamlet trying to avenge his father’s wrongful death.
An overwhelming amount of evidence shows that Hamlet faked his insanity to confuse the king and his accomplices. Often revered for their emotional complexities, William Shakespeare’s tragic characters display various signs of mental illness. Sylvia Morris notes “Hamlet contains Shakespeare’s most fully-developed study of mental illness, and has always intrigued commentators on the play.” (“Shakespeare’s Minds Diseased: Mental Illness and its Treatment”). When looking at the play, one can infer that Shakespeare makes the relationship between sanity and insanity undistinguishable from one another. At the beginning of the play, Hamlet is melancholic and in a state of grief, which is not out of the ordinary because he is still mourning the loss of his father.
One of the most discussed topics of the Hamlet is whether Hamlet is insane or if he was just pretending the whole time. When the play first began Hamlet did not seem crazy but more depressed and suicidal after his father’s death, he did not begin to act crazy until learning about his father’s murder.”How strange or odd soe’er I bear myself, to put an antic disposition on...”, here Hamlet tells Horatio that he will start to act crazy but for them to just ignore it. After this when Hamlet only acts mad around thoses who he does not trust but when
The only son who does not die is young Fortinbras, Laertes and hamlet kill each other. Hamlet was acting on impulse because of the visions of his father ghost and Laertes was acting on advice giving to him by Claudius. The reader can obviously pinpoint that Claudius is the root of all problems in hamlet. The setting of the play is crucial to understand the plays genre thus Shakespeare uses castle Elsinore and its environs to depict a sordid depressing place where alleged incest and murder take place. A place where revenge is compliance motivation and where the feigning of madness is a normal strategy to dissemble one’s feelings.
One of the most reoccurring questions in Shakespeare's tragedy of Hamlet has been: Is Hamlet's madness feigned or real? There are many themes that are shown within Hamlet's story such as death, obsession and betrayal, which all contribute to encourage his madness. When he is associated with other characters, it is shown through the way his character is being portrayed. Hamlet went through hard experiences not just with his mental state but with the murder of his father, King Claudius and the constant spying that occurs. Hamlet suffers from paranoia, and the way he responded to some of those situations was extreme.
A select few scholars believe that Hamlet is not pretending to be mad, but in reality is insane. Hamlet reveals his insanity through his strange behavior toward others. Dr. Simon A. Blackmore claims, “The Real or Assumed Madness of Hamlet” in Shakespearean Online that Hamlet is insane because of the fact that he is able to see a ghost while others cannot (215). Dr. Blackmore in The Real or Assumed... also asserts that in Act III, scene IV, the instance when Hamlet is in Gertrude chamber and Hamlet states to Gertrude that he see a ghost. Gertrude states to Hamlet that there is no ghost and that he has gone crazy.
At first he procrastinates and even questions if his father’s ghost is real or not. He uses a play that he calls the “Mousetrap” to find out if Claudius is truly his father’s killer. Before the play even starts Hamlet says, “The plays the thing wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the King” (Shakespeare 2.2 633-634). Hamlet has the best opportunity to find out the truth and he takes this play as an advantage. It is mainly for Claudius to watch and react.
A common theme seen throughout many of William Shakespeare’s writing are the apparent lack of and search for identity. Shakespeare has a tendency to thrust an audience in the middle of a character’s search for whom they really are. It is the basis for many of his play’s plots and the source for most of the conflict in each of them. But, in both The Comedy of Errors and Twelfth Night, Shakespeare adds a deeper layer upon the characters’ search for individuality through the use of twins. Characters in both Twelfth Night and The Comedy of Errors have an issue with their appearances that does not allow them to be their true self.
William Shakespeare wrote Hamlet at a time when England was embroiled in debate about the nature of ghosts. The Elizabethan people believed in the existence of spirits. However, there was a discrepancy in how the people believed the spirits interacted and influenced mankind. The conservative held to the old doctrine stating that ghosts were spirits of deceased people and therefore not evil, while the reforming denied the possibility of ghosts in favor of spirits being evil devils. The Elizabethan Era was one marked by extreme violence and superstition which heavily influenced Shakespeare 's writing, including the ghosts he incorporated into his plays.