Was Hamlet Truly Insane?

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The question of whether or not Hamlet was insane is of a never-ending debate. Was he always crazy? Was he always faking it? Or was he somewhere in between? In this paper I will share three different views and provide my own interpretation of Hamlet’s sanity. There are many examples of times where Hamlet seems truly insane. We have the time when he is talking with Polonius in the castle, after the King, the Queen, and Polonius were discussing the love letter that Hamlet wrote to Ophelia. Hamlet walks in reading a book, and Polonius asks “What do you read, my lord?” Hamlet replies with “Words, words, words.” “What is the matter, my lord” “Between who?” “I mean the matter that you read, my lord.” (2.2.192-197) In the time that this play is …show more content…

After the player queen says the line “…If, once a widow, ever I be a wife!” Hamlet exclaims “If she should break it now!” This comment is pointed at the Queen, who is, in fact, sitting across the room. Instead of staying calm and whispering it quietly to some one near him, like Ophelia, Hamlet gets overly excited and yells it, trying to make a certain point that the Queen, and even the King, can hear him. This can be seen as an insane move. Contrasting his attitudes with the moments that the king walks in, his behavior towards Polonius while the play is preparing, and his actions to Ophelia during the play, Hamlet is sporadic, when alone with Horatio, he is calm and collected, then again the sudden resumption to his “antic disposition” when Rosencrantz and Guildenstern enter. There is a long break in which we don’t sense any insanity from Hamlet, this is due to the fact that he has no need to assume his disguise. When we find Hamlet with the players, he is giving them directions for the play. With the players, Hamlet acts normal and of sound mind because the players are not likely to betray him, they don’t have the opportunity or the wish to do so. Also, when Horatio comes into the room at this time, Hamlet is as good as

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