Hamlet Antic Disposition Essay

1576 words - 6 pages

In Act 1, Scene 5, Hamlet undertakes, "to put an antic disposition on". To what extent do you believe that Hamlet retains his sanity in the play?"I perchance hereafter shall think meet/ To put an antic disposition on" (I.v.172-3).William Shakespeare's controversial play, Hamlet, causes a rise of debate as to whether the main character, Hamlet, retains his sanity throughout. Sanity can be defined as a healthy and stable state of mind and, though his mental state is disrupted, Hamlet is able to maintain rationality, wit and cunning throughout the course of the play. This is presented through his altered view of women and death and how he comes to terms with these disturbances to his state; his ability to realise that he is in a pretentious state; and that he continues to question and ponder his actions. Hamlet's complex character allows for many interpretations of his mental state and reveals his inner-battle for peace of mind and willingness to avenge his father's death.Hamlet is a play based solely on the revenge of the main character on his uncle, the king. "Prince Hamlet is the son of the recently dead Hamlet, King of Denmark" (Reading Hamlet), and Queen Gertrude, who, soon after her husband's death, married his brother, Claudius, who became king. The Ghost of Hamlet's father appears to him, revealing that Claudius had killed him to become king and take Gertrude to be his own. He asks that Hamlet avenge his death or else he be trapped in purgatory for eternity. Hamlet vows to do so and takes to put on an "antic disposition" (I.v.173). Through his feigned madness, Hamlet causes the deaths of Polonius, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern and Ophelia. Hamlet is a tragic play, depicting the inner-struggle of Hamlet to uphold his father's honour, but, at the same time, confront and deal with the onrush of emotional disruption and confusion to his state of mind. From this, the uncertainty of Hamlet's ability to remain sane arises."The direct cause was a state of mind quite abnormal and induced by special circumstances" (A.C. Bradley - Reading Hamlet). A cause that promoted Hamlet's state of melancholy and disruption of mind is that of women. Hamlet's view of women was held quite high before the death of his father. His mother, Gertrude's, "o'er hasty marriage" (II.ii.57) to Claudius and "infidelity" (Hamlet and Madness) destroys his illusion of women. Hamlet's destroyed concept of women - "frailty thy name is woman" (I.ii.146) - is a factor of the disruption to his mental state - "it hath made me mad" (III.i.148). That which Hamlet relied upon was shattered and left him in an 'unhealthy' state of mind, though not mad or insane. "His disgust is occasioned by his mother" (T.S. Elliot - Reading Hamlet). Hamlet's outrage and repulsion at his "most seeming-virtuous" mother's actions lead him to question his view of women. This disruption to his state makes it seem as thought he has lost his mind and his sanity, but is merely an effect of his confusion and altered...

Find Another Essay On Hamlet - antic disposition

The Importance of Maintaining Moral Order as it Relates to Hamlet by William Shakespeare's

1031 words - 4 pages Shakespeare's Hamlet, Denmark is thrown into chaos by the reckless actions of several characters that fail to follow the moral order. Hamlet is instructed by the ghost of his beloved father to restore order to Denmark and seek revenge on Claudius, the present king of Denmark and murderer of his father. By identifying the various levels of disorder in Denmark an evaluation of the effectiveness of Hamlet's "antic disposition" as a plan to restore order will

Hamlet Essay

532 words - 2 pages and is merely playing the part of a mad man. Almost immediately after Hamlet finishes speaking with the ghost of his father for the first time he decides that he is going to pretend to be mad. In speaking to his best friend, Horatio, Hamlet reveals his plan, ?As I chance hereafter shall think meet/To put an antic disposition on? (1,5 172-173). By saying this, Hamlet clearly admits to Horatio that he is going to play the part of the madman. Hamlet


873 words - 3 pages is because Hamlet's morals won't allow him to kill even if it releases Old Hamlet from his purgatory. He later realizes that he must start appearing differently than usual in order to carry out his father's word. Hamlet decides to put on an 'antic disposition' and in doing so has started becoming deceitful. He is trying to mask his true feelings in order to prepare himself for his dilemma.When Hamlet starts being deceitful he starts to recognize

Was Hamlet Melancholic or Crazy?

3631 words - 15 pages would then be is Hamlet actually mad or melancholic rather, or is it all a feigned guise? Ironically, Hamlet's name is derived from an Old Norse Amlođi meaning "fool, ninny and idiot," also, more interestingly, it comes from a Juttish trickster who feigned stupidity.1 Hamlet's madness is derived from intentional and unintentional sources: Hamlet determines that he is feigning an "antic disposition,"2 while at the same time he is deeply

The Sane Hamlet

1231 words - 5 pages The Sane Hamlet    Hamlet contains the classic argument between whether or not Hamlet is mad, or a sane man under difficult circumstances. Hamlet assumes antic-disposition at times to uncover the truth of his father's death.  From my perspective I believe that Hamlet's actions and thoughts are a logical response to the situation in which he finds himself.          In the first act, Hamlet appears to be very straightforward in his

The Mask of Hamlet

847 words - 3 pages The Mask of Hamlet       When people put on a mask or costume it is usually because they are trying to hide themselves or portray a certain feeling to onlookers. In Shakespeare's Hamlet, Hamlet puts on a "antic disposition" as a strategy to get closer to Claudius. Hamlet tells his friends this by saying (I,iv,170-173) "how strange or odd some'er I bear myself (As I perchance hereafter shall think meet to put an antic disposition on), That

Was Hamlet mad??

795 words - 3 pages an antic disposition. "How strange or odd some'er I bear myself (As I perchance hereafter shall think meet To put an antic disposition on) That you, at such times seeing, never shall, With arms encumbered thus, or this headshake, Or by pronouncing of some doubtful phrase..." From that point, Hamlet is basically warning Horatio to ignore all of his crazy actions and words for they are only pretend. Only a person in their right mind could come up

The Message of Hamlet.

954 words - 4 pages . Hamlet going crazy is why he uses his pride and status to hide his true feelings from those around. No one but Hamlet's family of orientation and his new father know exactly how angry, depressed, and mad Hamlet is getting. Consciously, Hamlet believes he is in a normal state of mind and because of this he decides to put on an antic disposition; "As I perchance hereafter shall think meet to put an antic disposition on." (I; v; 171-172) His antic


562 words - 2 pages In Shakespeare'sHamlet, there has been an unanswered question to whether Hamlet has truly gone mad or if he's put on an antic disposition. I believe that Hamlet has not gone mad and he is fully sane. Although at times it may appear that his behaviour is abnormal or crazy, Hamlet is simply a man dealing with the impossible. Hamlet's sadness and anger is completely understandable considering the situation he is in. To assume that Hamlet has a

Madness and Sanity in Hamlet

892 words - 4 pages really mad?When the ghost first asked him to seek revenge, Hamlet said "I purchase here after shall think meet to put an antic disposition on (1, 5, 191-192)." Hamlet's plan is to pretend to be mad and eventually kill Claudius. No one really knows if he was indeed faking his madness, though that is what he claimed to Horatio. Hamlet could seek revenge as a result of madness, or he could be indeed faking insane behavior as a result of his plan to

The Role of Deception in Hamlet

1267 words - 5 pages ,                      How strange or odd some'er I bear myself                      (As I perchance hereafter shall think meet                       To put an antic disposition on), (I, v, 169-172) is what Hamlet says to Horatio and Marcellus after he talks to the ghost of Old Hamlet. Hamlet is telling them not to mention that he is just pretending to be mad to anybody, which hints that Hamlet does have a plan to put on an antic disposition to fool

Similar Essays

Hamlet And His Antic Disposition Essay

621 words - 2 pages Hamlet's idea of pretending to become crazy so that he can take revenge on his father's death was a bad strategy. In doing this Hamlet ran onto a lot of problems. The situations like the death of Ophelia, his fighting with his mother, trying to fool the King and Polonius, his own downfall and finally his death all illustrate why. Hamlet's antic disposition made him lose control of his own actions and resulted in Hamlet losing everything.Hamlet's

Hamlet By William Shakespeare Antic Disposition

1921 words - 8 pages 'At the end of Act I, Hamlet says that he intends to assume an "antic disposition", yet there is evidence in Act II to suggest that his mental disturbance is genuine' Discuss this statement with reference to Act II, explaining whether you believe that Hamlet's madness is real or feigned.Throughout Act II the audience gathers from sources other than Hamlet that he is "mad". After his declaration in Act I that he will "put an antic disposition on

To What Extent Does Hamlet Retain His Sanity After Claiming To Put An Antic Disposition On?

1758 words - 7 pages In William Shakespeare's Hamlet, Hamlet claims, "to put an antic disposition on." He maintains this false sense of madness throughout the play, though his sanity is put into question by other characters. His selective 'madness', self-belief in his sanity, and the reasons he holds for his 'mad' outbursts and his lunacy in general reflect his sanity. Hamlet deals with issues such as the confliction of values, life, murder, the afterlife, madness

Hamlet's Antic Disposition Essay

1514 words - 6 pages Hamlet's Antic Disposition        In William Shakespeare's famous tragedy Hamlet, the main character of the story is one majestically elaborated, aside from being quite complex. There are infinite volumes written about this character because Shakespeare leaves no firm proof of many of his character traits. Yet on Hamlet's antic disposition, meaning his obviously absurd temperament or madness, Shakespeare leaves plenty of reason to believe