Hamlet On Trial Essay

1405 words - 6 pages

It is man’s natural instinct to protect himself. Therefore, that person would do anything in his power to be safe, especially if they committed a criminal act; but that does not make them innocent. In the palace of the Denmark Royal family, there was a criminal act that was carried out by the beloved Lord Hamlet. He not only had slain the King’s advisor, Polonius, but also his own friends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern as well. In his defence, Lord Hamlet’s attorney pleads the insanity defence. However, after reviewing the case and analysing different events that had taken place, the crown is convinced that Lord Hamlet’s insanity is just a mask that he puts on to escape from the responsibility ...view middle of the document...

This can be seen when Guildenstern and Rosencrantz first approach Hamlet, they come across as innocent and as they came to meet him to have some fun after many years. At this point he discloses that he is only acting mad. “I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw” (2,2,402) . Hamlet uses symbolism to tell his friends that he only feigns insanity at times and when need be he is very rational; “I know a hawk from a handsaw”. However, upon finding out that they are there only upon the King’s request to spy, his outlook on them changes. He uses remarks towards Rosencrantz and Guildenstern that show he is somewhat disappointed in them but still sane and rational by comparing them to sponges. “When he needs what you have gleaned, it is but squeezing you and, sponge, you shall be dry again," (4,2,14) where the “he” refers to Claudius. Hamlet references his two friends to a sponge which they are to the King as they soak up his favours only to be “dried” up again after the King is done with their use. The significance of this quote is that it shows Hamlets intelligence and thoughtful comparisons whereas an insane individual speaks without meaning. Ophelia can be taken as an example of this: “They bore him barfaced on the bier, hey non nonny nonny, hey nonny” (4,5,188). his quote shows that when Ophelia became insane she makes no sense whatsoever while when Hamlet speaks it’s deep and philosophical. Another one of Hamlet’s example is, “To be or not to be-that is the question” (3,1,64).

After killing Polonius, Hamlet speaks with his mother in her room. He tells her how she is blind to not see Claudius’s true intentions. Near the end of their conversation, she also questions his sanity. Upon her remark on his madness, Hamlet exclaims that what she sees is not true, “I essentially am not in madness, but mad in craft” (3,4,209). This is an important line stated by Hamlet as it shows that after all that has happened he trusts his mother to keep his secret of pretending to be mad. Her behaviour towards Hamlet hereafter is as if she believes to some extent that he may be telling the truth, but she is still in some doubt. Regardless, this whole conversation with Gertrude has a lot of sensible advice in it for Gertrude. It gives her light and she now understands her wrong doing by her marrying again to her own brother in-law. This level of wisdom proves that Hamlet is sane as he shows rational thinking, which any insane person would have great difficulty in displaying.
To be insane is to show complete lack of reason or foresight. Hamlet cannot be characterized as insane as he plans his actions beforehand. During anytime that Hamlet is speaking to Horatio, he speaks sanely, with some worry and stress maybe, but still in a logical way....

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