Is madness achievable or do we all contain this emotion waiting to be triggered? In the play Hamlet, the author, William Shakespeare slowly develops a character so far driven to insanity that it seems impossible for him not to fall over the edge. Through the consuming depression, his betrayal from women, and his plot to kill his uncle it becomes simple to see how ones sanity might not be long lived. Shakespeare pushes his character to the brink in back in order to pursue this idea of justifiable madness.
One crucial scene we experience Hamlets madness is later on during the play he’s directing. Throughout the play he makes several hints to the betrayal Gertrude made to his father. While he has been instructed not to hurt her, he doesn’t hold back when it comes to making her feel guilty for everything that has happened. At the beginning of this scene Hamlet also calls Ophelia out instantly. By sitting next to her he ...view middle of the document...
While he complained earlier on in the play that he envied another actor for being able to act on emotions; he’s clearly conquered that weakness in this scene. While Hamlet’s actions during the play might seem rude or immature they become justified when looking at the whole picture. Having so much pressure and weight on your shoulders would cause a breaking point to occur at some point. The only end result to holding in emotions is a destructive explosion which occurs in this scene.
Another scene where we first experience Hamlet’s downward spiral while he’s alone is during his first soliloquy. At this point the seriousness of his depression over his father’s death becomes fully evident to readers. Hamlet explains how much he wishes suicide was an option because he can’t stand to live in such an incestuous home due to the marriage of his mother and uncle. He also relives the marriage his mother and father had before his father’s death. It destroys him to know how strong their love was to now have it just be thrown away like nothing. This progressing madness through this soliloquy represents Hamlets hatred for women. His mothers actions have set him off from any woman he comes into contact with from this point on. Hamlet has lost all trust which will now prevent him from gaining real love in the future. All of these things built up create madness inside of a person which is understandable and relatable. Hamlet loses himself deep into his emotions and depression throughout this play and his many soliloquies.
In conclusion, Shakespeare has developed a character that is consumed by negativity. He brings light to the issue that madness can be understandable given a worthy situation. Through Hamlets betrayal from women, his plot to murder his uncle and his consuming depression it’s justifiable that his sanity doesn’t last for a long time. There comes a point in life where breaking down and allowing emotions to take control is bound to happen when you’re placed in stressful situations. Hamlet’s madness created an eventful tragedy full of relate ability, empathy, and mystery for readers. Insanity makes a tragedy powerful when it comes to Shakespeare.