This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Hamlet’s Madness Essay

2267 words - 9 pages

The tragedy of Hamlet by William Shakespeare is about Hamlet going insane and reveals his madness through his actions and dialogue. Hamlet remains one of the most discussed literary characters of all time. This is most likely due to the complex nature of Hamlet as a character. In one scene, Hamlet appears happy, and then he is angry in another and melancholy in the next. Hamlet’s madness is a result of his father’s death which was supposedly by the hands of his uncle, Claudius. He has also discovered that this same uncle is marrying his mom. It is expected that Hamlet would be suffering from some emotional issues as result of these catastrophes. Shakespeare uses vivid language, metaphors, and imagery to highlight how Hamlet’s madness influences several important aspects of his life including his relationships and the way he presents himself.
At first, Hamlet is respectable even though he is not happy to find out that his mother is married to his uncle nor is he happy to discover that his father is dead. The reader is first introduced to Hamlet’s madness in his first soliloquy. His is speaking on his lack of satisfaction with his life and on his mother’s hasty marriage to his uncle.
Oh, that this too, too solid flesh would melt,
Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew,
Or that the Everlasting had not fixed
His canon 'gainst self-slaughter! O God, God!
How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable
Seem to me all the uses of this world! (Shakespeare, 1.2.129-134)
Shakespeare uses a variety of metaphors and descriptive words to describe Hamlet’s emotional state. Hamlet is saying here that he wishes that his flesh would melt away and dissolve. He goes on to say that he wishes that God had not made suicide wrong. Terms like weary, stale, and flat perfectly illustrate how Hamlet feels at this moment. It is clear here that Hamlet is not happy with his life; it is normal to be unhappy when a parent dies. But, this vivid soliloquy marks only the beginning of the emotional reactions that Hamlet will exhibit.
Hamlet’s madness intensifies once he comes in contact with the ghost of his father. Hamlet first encounters the ghost when he is with Horatio and Marcellus. Hamlet’s emotional state is even more noticeable in this scene. The ghost motions for Hamlet to come over, but his friends advise him not to.
Why, what should be the fear?
I do not set my life in a pin’s fee,
And for my soul—what can it do to that,
Being a thing immortal as itself? (Shakespeare, 1.4.67-71).
It is obvious from these lines that Hamlet does not care whether he lives or dies. At this point, Hamlet fears nothing. The ghost completely takes over Hamlet’s entire being. His friends try to prevent him from following the ghost, but Hamlet draws his sword and threatens to kill them (Shakespeare, 1.4.90). The ghost of his father proceeds to tell Hamlet that his uncle, Claudius, was the one that killed him. His father’s ghost says that Claudius killed him so that he could marry his wife and inherit the...

Find Another Essay On Hamlet’s Madness

Theme of Madness Conveyed in Shakespeare's Hamlet

1217 words - 5 pages and parallels between Hamlet, Ophelia, and Laertes to contribute to Hamlet’s tragic character. All examples of madness begin and end with death. Hamlet’s madness, or feign of madness begins with the death of Old Hamlet and seeing his ghost, and Ophelia’s madness begins with the death of her father Polonius. Laertes is another example of a character within the play who demonstrates the theme of madness. Laertes’ madness is also triggered by

The Relationship Between Ophelia and Hamlet: William Shakespeare

1199 words - 5 pages relationship changes, as Hamlet appears to have gone mad over his inability to be with Ophelia. The relationship is again put into question when Hamlet forcibly grabs onto Ophelia is a mad fit, showing anger. This raises the question again of if he truly cares for her The audience does not know if this madness is real or if its fake because of Hamlet’s planned madness to fool everyone. It is known to the audience that Ophelia does have feelings for

hamlet

915 words - 4 pages comments about him and his family. Was Hamlet truly sane through his revenge period, when there are many things that make us see otherwise. In some cases Hamlet’s madness can be seen for real. For example,'Oh, that this too, too sullied flesh would melt, thaw, and resolve itself into a dew, Or that the everlasting had not fixed his canon 'gainst self-slaughter!”(I, II, 129-132). This line is clear and shows what Hamlet is thinking about, he is

Hamlet Formal Essay

982 words - 4 pages schemes such as calculated false madness, and staged traps. Secondly, through knowing which colleagues to trust, and mentally distancing himself from those whom he cannot, Hamlet’s superior intellect is seen utilized once again. This specific display of intelligence inevitably saves Hamlet from his own peril. Lastly, Hamlet’s intelligence allows him to do something that no other character can. Hamlet recognizes his own hamartia, and changes his

Insanity as a Weapon in Hamlet by William Shakespeare

805 words - 4 pages with grief, depression, madness, and pain. Not only did old Hamlet’s death play a part in Hamlet’s “antic disposition” (I.iv.192), but so did his mother and uncle. Their incestuous marriage is what brings us to Hamlet’s first soliloquy, “O, that this too, too sullied flesh would melt.” (I.ii.133-164). His words are full of disgust with his mother and uncle’s marriage. Hamlet’s disgust leads him to referring to his mother as a “beast” (I.ii.154

Hamlet's Madness

1676 words - 7 pages Shakespeare’s masterpiece Hamlet, there is much debate around the protagonist, Hamlet, and whether or not his madness in the play was real or feigned. It was a disastrous time in the prince, Hamlet’s life as his father had just passed away, his uncle then took the kingship and wed Hamlet’s mother, then the ghost of his deceased father appeared to him with instructions for revenge and, finally, the love of his life was no longer permitted to see the prince by

Triangle Essay

1098 words - 5 pages his own father died. However, Hamlet’s original plan was only to fake madness not to actually go crazy. All he wanted was to get information on his father’s death. That is why the angle created by Hamlet’s madness and Ophelia's involvement is the smallest. He never meant to make such a big deal out of it. The madness that Hamlet is slipping into makes Polonius fear that his relationship with Ophelia will end badly. Polonius knows that although

Apperance vs Reality in Shakespeare's Hamlet

1061 words - 5 pages Hamlet’s best interests, but are really plotting against him, and Hamlet himself puts on an appearance of madness, unlike his own sanity. In Hamlet, the characters of Claudius, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and Hamlet are not what they appear. Claudius is the brother of Hamlet’s late father, and is now married to Hamlet’s mother. Claudius appears to be a sympathetic husband who only has Gertrude and Hamlet’s best interests at heart. He is actually

Exploring the Depths of Hamlet's Character

1090 words - 4 pages Introduction Hamlet’s madness, authentic? This question has been debated by scholars and professors throughout the ages. This lecture will explore the depths of Prince Hamlet’s character in Shakespeare’s original play, as well as Michael Almereyda’s modern interpretation of this tragedy. / Through the use of cinematic tools and critical literacy, the Bard and Almereyda both equally portray the theme of madness, in their respective media

Fight, Flight, or Feel?

952 words - 4 pages this!” (3, 4, 27). Without thinking, Hamlet quickly retorts, “A bloody deed? Almost as bad, good mother,/ As kill a king and marry with his brother” referring to Gertude’s incestuous relationship with Claudius (3, 4, 28-29). Consequently, this tells Gertrude that Hamlet’s unhappiness has given rise to madness. Gertrude confides in Claudius, showing him that Hamlet’s madness is real. Now, Claudius is able to make a move against Hamlet since it is

Hamlet’s Defining Romantic Characteristics

1230 words - 5 pages person there for him: his lover, Ophelia. Yet, when she sees him, she notices that he had “a look so piteous in purport/ As if he had been loosèd out of hell/ To speak of horrors” (2, 1, 80-82). Worried, she tells her father, who immediately relays the news to Claudius. However, Claudius is skeptical of Hamlet’s so called ‘madness’. Claudius and Polonius eavesdrop behind an arras, waiting to see if it is true. Unfortunately, when Hamlet arrives

Similar Essays

Hamlet’s Madness In Craft Essay

866 words - 3 pages In Act I, Scene V, after hearing the ghost’s demand for revenge, Hamlet says in advance that he will consciously feign madness while seeking the opportune moment to kill Claudius. Therefore, it is hard to conclude that he coincidentally became insane after making such a vow. Hamlet’s supposed madness becomes his primary way of interacting with the other characters during most of the play, in addition to being a major device that Shakespeare uses

Madness In Macbeth Essay

2185 words - 9 pages takes place on the actions and decisions of King Hamlet and Polonius. The interesting contrast between Ophelia’s and Prince Hamlet’s madness comes from Shakespeare’s ability in presenting the mental illness. Shakespeare uses Prince Hamlet’s ambiguous characterization to drive the plot of Hamlet; while Shakespeare clearly divulges to Ophelia’s being mad, at the hands of King Hamlet and Polonius, he presents Prince Hamlet’s characterization with

Hamlet's Feign Insanity Essay

1289 words - 5 pages associated with an individual that has been introduced to madness. Characters in Hamlet are intended to be affected by insanity, therefore throughout the play corrupted minds descent into madness bringing about tragic endings, sorrow-filled moments, and shameful events. Hamlet, a character from Shakespeare’s play, is portrayed as being affected by this illness. Critics state that Hamlet is truly insane. They demonstrate how Hamlet’s responses and

Insanity And Procrastination: An Analysis Of Hamlet’s Inaction And Mental Degeneration

1265 words - 6 pages rapidly, which ultimately sets the stage for the murderous scene that occurs at the play’s conclusion. While attempting to balance his fragile sanity and false madness, Hamlet becomes chronically paranoid and distrusts his environment without sufficient evidence; therefore, he develops a loneliness that further fuels his downfall. Hamlet’s bizarre actions prompt Claudius to employ Hamlet’s friends, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, to spy on Hamlet and