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Hamlet: The Irrational Prince Essay

1285 words - 5 pages

Has the Prince of Denmark gone mad? Or has he simply disguised his intensions by acting like a lunatic? In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark, named Hamlet, is the main character that’s going to avenge is fallen father. Shakespeare makes the audience wonder if Hamlet is really mad or he is just presenting some excellent acting skills that make it seem as if he has really gone insane. We must consider if he has gone mad, could be due to the loss of his father and if he is just simply acting mad, could that be to confuse his enemies? And hide is intensions?
One thing is for certain and that is Hamlet cannot act on his words. He is excellent at expressing himself verbally either to others or to himself but cannot act on them which makes us wonder, is the Prince of Denmark a coward? There are many times Hamlet was able to execute his vengeance for his father. In Act 3 Scene 3, Claudius tries to ease his guilty conscience in prayer, which unfolds a splendid opportunity to avenge his father for Hamlet, however, Hamlet fails too get his vengeance for his father. Hamlet states that “A villain kills my father, and for that I, his sole son, do this same villain send to heaven” in Act 3 Scene 3, lines 76-78. Hamlet does not feel that this is the perfect way to avenge his father because Claudius is praying and confessing his unnatural acts, which is the perfect way to heaven if killed by Hamlet. Hamlet had the perfect opportunity to murder Claudius. Claudius was all alone, there were no other souls around to witness it, but Hamlet, the procrastinating coward he is, fails to take advantage of the situation. After he decides he will not kill the king not he says “Up, sword, and know thou a more horrid hent: When he is drunk asleep, or in his rage, Or in th’incestuous pleasure of his bed” (Act 3 Scene 3 lines 86-90). He claims when Claudius is committing any of these acts that are not heavenly, he will be slain by Hamlet and sent off to hell and getting what he deserves. This is an excellent reason for Hamlet to pretend that he is mad. He is too much of a coward to simply go and kill Claudius and by acting crazy he will gain valuable information. While he acts mad, he is hiding his intensions of his plan to murder Claudius. Claudius see’s Hamlet as no threat because he has gone mad. Hamlet in fact is also presented as very clever to come with the plan to act mad. By acting insane Hamlet will confuse his enemies and at the same time hide his intensions which is very ingenious but at the same time much more time consuming then simply going and murdering Claudius without having the need to put on an act on madness.
Even though Hamlet has put on this act of madness, in time, he will be confused to weather he is really insane or sane and conform to being mad. While being in the act of madness, Hamlet is able to get away with things that he normally would not be able to get away with such as swearing and being very disrespectful towards Ophelia,...

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