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Insanity As A Weapon In Hamlet By William Shakespeare

805 words - 4 pages

“Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder” (I.iv.31); the words that changed Hamlet tremendously. As Hamlet meets the ghost of his dead father; he finds out that Claudius, his father’s brother, poisoned him. Hamlet then puts on an act of insanity. No one really knows why he has gone so mad. Hamlet uses insanity as a weapon to avenge his father’s death. Converting back to sanity, Hamlet’s thoughts and actions lets us know how and what he is really feeling. Hamlet shifts back and forth between sanity and insanity, which ironically, slows his over aching goal of revenge.
Hamlet’s psychology is only what is in his mind. Shakespeare writes how Hamlet lacks self-worth in the beginning of his first soliloquy. He wishes his flesh would melt away into a vapor and wishes that God had not made a law against suicide. It shows how Hamlet moves through a series of emotions in the play, beginning 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), meaning she is a creature of no morals or reasoning. This then furthers his desire for revenge. In addition to revealing Hamlet's plot to catch the king in his guilt, Hamlet's second soliloquy tells the very essence of Hamlet's true conflict.
Hamlet refers to himself as a “dull and muddy-metalled rascal” (II.ii.594), who has done nothing to avenge his father’s death. In Hamlet’s second soliloquy, he wonders why the players had such grief for Hecuba when they are no relations to her. Hamlet also wonders if the players had the same motive or the same passion as he did. As Hamlet sits and thinks to himself, he comes up with an idea. He says he will have the players act out a play that is similar to his father’s death. “I’ll observe his looks; I’ll tent him to the quick: if he but blench, I know my course”...

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