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The Insanity Of Hamlet Essay

1592 words - 7 pages

In the play Hamlet written by William Shakespeare the reader gets to see how Hamlet's life pertains to his insanity. “In life of Hamlet as represented by Shakespeare we have a full history of a case of insanity, of a peculiar kind” (Kellogg). “It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane” notes Philip K. Dick. Even though Hamlet is aware in the play there is a side to Hamlet that takes control of him. Though Hamlet often demonstrates awareness; his mind ultimately succumbs to insanity, which brings about his tragic end.
Hamlet is aware while he shows signs of insanity. Hamlet's awareness is being torn away from his body. “Hamlet’s salvation- his awareness of his human failings- comes only with his death” (Boyce 146). Boyce states that Hamlet shows awareness and that it will eventually be the death of him. His awareness drives him into madness. He shows that he is aware but, people do not know that he is crazy. He always knows what is happening and Hamlet also knows about every situation that is put together. The first major situation that Hamlet experiences in the play is where the Claudius had called Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to talk to Hamlet.
Claudius. “And can you by no drift of conference
Get from him why he puts on this confusion,
Grating so harshly all his days of quiet
With turbulent and dangerous lunacy?”
Rosencrantz. “He does confess he feels himself distracted,
But from what cause he will by no means speak.”
Guildenstern. “Nor do we find him forward to be sounded,
But with a crafty madness keeps aloof
When we would bring him on to some confession
Of his true state (Shakespeare. III.i.1-10).
Hamlet is aware of the conversation that Claudius is having with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern but at the time Hamlet is insane. Hamlet knows that everyone thinks that he does not know the circumstance and puts on an act to show that he is aware while he is deranged. Even though Hamlet is aware his mind starts giving him trouble. Hamlet's mind is trying to accept his own life but goes in the opposite direction. Boyce states that “Hamlet’s troubled mind demonstrates the development of an acceptance of life despite the existence of human evil, and this where Hamlet’s troubled mind seems insane” (144). Hamlet’s senselessness is not his fault. He can show awareness because his mind is what creates irrational behavior not his conscience. Hamlet’s mind becomes so troubled that he is aware and insane through every situation thrown at him. His troubled mind starts to get the best of him, and Hamlet becomes insane.
As one reads through Hamlet they can see that his insanity starts to get the best of him. His friends can tell how faulty he becomes and how his troubled mind is drawing him further into insanity. Hamlet's insanity becomes more intense as he talks to the ghost. Shakespeare wrote into his play a ghost that Hamlet sees and talks to.
Horatio. “Or to the dreadful summit of the cliff
That beetles o’er his...

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