Motif Of Madness In Hamlet By William Shakespeare

1116 words - 4 pages

Motif of Madness in Hamlet by William Shakespeare

It is the driving force of mankind that has delivered man from the age of stone to that of industry. This force is also the essential ingredient that produces the inescapable prison of the mind, a frightful disease that may be viewed as the greatest irony of life. Pain is a dreadful disease in which every individual has felt the everlasting effects. The grief of pain can become a crashing wave that leaves behind only a semblance of sanity in its wake. For in thinking there is both life and death. Trapped inside the prison of his mind, chained by a grief consciousness served only to torture him, Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark, reveals to the world his methods of dealing with pain. Hamlet was a well-developed character in which his rapid and unorthodox decision making lead others to believe his was insane. In Shakespeare's, The Tragedy of Hamlet, the playwright utilizes the motif of madness to help depict that appearances are deceptive.
Hamlet, the young prince of Denmark loses his father at an early age. Ever since this tragic event occurred, Hamlet was perceived as a troubled individual in a state of madness, a type of madness that develops into insanity. Hamlet presents many clues that in fact he appears to be insane. William Shakespeare does an outstanding job in leading the reader to believe that in fact, Hamlet is insane. "Why, then, 'tis none to you: for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so: to me it is a prison. (Hamlet II. ii. 252-254).
Hamlet displays his indecisiveness while talking to Guildenstern and Rosencrantz. He tells them about the prison in which his mind battles. After the murder of his father, Hamlet begins to question everyone around him. Throughout the entire play Hamlet is careful with his actions. He thinks everything through. Although he delayed his actions longer then Laertes, he planned all his actions out, instead of acting out in a fit of rage. He had to be completely sure before acting. Hamlet was completely aware of his actions and what was morally correct.
Hamlet never lost sight of his objective to expose the King's sin of murdering his father and obtaining revenge. Hamlet was completely sane throughout the tragedy. When Hamlet began to put the pieces of his father's murder together, he paid special attention to his uncle Claudius. "It is not very strange; for my uncle is King of Denmark, and those that would make mows at him while my father lived, give twenty, forty, fifty, a hundred ducats a-piece for his picture in little. 'Sblood, there is something in this more than natural, if philosophy could find it out. (II. ii. 366-371). Hamlet knows that his uncle is the murderer. Claudius further makes it difficult to uncover the truth by announcing that Hamlet is next in line for the throne of Denmark. Shakespeare shows the theme of appearances is deceptive by having Claudius appear to exhibit some...

Find Another Essay On Motif of Madness in Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Ophelia's Madness in Shakespeare´s Hamlet Essay

780 words - 3 pages Although Ophelia’s madness may not be as “method”-ical as Hamlet’s, Ophelia’s sayings, songs and riddle like remarks confirm Laertes suspicion, “This nothing’s more than matter.” (4.4.183) While Laertes remarks suggest that Ophelia’s words might be significant, it is actually Laertes words which hold the “key” to Ophelia (1.3.90). For this “nothing” or “no-thing” is bawdy wordplay which refers to Ophelia’s vagina and the “matter” is Ophelia’s...

The insanity of Hamlet can be portrayed as an act of will to revenge his father's death. William Shakespeare captures this through Madness vs. Melancholia.

1067 words - 4 pages Sane, or Insane? That is the QuestionMadness vs. MelancholiaOne of the most controversial questions surrounding William Shakespeare's tragedy, Hamlet, is whether or not the character was in fact haunted by madness or just acting it. His continuous use of melancholia leaves us as the audience, to ponder upon the true madness of Hamlet."Hamlet" is a story about fratricide, madness, melancholia and a constant change of...

The Many Identities of Hamlet in Hamlet by William Shakespeare

829 words - 3 pages The Many Identities of Hamlet in Hamlet by William Shakespeare In the play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, the protagonist, Price Hamlet, uses several ways to defend himself against his oedipal desires, his animosity towards his uncle, as well as his own inner conflict . Hamlet's hatred towards Claudius stems from two crimes committed; Claudius' murder of his brother and his incest with Hamlet's mother. Because of the seriousness of both...

The Concept of Staying True in Hamlet by William Shakespeare

1217 words - 5 pages Staying True "This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man" (Shakespeare 1794). This piece of guidance from Polonius to Laertes will be hard for many of the key players in Hamlet to follow, and will lead to their detriment. Shakespeare uses this advice as a continuous motif that foreshadows what will spread among major players in Hamlet such as: Ophelia, Polonius,...

An Analysis of Mortality in Hamlet by William Shakespeare

2547 words - 10 pages William Sheng Dr. Beall English 10 February 20, 2014 Hamlet Out Of Class Essay Analysis of Mortality In his tragedy Hamlet, William Shakespeare explores and analyzes the concept of mortality and the inevitability of death through the development of Hamlet’s understanding and ideology regarding the purpose for living. Through Hamlet’s obsessive fascination in understanding the purpose for living and whether death is the answer, Shakespeare...

Imagery of Disease in Hamlet by William Shakespeare

2282 words - 9 pages Imagery of Disease in Hamlet by William Shakespeare The disease imagery in Hamlet serves to constantly remind the reader of the initial problem in the play: King Hamlet's poisoning by his brother. After hearing his father graphically describe the murder, it is constantly on Hamlet's mind. For this reason, many of the images that Hamlet creates in the play are connected with disease and poison. The literal poisoning becomes symbolic of the...

The Importance of Madness as a Theme in Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

997 words - 4 pages The Importance of Madness as a Theme in Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare Madness is a very important theme that is present in the whole course of the play Twelfth Night. Firstly, we have Malvolio almost turning mad because of the cruel joke the other servants play on him. They make him think he is mad and they also make Olivia think he is mad because of the funny way in which he is acting. There is also the theme of...

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

1848 words - 7 pages The fight for power is an essential part of the play. Each character has a corrupt way of trying to overpower one another. Due to all the sorrow and madness brought upon the play, the characters have no choice but to go mad. This play would not exist without the lust of power. Within the play comes power which bring upon madness, causing corruption. Each individual character has their own way to fight for the power they seek. Hamlet, Claudius,...

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

1889 words - 8 pages “What can everyone do? Praise and blame. This is human virtue, this is human madness.” A brilliant philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, once said this. As straight forward as this quote may be, it has so many emotional layers and depth to it. To say that to praise is madness, and to blame is also madness, how can it be? The answer lies within one of the most celebrated literary works ever written. It is hardly arguable to say that “Hamlet” by...

Hamlet by WIlliam Shakespeare

2200 words - 9 pages Sigmund Freud, the father of psychology and psychoanalysis, spent a great deal of his time and effort examining the conscious and unconscious mind, which is pertinent to Hamlet. When reading Hamlet, most people jump to basic conclusions about Hamlets madness without delving into what the actual cause is, but using the psychoanalytic lens can give readers a better understanding of Hamlet’s insanity. For example, the main question of the play is...

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

1929 words - 8 pages Hamlet by William Shakespeare A Shakespearean scene, with all of its intricacies and details, has the capacity to uncover the fundamental aspects of characters while acting as a space for precise language to lead the reader through multilayered themes, tensions, and ideas. Particularly in Shakespeare’s tragedy, Hamlet, the dense, rippling text packs provocative and meaningful language within nearly every line to compose an intricate,...

Similar Essays

Madness In Hamlet By William Shakespeare

1779 words - 7 pages Madness in Hamlet by William Shakespeare At first glance, William Shakespeare's tragedy Hamlet appears to be an obvious story of a man who goes mad over the murder of his father, the king. Madness is a common theme throughout Hamlet, but often times Hamlet himself is the only character seen as mad. An explanation for this is that a first time reader does not carry the perception that any other characters are mad, simply Hamlet. When in...

A Method To Madness Hamlet By William Shakespeare

731 words - 3 pages Ankita Mitra 8A #12Mrs CastagnaMarch 20, 2014A Method to MadnessPolonius's words, "Th8ough this be madness, yet there is method in't." (1) clearly show the reader that Hamlet simply feigned his insanity. William Shakespeare's parents gave birth to him in Stratford-upon-Avon in the sixteenth century. His son, Hamnet, died at the tender age of eleven years. This influenced the writing of Hamlet - one of the greatest...

An Exploration Of The Way Shakespeare Presents Madness In Hamlet

3145 words - 13 pages An Exploration of the Way Shakespeare Presents Madness in Hamlet Does Shakespeare intend to present Hamlet and Ophelia as insane? This is a question which has baffled English literary critics for more than 400 years. There is still no definite answer, and throughout the play there are numerous points where you stop and wonder whether Hamlet and Ophelia are sane or not. They both change dramatically from one scene to...

How Shakespeare Portrays Madness In Hamlet

3072 words - 12 pages How Shakespeare Portrays Madness in Hamlet Many questions have been raised about Hamlets madness. Whether it was an act, or that his father’s death and his ghost genuinely drove him to the brink of madness. Along side with Hamlet, further on in the play Polonius’s death brought Ophelia and the audiences to question her own sanity as well. Although Hamlets madness and Ophelia’s are caused by the same thing, the death of...