1130 words - 5 pages
Hamlet, Madness or Sanity
Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, is about a young prince who wants revenge when he learns about the murder of his father. As the play begins, Hamlet’s character appears to be a normal, sane person. Moving through the acts Hamlet’s personality changes from normal to depressed. There are hints of insanity that try to convince people Hamlet is “mad”. Others might say that Hamlet is faking madness to pursue his goal of revenge. First, he sees a “ghost” that tells Hamlet who killed his father and married his mother. Was this a dream or was this real? Second, Hamlet kills more than one person to avenge his father’s death. Where these accidents or intentional?...
914 words - 4 pages
William Shakespeare could have started an endless debate between psychologists in his play Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Hamlet does such a good job feigning madness there are times that it is almost believable. The reader is frequently reminded that the apparent madness is just an act, which is obvious because no mad person could carry out a plan for revenge so precisely. Hamlet?s word were constructed so cleverly that nobody else in the story can tell that he is not truly mad, but some people have suspicions that he isn?t mad.After Hamlet speaks to the ghost of his father, he immediately forms a plan to get revenge. The details are very sketchy, but he tells Horatio that he is going to feign...
892 words - 4 pages
William Shakespeare is one of the greatest playwrights of all time. His writing is famous still today. One of his greatest works is a very controversal, yet intelectually-stimulating play entitled Hamlet. This play is about a prince (Hamlet) whose father, who was king, was killed by his uncle, Claudius, who then took the throne. To complicate the situation further, his mother, Gertrude, married Claudius shortly after the death of his father. His father comes back as a ghost, and when Hamlet confronts him, the ghost tells him about the murder and asks him to seek revenge on Claudius. This is when a great controversy arises that is debatable to this day. Hamlet begins to act mad to set up his...
1589 words - 6 pages
Hamlet: Method in the Madness Method in the Madness: Hamlet's Sanity Supported Through HisRelation to Ophelia and Edgar's Relation to Lear In both Hamlet and King Lear, Shakespeare incorporates a theme ofmadness with two characters: one truly mad, and one only actingmad to serve a motive. The madness of Hamlet is frequentlydisputed. This paper argues that the contrapuntal character ineach play, namely Ophelia in Hamlet and Edgar in King Lear, actsas a balancing argument to the other character's madness orsanity. King Lear's more decisive distinction between Lear'sfrailty of mind and Edgar's contrived madness works to betterdefine the relationship between Ophelia's breakdown and Hamlet's...
2916 words - 12 pages
Hamlet: Observations of Madness
One of the most analyzed plays in existence is the tragedy Hamlet, with its recurring question: "Is Hamlet’s 'antic disposition' feigned or real?" In truth, this question can only be answered by observing the thoughts of the main characters in relation to the cause of Hamlet real or feigned madness. In the tragedy Hamlet, each of the main characters explains Hamlets madness in their own unique way. To discover the cause behind the madness of Hamlet, each character used their own ambitions, emotions and interpretations of past events. Characters tried to explain Hamlet's "antic disposition" by means of association to thwarted ambition,...
801 words - 3 pages
Madness in Hamlet
Hamlet's choice to put on an "antic disposition" leads to his downfall; it is a tragic error in judgement (hamartia) which destroys his relationship with Ophelia and Gertrude. It is Hamlet's hubris. Another result from Hamlet's peculiar actions, is that in his own mind he begins to believe that he is mad. It is unfortunate that Hamlet's plan did not succeed; not only did it lead to his own downfall but he had to witness the downfall of all of the people he loved.
With his choice to put on this act of antic disposition, he takes the risk of losing close touch with his loved ones. With his actions of insanity, he drives Ophelia away from him and this...
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 actuality Hamlet is surrounded by people who are indeed mad. Ophelia is one main character whose madness is quite obvious. From her Valentine Song in act IV to her suicide in act V, her madness becomes more apparent as the play unfolds. Throughout...
1217 words - 5 pages
In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, one of the most evident and important themes is the theme of madness. The theme is apparent throughout the play, mainly through the actions and thoughts of Hamlet, Ophelia, and Laertes. Madness is defined as the quality or condition of mental illness or derangement (being insane). Madness is at the center of the conflicts and problems of the play and is conveyed through Shakespeare’s elaborate use of manipulation 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...
1014 words - 4 pages
What drives Hamlet to his madness? How does it relate to Ophelia’s madness? Are Hamlet and Ophelia both truly mad? These are some questions that I contemplated as I read Hamlet. The main character, Hamlet feigns madness after learning of his father’s murder; however, he becomes mad later on in the play. Is it possible that Hamlet became so wrapped up in his father’s murder that he was unable to distinguish fantasy from reality?
At the beginning of the play, Hamlet has learned that his brother, the newly king, Claudius, murdered his father. In Christian Wertenbaker: What is the riddle in HAMLET? (Sirs.com, 2011) it is stated, “From then on, Hamlet has to find his own way. He has become a...
1160 words - 5 pages
It is or is it not true that Hamlet was faking his insanity? I’m not saying Hamlet was faking the whole thing. The meaning for insanity on Dictionary.com is “a permanent disorder of the mind.” I don't think Hamlet had a permanent disorder of the mind he knew what he was doing and even planned the majority of the events that happened. Most of the time anyway.
Having your father die is bad enough, but to have your mother marry your uncle, within a few weeks of your father’s death? Then to see the ghost of your dead father. That would drive anyone a little insane, but maybe not to the extent that everyone thought Hamlet was acting. Hamlet is torn between acting sane and letting everyone...
960 words - 4 pages
In the play Hamlet, the author, Shakespeare portrays madness or insanity through most of its characters. What is madness, it is a state of mind in which doesn’t let ones ideas flow normally or think with a clear mind. In this case it is evident that there is something wrong with almost all the main characters. All the characters in the play in some form or fashion display madness either through thoughts, actions or words.
Due to Hamlets father recent death, Hamlet is looking for a way out of problems. While speaking to his new step father/ old uncle he makes this statement:
“O, that this too, sullied flesh would melt,
Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew,
Or that the everlasting...
1395 words - 6 pages
In Shakespeare's Hamlet, there are two characters that display qualities of insanity. They are Hamlet and Ophelia. Although they both appear to be mad at times, their downfall (or supposed downfall) is quite different. Ophelia's crazed characteristics show up and intensify quite rapidly, until she is ultimately led to suicide. Her madness seems definite, and it is never questioned. The insanity or sanity of the main character is an arguable question. The issue can be discussed both ways, with significant support to either theory. Certainly, Hamlet has many reasons to lead him to becoming insane, because of the pressure and emotional strain that he is suffering from. This...
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 their father, they both have
very different consequences to their new found personality change.
Hamlets madness itself was represented as an act, from an audience’s
point of view we know his anti disposition is an act, but this piece
3220 words - 13 pages
Hamlet and Insanity
William Shakespeare’s creation of the character of Hamlet within the tragedy of that name left open the question of whether the madness of the protagonist is entirely feigned or not. This essay will treat this aspect of the drama.
George Lyman Kittredge in the Introduction to The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, explains the lack of success with Hamlet’s pretended insanity, and in so doing he implies that the madness is entirely feigned and not real:
The necessity for some device like the play within the play is due to the failure of Hamlet’s assumed madness to achieve its purpose. [. . .] In Shakespeare’s drama, however, Hamlet’s...
2051 words - 8 pages
The Melancholy Hamlet
William Shakespeare’s tragic play Hamlet is an exercise in the study of melancholy. Let’s explore the in’s and out’s of this aspect of the drama in this essay.
Gunnar Boklund gives a reason for the highlighting of the melancholy aspect of the protagonist in Shakespeare’s Hamlet in his essay “Judgment in Hamlet”:
In the tragedy of Hamlet Shakespeare does not concern himself with the question whether blood-revenge is justified or not; it is raised only once and very late by the protagonist (v,ii,63-70)and never seriously considered. The dramatic and psychological situation rather than the moral issue is what seems to have attracted...
1873 words - 7 pages
In Shakespeare's play, Hamlet, the principal character, Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark, uses a charade of madness in order to further his plot of revenge. However, his mind is not able to justify murder for any reason; therefore, he truly goes insane before he is able to fulfill his scheme. In contrast, Ophelia is openly mad and is used by Shakespeare to show the various forms of insanity.
According to Carney Landis and James D. Page, there are "three levels of social adjustment:" there is the "normal individual," the "neurotic," and the "psychotic"(Landis and Page 9). The normal individual is just what the title says. He is accepted into society as a logical and stable person....
1537 words - 6 pages
A popular topic of discussion for Shakespearian critics is whether or not Hamlet is sane at various points in the play. Usually, this digresses into a question of at what point Hamlet crosses the fine line which marks the bounds of sanity into the realm of insanity. This is a confusing matter to sort out, due to the fact that it is hard to tell when the prince is acting, and when he is really and truly out of his mind. The matter of determining the time of crossing over is further complicated by the fact that everyone around him is constantly speaking of madness. At the end we must either conclude that Hamlet is an extremely talented actor capable of staying in character under the...
1373 words - 5 pages
Hamlet's Madness in William Shakespeare's Hamlet
At any given moment during the play, the most accurate assessment of
Hamlet's state of mind probably lies somewhere between sanity and
insanity. Hamlet certainly displays a high degree of mania and
instability throughout much of the play, but his "madness" is perhaps
too purposeful and pointed for us to conclude that he actually loses
his mind. His language is erratic and wild, but beneath his
mad-sounding words often lie acute observations that show the sane
mind working bitterly beneath the surface. Most likely, Hamlet's
decision to feign madness is a sane one, taken to confuse his enemies
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 pregnancy or unborn child (Bate and Rasmussen 70).
With Laertes in Paris and Polonius dead, the faithful guardians of Ophelia’s “chaste treasure” (1.3.33) are unable to protect Ophelia’s virginity (Bate and Rasmussen 20). Singing “Saint Valentine’s...
563 words - 3 pages
Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark, son to Queen Gertrude and to the late King Hamlet, and nephew/step-son to the new King Claudius. Hamlet is depressed, bitter and full of hate for his uncle and disgusted at his mother for marrying his uncle so quickly after his father died. And in the play he uses his "madness" to confuse, scare and to express some of his true feelings.In Act II, scene ii, Polonius attempts to strike up a conversation with Hamlet, who appears insane; insults Polonius without him ever really realizing. He calls Polonius a "fishmonger" (II.ii.174), like he didn't recognize him and then a couple seconds later Hamlet asks "Have you a daughter" (II.ii.182), thus confusing Polonius,...
1967 words - 8 pages
Hamlet and Insanity
William Shakespeare’s supreme tragic drama Hamlet does not answer fully for many in the audience the pivotal question concerning the sanity of Hamlet – whether it is totally feigned or not. Let us treat this topic in detail, along with critical comment.
George Lyman Kittredge in the Introduction to The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, explains the prince’s rationale behind the entirely pretended insanity:
In Shakespeare’s drama, however, Hamlet’s motive for acting the madman is obvious. We speak unguardedly in the presence of children and madmen, for we take it for granted that they will not listen or will not understand; and so...
1956 words - 8 pages
Insanity within Hamlet
Let us explore in this essay the real or feigned madness of the hero in William Shakespeare’s dramatic tragedy Hamlet.
Critical opinion is divided on this question. A.C. Bradley in Shakespearean Tragedy staunchly adheres to the belief that Hamlet would cease to be a tragic character if he were really mad at any time in the play (30). On the other hand, W. Thomas MacCary in Hamlet: A Guide to the Play maintains that the prince not only feigns insanity but also shows signs of true insanity:
Hamlet feigns madness but also shows signs of true madness) after his father’s death and his mother’s overhasty remarriage; Ophelia actually does go...
1393 words - 6 pages
Hamlet is Not Insane
What occurs in another person's mind is almost impossible to know and comprehend. We use our own understanding of the world that surrounds us to find answers concerning the minds of people around us. As I read Hamlet by William Shakespeare, I was forced to use my understanding to determine whether or not Prince Hamlet was drowning in the sea of madness or just waddling in the pool of acting. To answer my own question I needed to determine what I believe to be the definition of insanity. The Merriam Webster Dictionary: 50th Edition defines insanity as "exhibiting serious and debilitating mental disorder." I would define insanity as having no limits to...
501 words - 2 pages
In William Shakespeare's Hamlet, a kind of madness ultimately infects everyone, leading to an ending in which almost every major character is dead. Two of these maddened characters are Hamlet and Ophelia, who also share a love for each other. But though their irrational behavior is often similar and their fates alike, one is truly mad while the other is not.
Both Hamlet and Ophelia act very strangely. Hamlet, the prince of Denmark, insults everyone around him. He tells Ophelia he never loved her, calls her father a fishmonger, and in subtle ways calls his mother a whore and her new husband a murderer. And Hamlet himself is driven to acts of murder, from the unintentional stabbing of...
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 revenge tragedies in literature. Insanity is a non-medical term referring to mental illness. Psychology Today defines insanity as "a state in which one cannot conduct her/his affairs due to psychosis, or is subject to uncontrollable impulsive behavior."(2) This means that an insane...
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,...
3069 words - 12 pages
The issue of madness has been touched by many writers. In this paper I will focus on two important writings which deal directly with the mental illnesses. The first one is "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" by Ken Kesey first published in 1962. The second is "Hamlet" written by Shakespeare approximately in 1602. Ken Kesey worked nights in a mental institution in California and his novel has a lot of truth in it. He faced patient's insanity every day and was confident that it was natural response to the overall madness of the corporate America. Shakespeare on the contrary, focused on the completely opposite side of the mental madness: through "Hamlet" he wanted to show that in degree of...
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 another, often drastically.
Although in my opinion, Hamlet is not crazy at all, he is merely
forced to act insane to avenge his fathers’ death. Hamlet is in fact
so good at acting insane that many people question whether or not he
2072 words - 8 pages
In Shakespeare's Hamlet, there are two characters that display qualities of insanity. Specifically, Hamlet and Ophelia, although they both appear to be mad at times, their downfall (or supposed downfall) is quite different. Ophelia's madness seems complete while Hamlet's is questionable throughout the play. Hamlet's madness comes and goes; Ophelia's does not. Ophelia tells no one that she is "mad"; on the other hand, Hamlet shows everyone about his madness. Hamlet turns his madness on and off depending on the company he keeps. Ophelia on the other hand, cannot handle the loss of Hamlet's love, her brother's absence, and her father's death. It is all too much for her and she snaps. Hamlet...
2455 words - 10 pages
Throughout Shakespeare’s greatest works there is the ever present use of guilt and madness to add depth to characters, further drama and plot and sometimes to even lengthen the work itself. From Hamlet’s constant struggle to murder his incestuous uncle to Macbeth’s sudden ability to see ghostly blood-covered daggers, it is clear to see that Shakespeare has a method to his madness. Shakespeare uses guilt as a sort of net for the humanity of his characters. Throughout Macbeth and Hamlet shakes’ characters do some deplorable things and the easiest way to help the audience stay in favor of a major character is to have them feel bad about said acts. This converts into the “madness” that is...
1743 words - 7 pages
Throughout the history of Literature, writing has become more complex. One will see the idea of revenge in many great pieces. If one were to take a glance at modern society you will see that vengeance and greed is destroying large communities over time, populations, and even entire civilizations. Revenge and greed has the power to turn a complete civil man into a total savage and Shakespeare showed the reader in one of his most popular fine works called Hamlet. Hamlet is dealing with a character who goes through a change from college student to a bloodthirsty character looking for vengeance. Even though the character loses sight of who he is and who he really avenging in the end he feels...
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 attitudes and emotions.His madness and melancholia range to different heights through the use of actions, movement and language. But this cannot prove whether or not Hamlet was mad, sane or suffering from a profound emotional depression. Hamlet's idea of assembling a staged play...
1199 words - 5 pages
The play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, looks at the issue of madness and how it effects the characters of the play. Madness can be looked at from very different perspectives, such as strong and uncontrollable emotions, a person’s desires, and also a persons mental stability. Throughout the play, the audience is questioning the sanity of the main character, Hamlet, as he goes on his quest for revenge. The people around him also show signs of madness, such as Ophelia and Claudius, but in different forms. Existentialist philosopher Friedrich Nietzche says, “There is always some madness in love. But there is also some reason in madness.” What Nietzche is saying is that when you are in love...
2185 words - 9 pages
Shakespeare’s Hamlet explores the motif of madness through the portrayal of Prince Hamlet and Ophelia; Shakespeare portrays the madness as originating from King Hamlet and Polonius, the two overbearing fathers within the story. The two fathers can be seen as the catalysts for their children’s madness, whether the madness be feigned or not. Ophelia and Hamlet have in them residing a love that they must hold at bay due to the requests by their separate fathers; one father sends his child on a mission of vengeance that leaves no time for love and the other father fears for his child’s reputation so requests that she stay away from their beloved. This love deprivation acts as only one example...
888 words - 4 pages
Hamlet was indeed a very sane man. He was only feigning madness to further his own plans for revenge. His words were so cleverly constructed that others will perceive him as mad. It is this consistent cleverness that is the ultimate evidence of his complete sanity. Can a mad person be so clever? No, a mad person cannot. Hamlet is sane and brilliant.After Hamlet, Horatio, and Marcellus see the ghost, Hamlet tells Horatio that he is going to 'feign madness'. If Horatio is to notice Hamlet acting strange it is because he is putting on an act. 'How strange or odd some'er I bear myself/(As I perchance hereafter shall think meet/To put an antic disposition on)/That you, at such times seeing, never...
607 words - 2 pages
Hamlet According to Webster's Dictionary morality mean the mental and emotional condition (as of enthusiasm, confidence, or loyalty) of an individual or group with regard to the function or tasks at hand. In William Shakespeare's famous play Hamlet, Hamlet lacks morals because of the death of his father when Hamlet was young. This attitude makes him kill his villains and innocent victims throughout the play due to his madness, the wanting of revenge, and his betrayal. Throughout the play the audience realizes Hamlet's life ain't so great. He has a lot of things going through his mind like the death of his father, his love for Ophelia, and his mother who is in love with his...
2537 words - 10 pages
The Genius of Hamlet, the Very Sane Prince of Denmark
Hamlet in Shakepeare's The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark is often seen as a lunatic. Lucid and ingenious, Prince Hamlet falls into a state of emotional turmoil, but he is never insane. Hamlet feigns madness to reveal his anguish concerning the two women he used to love - his mother Gertrude and his lover Ophelia. To escape estrangement from his countrymen, Hamlet appears to waver between madness and sanity. And, to avoid moral estrangement, the Prince plans on revenging his father's death under the guise of madness. There is no question that Hamlet feigns insanity, and he does so to voice his emotions to the two...
1059 words - 4 pages
"Hamlet's True Intent" For centuries many people have contemplated the masterpiece Hamlet. They have ravaged it for ideas and plundered it for its true meaning. Many have argued over its themes of madness, incest, isolation, revenge, and etc. Some scholars believe that Hamlet was truly mad; while others think he just feigns insanity. Hamlet isn't mad. His isolation from love, and his vivid pursuit of revenge might seem to have unhinged his thoughts but he is merely hiding his true intent. From the first act Hamlet is violently ripped from his loving family setting. His father has died and his mother has remarried, to her brother-in-law Claudius, but this just hurts Hamlet's...
1007 words - 4 pages
Franco Zefferelli's film Hamlet
Franco Zefferelli’s film, Hamlet, adapted from Shakespeare’s text, Mel Gibson’s Hamlet, struts and frets his life in Denmark, convincing almost everyone that he is “mad.” The film bases the question of whether or not Hamlet is actually insane almost solely on Gibson’s acting interpretations, but Zefferelli’s editing choices assist in making the point that Hamlet is not insane, but either in a fog of confusion and anger from his grief, or pretending to be mad to manipulate others.
In the film, the morning after Hamlet sees his father’s ghost, there is a silent scene between Ophelia and Hamlet. He appears to Ophelia, disheveled and obviously...
1033 words - 4 pages
The “Concept of Order” during the Elizabethan Era displays that everything and everyone has a place in which they stand. The “Order” was set in place for a civilization to function progressively. Evidently, Shakespeare’s writing often related to current events during his time. Shakespeare’s Hamlet relates to the idea of the “Concept of Order” because of the recurring theme of the disorganization in social order within Hamlet. The conflicts that arise throughout Hamlet are caused by a disturbance in the “Concept of Order,” which raises the argument whether Hamlet is mad or not.
Disturbance in the “Concept of Order” within Hamlet is the first caused by the murder of King Hamlet by his...
3631 words - 15 pages
In Shakespeare's "Tragedy of Hamlet", Prince of Denmark the protagonist, Hamlet, must deal with what critics presume to be melancholy. In the earlier acts of Hamlet it seems apparent enough that Hamlet's madness is merely feigned. However, as the play progresses it becomes clear that Hamlet's emotional environment may actually have affected his mental state driving him into melancholy and, perhaps, even madness. The real question would then be is Hamlet actually mad or melancholic rather, or is it all a feigned guise? Ironically, Hamlet's name is derived from an Old Norse Amlođi meaning "fool, ninny and idiot," also, more interestingly, it comes from a Juttish trickster...
566 words - 2 pages
Throughout literature, authors have developed characters with varying mental states. In the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare, the main character, Prince Hamlet, is depicted a young man on the brink of insanity. Whether or not Hamlet is truly mad is a mystery, but there are numerous instances supporting and disputing his madness.Throughout the play, many characters find themselves questioning the sanity of Prince Hamlet. Ever since the death of his father, Hamlet has become increasingly melancholic. Still dressed in black clothes, Hamlet has not yet ceased mourning his late father. In the height of his grief, his mother decides to marry the new King, Claudius. This propels Hamlet even...
511 words - 3 pages
22. From a novel or play, select a character who is a villain. Then, in an essay, analyze the nature of the character's villainy and show how it enhances meaning in the work.Hamlet portrays a picture of an evil, selfish, inhumane villain in Claudius who is responsible for the deaths of himself and all of the major characters in the story, with the exception of Horatio, because he killed Hamlet, Sr. Throughout the entire book, Hamlet's attempts to get revenge on Claudius for the murder of his father affect all of the other characters in fatal ways.Claudius killed King Hamlet because of his own selfish desire to be king and have control. His evil and conniving ways ensured that after his...
1080 words - 4 pages
The Importance of Fear in Hamlet
Fear plays an important role in Shakespeare's tragic play, Hamlet. Within the play, the main character, Hamlet, attempts to overcome his fear and fulfill his father's revenge. Hamlet's apprehension toward death prevents him from carrying out the murder of Claudius. Although confrontation with death is avoided for as long as possible, Hamlet comes to recognize his weakness, and faces this anxiety.
Displaying an 'antic disposition', Hamlet first attempts to side step his trepidation by feigning madness. After meeting with his fathers proposed ghost, Hamlet attempts to distance himself from the thought or evidence of death. Hamlet notifies...
1115 words - 4 pages
Hamlet's burden is not his conscience alone. It is, in fact, the consciences of his dead father as well as of Denmark. Throughout the play, Hamlet must struggle with his own guilt in killing Polonius, his command to fulfill his father's revenge, and the uncertain state of Denmark as a country. As the play draws to a close, Hamlet must duel with Laertes for the ostensible purpose of satiating Laertes' desire for revenge. However, when Hamlet goes to request Laertes' forgiveness, he finds himself really requesting the forgiveness of his father and all of Denmark as well; for, it is clear when he says earlier...
1289 words - 5 pages
In Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, insanity is defined as an illness or disease that sends the mind into sheer madness. This “disease” deprives the mind of reason and awareness, creating a human being of complete disorder. “A common notion of insanity is that those laboring under it are very violent or very suicidal or talking nonsense” (Kellogg). Kellogg states the actions of those affected by insanity; he provides clear knowledge of behavior 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...
1015 words - 4 pages
The character of Ophelia is an excellent element of drama used to develop interpretations of Shakespeare’s text. At the beginning of the play, she is happy and in love with Hamlet, who first notices her beauty and then falls in love with her. The development of Ophelia’s madness and the many factors that contributed to her suicide are significant parts of the plot. “Her madness was attributed to the extremity of her emotions, which in such a frail person led to melancholy and eventual breakdown” (Teker, par. 3). The character of Ophelia in Zieffirelli’s version is the personification of a young innocent girl. “Her innocence is mixed with intelligence, keen perception, and erotic...
1758 words - 7 pages
In William Shakespeare's Hamlet, Hamlet claims, "to put an antic disposition on." He maintains this false sense of madness throughout the play, though his sanity is put into question by other characters. His selective 'madness', self-belief in his sanity, and the reasons he holds for his 'mad' outbursts and his lunacy in general reflect his sanity. Hamlet deals with issues such as the confliction of values, life, murder, the afterlife, madness, revenge, death and love.Hamlet is a classic play of the revenge tragedy genre. Hamlet, the central character, is the Prince of Denmark, son of the late King Hamlet and Gertrude who married Claudius (Her late husband's brother) shortly after King...
817 words - 3 pages
Hamlet's Hesitation as his Tragic Flaw in Hamlet by Shakespeare
In the play Hamlet, Hamlet is described as daring, brave, loyal, and intelligent. However, he is always consumed by his own thoughts, this being his tragic flaw. There are numerous times Hamlet does not act when he should, like his inability to act on his father's murder, his mother's marriage, and his uncle's assuming of the throne.
'Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder,' says the ghost of Hamlet. The fact that his own uncle could kill his father leaves Hamlet dumbfounded and confused. Although Hamlet knows something is wrong in Denmark, he begins to question everything that the ghost has told him. When...
943 words - 4 pages
Is Hamlet truly mad or just acting??? The play Hamlet gives rise too many unanswered questions. Some of the questions may be : Was Ophelia's death suicide or accidental? Was Gertrude's death suicide or accidental?, etc. The most popular question people probably ask about the play is if Hamlet was truly mad or just acting. Madness is a major theme in Hamlet. There are many cases where people are portrayed as being mad. In the beginning of the play, Hamlet comes up with the idea to fake madness in order to confuse his enemies. In order for Hamlet to fulfill his duty of getting revenge, he must be totally sane. Hamlet's intellect make it seem too impossible for him to actually be mad. Hamlet is...