Hamlets madness thesis

In existence, not everything is what it may seem to be; people may behave differently, and hide reality with a disguise. Throughout the play Hamlet, written by William Shakespeare, Hamlet is only feigning madness, as Hamlet portrays insanity through his thoughts, actions, and interactions with others. Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark and the….

Madness in Hamlet | SchoolWorkHelper

He illustrates the theme through his character such as those portrayed in the tragedy of Hamlet. These characters are overtaken by their own form of madness. Shakespeare implies the theme of madness throughout the plot of Hamlet.


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Madness is portrayed through the protagonist, Hamlet and spreads like a plague to those around him. Shakespeare reveals how the scourge of corruption and decay rapidly spread; and the emotional consequences that follow. Insanity, madness and depression are as intolerable as corruption and deceit; and just as intertwined. The play makes one ponder if it is possible to be sane in an insane world full of treachery….

It is more indicative of the social attitudes of the play. Fortinbras seeks to avenge the death of his father, as does Hamlet. Hamlet and Fortinbras, and later Laertes, are in the same situation. Fortinbras must reclaim the lands his father lost to Old Hamlet. He does so for the sake…. His explicitly stated intention to act "strange or odd" and to "put an antic disposition on" I. The latter phrase, which is of doubtful interpretation, should be taken in its context and in connection with his other remarks that bear on the same question….

Hamlet's Madness Exploration

Is Hamlet Mad or Feigning Madness Shakespeare 's play Hamlet is about a complex protagonist, who faces harsh conditions and is destined to get vengeance by murdering the individual who killed his father. Hamlet is a character whose actions and emotions may be one of a mad person, it is clear that Hamlet is not mad and has decided to feign madness in order for his plan to succeed in killing Claudius. Hamlet is sane because throughout the play he only acts outlandish in front of particular people…. The theme of madness in Hamlet has been a widely popular topic in the discussion of the play by both critics and readers alike.

This uncertainty in my view, is the question that has bothered many readers…. Essays Essays FlashCards. Browse Essays. Home Page Hamlets Madness Essay. Hamlets Madness Essay Words 2 Pages. Show More.

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So he keeps doing weird stuff convincing people that he really is crazy. During Hamlet's act of playing crazy and planning to kill Claudius it has helped him find the real value of human life. In Hamlets "To Be or not to Be" speech he ponders the value the value of his own life and the value of Claudius life in retrospective to his own life. He wonders does one murder really warrant another person to die.

Perhaps the most powerful evidence that Hamlet is sane, however, is the fact that his madness is extremely purposeful. The fact that his madness serves a distinct purpose and is only seen during distinct moments and around specific characters in the play suggests that the madness is certainly an act. Although his language seems to be wild, there is always a purpose or hidden meaning in his insane speech. For example, Hamlet acts mad when speaking to Polonius in Act 2, Scene 2. Hamlet adopts a plan of feigned madness as a way of confusing his enemies and hiding his ultimate intentions of revenge.

It further allows him the freedom to transgress the rules of etiquettes and obedience, and thus become a critical and sardonic commentator on the actions of the other characters. In the beginning of the play, prior to adopting this plan, it is seen how Hamlet must restrict what and whom he criticizes. In his first soliloquy, Hamlet discusses suicide and reprimands his mother for marrying so quickly. This statement portrays how a sane man is restricted in articulating his thoughts in the court of Denmark.

Faked Madness of Hamlet

Once Hamlet adopts the act of insanity, however, he is much more able to assert his feelings and objections. Hamlet has the ability to pick and choose when he is going to act insane, a clear indication that his madness is feigned. Hamlet patiently devises his plans to prepare for his revenge through the play-within-a-play; a cunning way of proving to himself that Claudius did indeed kill his father as the Ghost said.

Hamlet is able to act perfectly sane, friendly, and courteous with the players. Additionally, shortly after to acting insane towards Polonius and calling him a fishmonger, he suddenly acts sane when Guildenstern and Rosencrantz walk in. He is completely capable of holding a rational and witty conversation with them, further suggesting his sanity. Hamlet is also lucid when speaking to his mother, moments before killing Polonius. His statements are witty and critical, responding with plays on words. This presents proof that his killing of Polonius was an act caused by his weakness to act impulsively, not by insanity.

He also remains lucid directly after the murder, stating an intricate analogy between his father and Claudius, comparing them to mythological gods and agriculture, further chastising his mother for her rash action in marrying his uncle, and telling her that Claudius killed King Hamlet. Hamlet himself reaffirms his sanity to several characters throughout the play. This quotes means that Hamlet is mad only at certain times, and when he wants to act sane, he is able to distinguish between things that do not resemble each other.


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  • This quote demonstrates that Hamlet is picking when to act out his insanity. It further proves that beneath his apparent madness, he is actually completely sane. He is capable of recognizing his enemies from his allies, and is calculating at what times to appear mad. Other characters in the play are also suspicious of Hamlet and propose that he may be faking his madness.

    Hamlet purposefully acts insanity in certain scenes of the play as a cunning strategy to act out his plan of revenge against the King. Furthermore, his trait of ironically acting impulsively demonstrates that certain acts that may otherwise be characterized as irrational are actually a manifestation of a character flaw.

    The fact that his madness comes at such useful times is also a significant piece of evidence that his madness is not real. Hamlet has the ability to act sane at specific times and around specific people, and then suddenly act insane around others. This evidence comes together to form the strong argument that Hamlet is in fact a sane man acting insane. Johnston, Ian. Malaspina-University College, February 27, Remember: This is just a sample from a fellow student.

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    Madness in Hamlet

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