The madness of hamlet english literature essay
Madness in hamlet essay pdf
Have you a daughter? Prince Hamlet is troubled by the lack of grieving from his mother after his father had died. This part of William Shakespeare's "Hamlet," when Ophelia goes insane, is one of the most well known scenes. In this case, Hamlet must figure out how to deal with the loss of his father as well as perhaps seeing something similar to a specter is actually his coping mechanism. The characters went mad due to the antagonizing relationships they had with other characters; the madness within the play created a chain reaction among the characters. During Shakespeare's time frame, fear of ghosts was not unusual since it was believed that ghosts do indeed exist as a means of detailing sometimes what appeared to be supernatural things. Madness was a reoccurring theme in this play, two characters portrayed this more than others. Even Hamlet's friends, Horatio and Marcellus, see him after Hamlet has seen his father's ghost. He rehearses his pretended madnesss first with Ophelia, for even if he should fail there in his act of simulation, that failure will not cause him any real harm. The plot of Hamlet follows a strain of madness that begins when Claudius murders King Hamlet and ends with the tragic deaths of almost every main character of the play. He feigned madness to enable him to buy time to make a decision and plan on how to kill Claudius. In this act, we do not see Hamlet much but are gradually introduced by others to the notion that he is mad. The establishment of this theme throughout the play is a means of suggesting that Hamlet is, in actuality, sane.
Hamlet decides to portray an act of insanity, as part of his plan to murder Claudius. Did Hamlet start out pretending to be mad, and his obsession drove him to madness? The outside world's perception of him as being mad is of his own design.
For a person in his situation, having one's peers think of one as crazy can be quite beneficial.
His ironic inclination to act rashly causes many of the problems for him throughout the play. Shakespeare connects the plagues of revenge with consequences, specifically with schizophrenia, to prove the theme that revenge is fatal and should not be pursued Hamlet: For if the sun breed maggots in a dead dog, being a good kissing carrion Shakespeare, William.
Hamlet madness essay plan
However, there are also indications to the contrary, Hamlet only feigns madness for the purpose of carrying out his mission. Specifically, Hamlet and Ophelia, although they both appear to be mad at times, their downfall or supposed downfall is quite different. Even Hamlet's friends, Horatio and Marcellus, see him after Hamlet has seen his father's ghost. Similarly, his thoughts are clear when he sends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to their deaths. Hamlet's madness comes and goes; Ophelia's does not. There are several instances where what appears to be is not what truly is. Throughout the play Hamlet takes on different personas, making it hard define him as only one character type. When he first sees the ghost, Horatio and Marcellus try to restrain him, Horatio saying: "What if it tempt you toward the flood, my lord, Or to the dreadful summit of the cliff That beetles o'er his base into the sea, And there assume some other horrible form, Which might deprive your sovereignty of reason, And draw you into madness?
Hamlet does an excellent job of acting insane, so good, in fact, that it is questioned if he was acting insane or if he actually was Polonius, a close confidant of the King, is the leading person responsible for the public's knowledge of Hamlet's madness.
Hamlet has the ability to act sane at specific times and around specific people, and then suddenly act insane around others.
He communicates with his dead father's ghost twice, in the presence of his friends and again in the presence of his mother 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
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