Hamlet Madness Essay

2211 words - 9 pages

Professor Tooma
Fall 2011
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, ligula suspendisse nulla pretium, rhoncus tempor placerat fermentum, enim integer ad vestibulum volutpat. Perhaps the worlds most famous mental patient Hamlet’s sanity has been argued over by countless learned scholars for hundreds of years.  As a mere student of advanced-level English Literature, I doubt I can add anything new tothe debate in 2000 words, but I can look at the evidence supporting dispelling each argument and come to my own conclusion.Hamlet is obviously experiencing grief and despair right from the beginning ofthe novel, with the ...view middle of the document...

Although we are supposed to suspect that “something is rotten in the state of Denmark”, as Horatio puts it, from the start of the play, it is only when Hamlet talks with the ghost of his father in Act I Sc V that we realise the full extent of his uncle’s treachery.  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?” Horatio is afraid that the ghost will get Hamlet to follow him to a cliff hanging over the sea, and then change into some other apparition, making Hamlet lose his mind and his sovereign power of reason. These words are very ironic, for as a result of seeing the ghost and hearing the dreadful truth about his father’s murder and mother’s adultery Hamlet says he will put on an “antic disposition”, telling the others that he will act oddly, but that they musn’t tell anyone why he is doing so.  Hamlet has already told us that he is a man of thought rather than action (earlier in the play he says that Claudius is as different to his father “as I to Hercules”), and he is going to act oddly so that the King doesn’t suspect Hamlet is plotting his downfall.  However, Horatio and Marcellus even now think that Hamlet is acting rather strangely, saying “These are wild and whirling words, my lord”, and “this is wondrous strange”. The next passage of interest is in Act II Sc II, when Claudius says to his Rozencrantz and Guildenstern: “... Something have you heard Of Hamlet’s transformation; so call it, Since nor th’ exterior nor the inward ma Resembles that it was.” Claudius is keen to talk of Hamlet’s rumoured madness, because he thinks Hamlet might know something about his treachery and wants to deflect his guilt and detract from Hamlet’s credibility.  To the audience, who have already heard the ghost’s speech, Claudius seems to be going over the top, saying that he can’t imagine what has rendered Hamlet mad and going back to childhood reminisces. This is similar to one of Shakespeare’s other tragedies, Macbeth, where Macbethgoes weaves all sorts of flowery expressions of grief over a king he has himself killed. In this act, we do not see Hamlet much but are gradually introduced by others to the notion that he is mad.  Different people give different reasons – Polonius says “... I have found // the very cause of Hamlet’s lunacy”.  The Queen thinks that the only reason is “His father’s death, and our o’erhasty marriage”, whereas Polonius thinks it is because his daughter rejected Hamlet, after he himself ordered her to: “I will be brief :Thy noble son is mad. // Mad I call it.”  But by the end of the act, a hint of doubt over Hamlet’s sanity will be ingrained in the audience’s mind. The first time we see Hamlet after he decides to put on his “antic disposition” is...

Other Essays Like Hamlet Madness

Revenge or Madness All of It Makes You Crazy

1369 words - 6 pages Themes are important ideas in a literary work. Revenge is avenging the wrongful death of someone was a normal practice in Elizabethan times. Hamlet takes it to another level. Hamlet gets so rapped up in seeking vengeance for the death of his father he forgets about other aspects of his life. In his pursuit for revenge he accidentally kills Polonius. This leads to Laertes seeking vengeance against him. Then there is the theme of madness included

Is Hamlet Sane or Insane Essay

1593 words - 7 pages talks to Laertes before the duel. He say! s "Give me your pardon, sir. I have done you wrong; But pardon’t as you are a gentleman. This presence knows, And you must needs have heard, how I am punished with a sore distraction. What I have done that might your nature, honor, and exception roughly awake, I here proclaim was madness. Was’t Hamlet wronged Laertes? Never Hamlet. And when he’s not himself does wrong Laertes, then

Was Hamlet Faking His Insanity?

701 words - 3 pages madness”, and that if Horatio notices any strange behaviour from Hamlet, it is because he is putting on an act. Some of the other people also come to notice that Hamlet is not crazy. Claudius says that Hamlet's "actions although strange, do not appear to stem from madness." Also Polonius says that Hamlet's actions and words have a "method" to them, there might be a reason behind them, and they make sense over all. Through the play Hamlet looks

Hamlets Crazy!

717 words - 3 pages Hamlet’s Crazy!      The idea of madness portrayed by Hamlet and Ophelia is a perfect example of the changes that occur after certain traumatic situations. Hamlet’s actions throughout the play are a direct reaction towards the trauma earlier in the play. Ophelia and her ending in life is the ultimate price of madness. Both Hamlet and Ophelia were not the only two people in this play that had gone mad. In the end, the

Not a Gppd Essay, Created to Access Essays Only

651 words - 3 pages Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” soliloquy is seen as a milestone in the play, a moment where Claudius and Polonius attempt to gain insight into the mind of troubled hamlet; to identify his madness. This is said to be the moment we can see Hamlet truly descending into madness. He is not asking specifically the question, ‘should I stay alive, or should I kill myself,’ he is questioning the very thought of existence itself. The two film versions of

The Effects of Hamlet's Madness

794 words - 4 pages fathers death, where he had chances to kill Claudius right away but his actions takes time to do so. Throughout the play Hamlet displays his madness as a antic disposition where he shows madness. Hamlet’s madness has affected everybody, however he thinks that no one is suspicious upon him towards his actions. In (Act 2 scene 2 120-122) Ophelia talks to Polonius where she says “ No, my lord, but as you did command, I did repel his letters and

Free Hamlet Essays: Hamlet’s Fatal Mistake

609 words - 3 pages believe Hamlet’s attempt at pretending that he is mad. "Was not like madness. There’s something in his soul" (III; I; 161). This means that Claudius does not believe that Hamlet is insane, but rather has some sort of plan being brewed. Claudius also has a plan that is to kill hamlet. This is ironic because in the end they end up Claudius is in the end murdered by Hamlet.         Hamlet must act mad if he wants Claudius to believe him, so

Hamlet's Madness In William Shakespeare's Play

1476 words - 6 pages Hamlet's Madness in William Shakespeare's Play The Elizabethan play Hamlet is one of William Shakespeare's most popular works written around the turn of the seventeenth century. Hamlet is generally considered the foremost tragedy in English drama. One of the possible reasons for this play's popularity is the way Shakespeare uses the character Hamlet to exemplify the complex workings of the human mind exploring ideas of

Hamlet Essay

1095 words - 5 pages much that draws him to madness. He starts to treat his mother badly. “What wilt thou do? Thou wilt not murder me? Help, help, ho!” (3.4.22-23) He is being violent to his mother to show his anger. Relatively, He is being rude and mad to Ophelia after her rejection too. This indicates that Ophelia is another important woman in Hamlet’s life too. He is disappointed when Ophelia returns his gifts to him. Hamlet realizes Polonius is listening to them

Hamlet Study Guide- Plot Summary, Character Analysis of Hamlet, Major Themes of the Play, Techniques in the Play and Key Quotes

2615 words - 11 pages usurpation of the throne • Polonius requests that Ophelia shun Hamlet’s attentions • Hamlet sees his father’s ghost and learns of his murder at the hands of Claudius • Vows to avenge his father’s death and decides to feign madness • Ophelia tells Polonius about Hamlet’s intrusion into her room • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern arrive to find the cause of Hamlet’s madness • Voltemand and Cornelius return with news that Fortinbras has retreated

The Tragical History of Hamlet

673 words - 3 pages Hamlet's widow and mother of Prince Hamlet). The play vividly portrays real and feigned madness – from overwhelming grief to seething rage – and explores themes of treachery, revenge, incest, and moral corruption. Hamlet is Shakespeare's longest play and among the most powerful and influential tragedies in the English language. It has a story capable of "seemingly endless retelling and adaptation by others." During Shakespeare's lifetime, the play was

Related Papers

Madness In Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay

856 words - 4 pages observers. Claudius promise “no wind of blame”(Act IV, Sc.7,66) once Laertes kills Hamlet; perhaps this is what the uncle has sought all along for himself. Ophelia has a unique, very powerful form of madness; she seems caught as a “baker’s daughter,"(Act IV, Sc. 5, 42) between memories of her father and Hamlet who ought have spokedn to her of events on “Valentine’s day."(Act IV, Sc 5, 48) She is doubly hexed and the

Madness And Insanity In Shakespeare's Hamlet Is Hamlet Mad?

2504 words - 11 pages sovereignty of reason,            And draw you into madness?"   Horatio is afraid that the ghost will get Hamlet to follow him to a cliff hanging over the sea, and then change into some other apparition, making Hamlet lose his mind and his sovereign power of reason. These words are very ironic, for as a result of seeing the ghost and hearing the dreadful truth about his father's murder and

The Role Of Madness In The Spanish Tragedy And Hamlet

2032 words - 9 pages The role that madness plays in The Spanish Tragedy and in Hamlet, indeed in all revenge tragedies, is a vital one; it provides an opportunity for the malcontent to be converted by the environment into the avenger. In almost all revenge tragedies, the malcontent takes the form of a renaissance man or woman who is confronted with a problem - the deed to be avenged. This crime, and the criminals that perpetrated it, effect that surroundings to

Who Is Hamlet? Essay

552 words - 3 pages Who Is Hamlet? Hamlet is a prince of Denmark who is at the age of university. He goes to university with his friends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern . Hamlet is troubled in his mind because of the recent death of his father, King Hamlet. He is distraught about the death of his father but is possibly driven to madness with the knowledge that his uncle, Claudius who hastily married Hamlets mother was the perpetrator of the crime of killing King