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Sanity and insanity in william shakespeares play hamlet

Was Hamlet Mad and to what degree to do you consider it? Essay Oct 09, 2017 0 Was Hamlet Mad and to what degree to do you consider it?

  • The scene will resemble the murder of King Hamlet;
  • At the beginning of the play, Hamlet is seen wearing dark robes and acting in a general melancholic way.

Some believe madness to be the lack of rational thought or the result of a feeling of intense anger. Hamlet simulates madness and uses it as a disguise and in doing so he places himself so dangerously close to the line between sanity and insanity that he crosses it without even realising it.

At the beginning of the play, Hamlet is seen wearing dark robes and acting in a general melancholic way. It is clear from the description of his clothes that he is severely depressed at the death of his father.

This is linked to the characteristic melancholic manner that the Elizabethan audience would have looked upon and identified as being mad. I say away go! This does not indicate madness, but again shows that he is irrational, just that he is careless of the consequences. Although Horatio and Marcellus see the ghost, it is only Hamlet that can hear him. Also, as well as not thinking before following the ghost, he is irrational when the ghost tells him of the murder page 90 as the ghost tells Hamlet that he will want to seek revenge over his murder.

Insanity and Sanity in Hamlet

The ghost is a significant factor in attempting to decide whether Hamlet is truly mad. This can be considered to be proof that Hamlet is mad. When Hamlet meets the ghost it is quite soon after the death of his father and before this he is acting strangely; dressing in dark clothes and being melancholic, and so when he hears the ghost, it is an indication that Hamlet has actually crossed the line between sanity and insanity due to the death of his father.

  • His violent outbursts toward Gertrude are more out of jealousy than of being insane;
  • This could be considered a result of the weeks since the death of his father;
  • Hamlet portrays his insanity through his blatant acts of insanity, his play and the sighting of Old Hamlet;
  • When he comes back from meeting with the spirit, he reveals to the three men that everything is wonderful and that they have nothing to worry about;
  • He reveals that he is not insane;
  • This is because Polonius is a weasel and would go back and tell the king.

Further through the play, there are increasingly worrying signs that Hamlet is actually going mad as the ghost appears only to him when no one around can see it. This could be considered a result of the weeks since the death of his father. So, in this sense, Hamlet is mad, but only caused by the severe depression that the death of his father caused. The Merchant of Venice By William Shakespeare Essay However, I feel that this is not really a probable scenario as there are many instances in the play where, although Hamlet may appear to be sane when looked at more closely, really reveal that he is not at all aware of the people around him.

  • Hamlet simulates madness and uses it as a disguise and in doing so he places himself so dangerously close to the line between sanity and insanity that he crosses it without even realising it;
  • I have previously mentioned evidence that may contradict this view such as the periods of apparent sanity that he displays, however, this may be his way of convincing himself that he does not have an illness;
  • Old Hamlet has appeared to Horatio, Marcellus and Bernardo;
  • Often it is hard to distinguish.

When Hamlet is sent to England he knows that he was sent there for the English king to kill him. Claudius arranged this, and he knows this. However, when he returns it is senseless of him to think that although Claudius murder attempt did not work that he would not try again, yet Hamlet seems unaware of it. He almost has a child like trust for Laertes and this can be seen as another symptom of the madness that Hamlet seems to possess.

  1. His madness was borne from anger over the murder of his father, the succession of his uncle and the marriage of his mother. Hamlet really seems to be sane when he asks the actors to perform a specific act in the play.
  2. He wants to avenge the death of his father but he cannot bring himself to do any thing about it.
  3. Hamlet, after this shows more sense in his words and so it could be argued that he was never actually mad and that it was merely all an act, but this cannot account for sightings of the ghost and his confused speech. Shakespeare's language Essay Hamlet can also be considered mad as he uses mixed metaphors.
  4. There is great variance between insanity and sanity.

This is the turning point where Hamlet realises just what he has done. Hamlet, after this shows more sense in his words and so it could be argued that he was never actually mad and that it was merely all an act, but this cannot account for sightings of the ghost and his confused speech.

The play was only really written to take the revenge that the ghost spoke of and so if hearing the ghost was a product of his depression then the play can also be considered this.

Whether it is false insanity or not, Hamlet is clearly angry with Claudius for murdering his father and also with his mother as she married his uncle. He also is frustrated as he cannot speak out openly against the king and queen otherwise he would be accused of treason.

Shakespeare's language Essay Hamlet can also be considered mad as he uses mixed metaphors.

Was Hamlet Mad and to what degree to do you consider it? Essay

He wants to avenge the death of his father but he cannot bring himself to do any thing about it. As well as there being evidence for Hamlet being mad, there is also evidence that contradicts this. Although Hamlet wants revenge for his dead father if he were in fact truly mad, then immediately after the meeting with the ghost he would have began plotting the death of the king.

However, we do see Hamlet constantly thinking about the murder. This proves further that Hamlet is not truly mad, but is simply putting on an act.

  1. Although Hamlet wants revenge for his dead father if he were in fact truly mad, then immediately after the meeting with the ghost he would have began plotting the death of the king.
  2. When he comes back from meeting with the spirit, he reveals to the three men that everything is wonderful and that they have nothing to worry about. This proves further that Hamlet is not truly mad, but is simply putting on an act.
  3. His madness was borne from anger over the murder of his father, the succession of his uncle and the marriage of his mother. Hamlet shows that through rejection and cunning acting skills, one can cause another to believe that he is insane when in truth he is not.
  4. He reveals that he is not insane.
  5. As well as there being evidence for Hamlet being mad, there is also evidence that contradicts this.

Again this display of control and planning opposes previous observations as if he were mad, it would not matter to him how the king died, as long as he was dead so this also reveals more evidence that Hamlet is not insane. In conclusion, I believe that Hamlet is mad. His silence is also due to him not speaking his feelings aloud as it would be considered treason. It is due to the murder of his father that triggers it all off as from then, we see his mental health decline.

I have previously mentioned evidence that may contradict this view such as the periods of apparent sanity that he displays, however, this may be his way of convincing himself that he does not have an illness.

His madness was borne from anger over the murder of his father, the succession of his uncle and the marriage of his mother.

This raw emotion silently bubbled within Hamlet leading to the steady deterioration of his mind.