Hamlet's Madness

Topics: Hamlet, Family, Gertrude Pages: 3 (1116 words) Published: May 6, 2012
In relation to Shakespeare’s production of “Hamlet”, there has been a variety of opinions regard ing Hamlet’s madness throughout the play. Many believe that he was mad before his father’s death, and that he used his madness as an excuse to get away with actions that he performed as the play unveiled. Others believe that Hamlet’s madness was the onset of traumatic experiences that caused him to lose a sense of rationality. Sigmund Freud suggested that Hamlet’s psychopathic tendencies were brought on by traumatic experiences that affected him, and his family. If one analyzes this suggestion, it is a valid idea because the amount of traumatic experiences that compiled in a short period of time were enough to affect someone’s sanity and pattern of thought.

Within the first scenes in Act I of Hamlet, one learns about Hamlet’s father’s tragic death, his mother’s marriage to her brother in law, and Hamlet’s encounter with the ghost of his father. The actions that happen subsequently draw one into believing that Hamlet has lost his mind. However, has Hamlet lost his mind as a cause of these instances? Or was he mentally incompetent before the death of his father? As the play continues it is easy to blame Hamlet for the tragedies that happen to him, and the people around him. Yet, although Hamlet is an active participant in his downfall, so are the additional characters in the play that procure his actions.

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Revenge is one of Hamlet’s drives which cause him to harm others around him. Following the death of his father, Hamlet discovers that his mother has moved on and married Claudius, Hamlet’s uncle. This caused Hamlet to feel revenge towards his uncle, and mother since they felt no grief towards the death of an important person in their lives. One can draw from this that while experiencing the five steps of grief; Hamlet was stuck on the second step, which is anger. Hamlet’s admiration towards his father motivated him to pursue revenge, and justify...
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