Hamlet

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Hamlet is Shakespeare's most popular and enduring play. One of the reasons for this is because throughout the play there are multiple ways to interpret Hamlet’s state of mind. Hamlets sanity is simply a question of personal opinion. Many critics may argue that Hamlet is insane because of his suicidal thoughts and the way he acts throughout the play. It is clearly stated in the text that Hamlet is only acting the part of an insane person, so he can cover up his true motifs. Although Hamlet seems insane, it is quite obvious that he is in fact very sane. We know he is only acting insane and is truly in a sane, normal state of mind, because he admits to the people he is close to that he is going to act insane, he is also able to use reason in the way he thinks and acts. Hamlet’s “insanity’ is the way he is coping with all of his melancholy. Hamlet admits to the people he is closest to in Act 1 that “I perchance hereafter shall think meet to put an antic disposition on”(1.5.58). This simply means that Hamlet is going to attempt to fool everyone into thinking he has gone mad by acting like a fool. Hamlet later assures his mother, Gertrude, that he is intentionally playing the part of a madman so that he will not draw any suspicion towards him. He specifically says to her, “I essentially am not in madness, But mad in craft.” Could a truly insane person be able to think and act reasonably? This is a question that anyone who is trying to interpret Hamlet’s state of mind should consider. It is obvious that a person who is mentally insane would not be able to think or act reasonably, this is exactly why Hamlet could not be insane. Hamlet shows time and time again throughout the play that he is able to act reasonably. When Hamlet thinks about the reason for life and whether it is better to just commit suicide he is able to think through the pros and cons of suicide and then realizes that to committing suicide, would bring the fear of where your eternity will be spent....
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