Hamlet went through various emotional states because of different unfortunate circumstances that confronted him. Yet Hamlet never went so far over "the edge" so as to not come back from reality, yet for reasons psychological, he procrastinated actions that he should have taken, until it was too late. I will first discuss Hamlet, the origins for his queer behavior and if it twas feigned or not.
In the first act we see that Hamlet is a sort of idealistic man coming back to the world from university in Wittenburg. Coleridge described Hamlet in this point of the play as a "Renaissance" man, who has never really come in contact with the dark side of humanity. In the very beginning of Act 1 scene i the guards dialog reflect that "there is something rotten in the state of Denmark". It is full of corruption, deceit, passion, ruthlessness, and ambition that Hamlet is not used to (Lidz, 71). His mind temporarily can not handle his situation because, as I will mention later, his mother is at the center of it. He has to try to find meaning, direction and a stable identity in the midst of all the evil about him (Lidz, 73).
We clearly see that Hamlet is quite upset by his mother's quite hasty marriage to is uncle, and this causes some deep seeded emotional problems for Hamlet. I can not talk about Hamlet's emotional state without also going into the fact that Hamlet already suspects the King of killing his father, before the ghost tells him so (Leavenwoth, 34). First I will go elaborate on how Hamlet, at certain times, was clearly not feigning insanity, but that insanity only lasted for brief periods of time because of the emotional blows that Hamlet undergoes.
I and many literary folk believe that Hamlet suffered from a Oedipus complex. Freud described this as a desire for a young boy to kill his father and become sexually involved with his mother. Now that Hamlet's father is eliminated, he believes that he will now be the number one person receiving affection from his mother, Queen Gertrude (Lidz, 48). This is the principal reason of why even though Hamlet should have grown out of the Oedipal, it gets reawakened (Lidz, 48). But, to Hamlet's great disappointment his mother has remarried and he will not be the number one person to receive his mother's affection and his superego is greatly damaged (Leavenworth, 95). He feels like his mother has betrayed him in, by marrying, and to boot that she married with great haste. It is this anger that gets pent-up inside of Hamlet and he releases it by way of lashing out at Ophelia and his mother. However, while this anger is still brewing inside him he is truly mad until it is released by some cleansing means (Babcock, 112).
It can be clearly stated that Hamlet really is in love with his mother, and expects her to be a supporting mother figure that is going to cradled Hamlet and take care of his needs, basically mother Hamlet. I think that Hamlet also needed the comfort of a loving mother badly because he returns home to find his father dead and the world he once thought would be so perfect, collapsing around him and the only thing that can make him feel truly safe and out of harm's way is his mother. That yearning and extreme need for the comfort of his mother is a pivotal point of why Hamlet feels betrayed by his mother, when she can not afford him the love he expects.
Besides Hamlet's desire to find comfort in his mother, it is evident that he is sexually attracted to his mother in a sexual fashion. Because of some of Hamlet's actions in the "closet scene" it is first apparent that he is making some sort of sexual advance towards his mother the Queen. This is where Hamlet's Oedipus complex really bears itself completely, we know exactly what Hamlet wants, but like in the rest of the play his words seem haphazard and spurned on by disillusionment (Lidz, 130). He is here making an attempt to not only regain the love of his mother,...