Hamlet Outline

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Thesis statement: In the play Hamlet, William Shakespeare uses sarcasm and wit to prove that Hamlet may seem crazy but in reality is sane and has complete control of his situation.

I. Introduction: Part of the question of whether Hamlet is crazy is made problematic by the fact that the character deliberately decides to act crazy on purpose. By seeming crazy, he can put his mother and stepfather off the track of thinking he is trying to expose his uncle as a murderer. So there is part intent to appear crazier than he perhaps is. II. Body: However, the reader must consider what Hamlet does. First, he sees his dead father, perhaps a delusion. III. Second, he considers suicide. He also sends his friends off to die, is at least in part responsible for Ophelia’s death, and murders Polonius by accident. IV. Lastly, he kills his stepfather/uncle. In the end, Hamlet kills his stepfather. One could ask if this is this vengeance or craziness, or if vengeance is part madness. People who are sane look for means to apply justice that do not end up killing themselves, and the majority of their family. V. Last of body:

VI. Conclusion: If we define crazy by modern standards, then Hamlet clearly fits the bill. Though it was a convention of characters to soliloquize, his long speeches to no one could be seen as acts of madness too. There is also the question of whether Hamlet’s discussion with his dead father is even truthful or real.

By: Zack Tatham
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