Hamlet: Pretending To Be Mad

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‘Alas he’s mad’ (3:4:108) How far do you agree with the statement that Hamlet is mad?

I disagree with the statement that Hamlet is mad due to all the evidence throughout the play in which I believe Shakespeare uses hidden phrases and hints to suggest Hamlet is only pretending to be mad. I believe that by the way Shakespeare exaggerates the extent of Ophelia’s madness, so the audience may compare this to Macbeth to realise that he is not actually mad. For instance when she speaks, she talks in rhymes “no no, he is dead” it shows how big the difference between Hamlet and Ophelia is. A nursery rhyme shows that Ophelia’s intelligence is quite low, as these rhymes are aimed at young children. Hamlet uses vocabulary such as “it will discourse most deliquescent music” It also leads me to believe that Hamlet is not mad, but so lost in all his feeling that this leads to him in acting irrationally, in which any human being of the similar situation.

The fact that Hamlet only appears to be mad to certain characters also persuades the idea that Hamlet is being cunning into believing the other certain characters that he is mad, so he can continue with his plans undisturbed, and people will think he is unaware of what he is doing. Like the quote "actions although strange, do not appear to stem from madness." Which Claudius says, and as this is one of the characters Hamlet is trying to fool its seems that Shakespeare is trying to make it obvious to the audience that he is not mad.

In the play it shows there is always more to Hamlet than the other characters in the play can see, most readers notice that not everything about hamlet is described. Hamlet tells people there is more to him than they think. One of the people he tells is his mother. When he speaks, he sounds as if there’s something important he’s not saying, maybe something even he is not aware of. Therefore when it may appear that hamlet is acting mad, this could just be due to the fact that he is masking...
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