Hamlets Insanity

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Is Hamlet Insane or Sane?

Throughout the play of Hamlet, one of Shakespeare's most famous tragedy's the main character, Hamlet is faced with the responsibility of getting vengeance for his father's murder. He decides to pretend madness as part of his plan to get the opportunity to kill Claudius who was the suspected murderer. As the play goes on, his portrayal of a madman becomes believable, and the characters around him respond quite vividly. Through his inner thoughts and the obvious reasons for his actions, it is clear that he is not really mad and is simply an actor faking insanity in order to complete the duty his father assigned him.

Hamlet only owns up to his madness because it buys him time to stay and perform actions if he didn't then he would not have been allowed to stay for such a long while. His "madness" is keeping people from taking his actions seriously. This seems to be part of his initial plan. This plan is first mentioned when he asks Horatio and Marcellus not to make any remarks in relation to his "antic disposition (1.5.192)." Hamlet's madness allows him to talk to Claudius, Gertrude, Ophelia, and Polonius in a manner that no prince would ever be allowed to speak in. Hamlet is often disrespectful and insulting in his remarks. Although his acting backfires during his speech to Gertrude, Hamlet is able to severely criticize her for the actions she has done because she thinks he is insane. During the play he also makes many sexual hints and even obvious sexual remarks towards Ophelia such as "That's a fair thought to lie between maids' legs (3.2.125)." His convincing insanity act gives him the chance to vent his anger towards Ophelia for her rejection. In another scene, he is able to tell Polonius his true feelings through his appearance. Polonius deciding to "take leave" of Hamlet, Hamlet replies, "You cannot, take from me anything that I will more willingly part withal (2.2.233)." Hamlet uses his madness as almost an excuse, and...
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