Insanity and Sanity in Hamlet

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Sanity and insanity are often hard to differentiate. Opinions about a person’s mental state can be long debated. What are the guidelines for sanity and insanity?? There have been many debates and disagreements over Hamlet’s mental state in William Shakespeare’s, Hamlet. Hamlet shows that through rejection and cunning acting skills, one can cause another to believe that he is insane when in truth he is not.

Hamlet portrays his insanity through his blatant acts of insanity, his play and the sighting of Old Hamlet. All the while, he has a clear and conscious mind to prove Claudius’s guilt. Old Hamlet has appeared to Horatio, Marcellus and Bernardo. These three people give credibility to the ghost's existence. If Hamlet was the only one who saw the ghost, then it could be assumed that he was mad. The three men witness the ghost before even notifying Hamlet. Horatio states "Before my God, I might not this believe without the sensible and true avouch of mine own eyes." (I.1.56-8). All three men are witnesses to the ghost demanding that Hamlet speak alone to it. And all three swear upon Hamlet's sword to keep it secret. This scene clearly shows that the ghost is not a made up image formed in Hamlet’s head. Hamlet really seems to be sane when he asks the actors to perform a specific act in the play. The scene will resemble the murder of King Hamlet. Hamlet expects that if the ghost is telling the truth about Claudius murdering his father, then Claudius will react to the scene, thus admitting his guilt. Hamlet states "The play's the thing wherein I'll catch the conscience of the King." (II.2.581-82). Anyone who can plot that, and think that far ahead, needs to have a clear head. Besides, Hamlet's sane friend, Horatio is helping him with his plot to catch the murderer. Horatio states "If `a steal aught the whilst this play is playing, And `scape detecting, I will pay the theft." (III.2.75-76). Hamlet needs a sane mind to develop this plot to reveal Claudius’s...
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