Is Hamlet Crazy?

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Is Hamlet Crazy?

By | April 2013
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[IS HAMLET CRAZY?]

In this paper, it will be discussed whether or not Prince Hamlet is crazy, or is just faking it to get to his end goal. Examples will be given for the reasons why he is, or if he’s faking it.


Is Hamlet insane? This question has been discussed over and over again. However looking over the evidence, this paper will take the side of he’s not insane, and is merely a façade. Before looking at reasons why Hamlet is just pretending to be insane, one has to step and look at what has happened to Hamlet. In the recent times he has lost his father, the king of Denmark. His mother remarried almost immediately to his uncle. Hamlet is 18-19 years old, and he’s already lost his father, and feels betrayed by his mother and uncle. Then Hamlet sees the ghost of his dead father, who tells him that his uncle, his new stepfather, killed him with poison and he must take revenge. Mentally, Hamlet is wreaked. Not many people could stand that much trauma and be ok. However as he puts on, through many examples he’s not all the way gone, just clear enough to make right and wrong choices. The first example of where it really sets the stage for this is in Act 1 SC 5. This is right after Hamlet talks to the ghost of his father, and he tells him that the new king was the one to kill him. Hamlet swearing revenge goes back to his friends, and tells them: “Here, as before, never, so help you mercy,

How strange or odd some’er I bear myself
(As I perchance hereafter shall think meet
To put an antic disposition on)
That you, at such times seeing me, never shall,
With arms encumbered thus, or this headshake,
Or by pronouncing of some doubtful phrase,” (Act 1 SC 5 Lines 189-195)

This passage shows that Hamlet is already plotting what he wants to do to take revenge, and what he will be doing. That he’s warning his friends that he will start to act crazy, and not be himself. Though, this might not be a sign that he’s already gone mad, since those who are...