Is Hamlet Mad (His Indecisive Soliloquies)?
A controversy occurs over whether Hamlet’s behaviour displays craziness or planned insightfulness when deciding on his revenge on King Claudius. Prince Hamlet’s life unfortunately spirals out of hand when his father mysteriously dies. Suspicion of the possible murder of the king rises when his mother immediately marries King Claudius. Hamlet becomes extremely skeptical believing that his father did not die of murder and concludes that King Claudius could be held as a suspect. He contemplates his plans on revenge on many occasions alone, in literature, known as soliloquies. “ major purpose f Shakespeare’s use of Soliloquies in Hamlet is to provide views of the prince at crucial moments in the course of his experience”(Newell 134) His pursuit to find out officially causes Hamlet’s change of behaviour, a crazy behaviour in which he claims he acts on purpose. Yet many in the story claim Hamlet’s rash decisions, sudden hatred towards Ophelia, and the killing of Polonius, emerge out of a mental disease he developed naturally after his father’s death. The reader makes their own opinions when observing how he acts by himself reflecting on his journey towards revenge. Hamlet progresses from indecisiveness and confusion when handling the matters of revenge towards King Claudius observed in Act 2, Scene 2; Act 3, Scene 1 and Act 4 Scene 2. This is due to his religious morals sometimes, and other times he’s so blinded by revenge that he wants to i the king when he’s in a position of unholiness.
Firstly, in act 2, scene 2, Hamlet shows vengeful confusion demonstrating himself as an avenger. The scene begins with Gertrude inviting Guildenstern and Rosencrantz to Elsinore in hopes to help Hamlet recover from his sudden change of behaviour. Since they have grown up with him, they know his personality the best, thus Hamlet, Gertrude’s “too much changed son” (2.2.36) contains fondness solely for his comrades, opening the gates for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to investigate secretly. Hamlet seems pleased about the arrival of his best friends, yet becomes skeptical over their reason for the sudden appearance. When they claim they came merely to revisit Hamlet, he strictly declares that he knows the king and the queen sent for them. After the players perform, giving an enlightening speech regarding the fall of Troy, Hamlet leaves his comrades, standing alone. Here, he formulates a plan to find out whether Claudius indeed killed his father. Forcing Claudius to watch The Murder of Gonzaga, a play which may r may not resemble Claudius’s own very life, Hamlet will scout his reaction of potential guilt written on his face- proof that Claudius did indeed murder the king. “Hamlet’s fourth soliloquy may be seen as a link between the emotional turmoil f his previous soliloquy, after his encounter with the ghost and the level of intellectuality of the “to be or not to be soliloquy” shortly after it.”(Newell 56) In other words, this soliloquy could be considered as a bond connecting with chaos, his previous soliloquy, and intuitiveness, his subsequent soliloquy.
Unfortunately, Hamlet displays illogicalness throughout his soliloquy. He uses contradicting analogies showing lack of commitment and certainty to act n revenge. line reads that he prevails “with eyes like carbuncles, the Hellish Pyrrhus old grandsire Priam seeks. So proceed you.”(2.2.466-468) Hamlet relates himself to Pyrrhus. Therefore, if “Hamlet is like Pyrrhus, then Priam is in avoidably an analogue for Claudius against whom Hamlet seeks revenge.” (Newell 59) If Hamlet committed to his quest for revenge, he would further his commitment by similar analogies supporting his classification as the avenger. Instead, he then propels himself in the opposite direction, by using words “peasant slave” for himself and “kindles villain” in the rhetoric way” (Newell k). This also creates a controversy f prospective. First he calls...
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