Madness in Hamlet

Topics: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Gertrude Pages: 4 (1313 words) Published: November 12, 2008
Madness in Hamlet

The theme of madness in Hamlet has been a widely popular topic in the discussion of the play by both critics and readers alike. Prince Hamlet, in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, is not mad, in terms of sanity. However, he is very mad, in terms of anger, at many of the people that surround him. Hamlet is mainly mad at Gertrude her mother and, most of all Claudius. Although he is extremely angry with Claudius and his own whole situation of his father being murdered; his mother marrying his father’s murderer; and his lady friend not talking to him, Hamlet remains sane in order to carry out his plan of revenge. The madness that has appeared to grip Hamlet is an act played out by him. In order to accomplish that act of revenge on his uncle, Hamlet must have pretended to be mad so that the people of the court would not look upon him with suspicion. In this play the tragic hero Hamlets contemplates his own concept of moral judgment and in the process, maybe considered mad. Points that suggest that Hamlet is actually insane are scattered throughout the play but many of these are court’s impression of Hamlet. The impression of the court is a false impression because Hamlet has made the members of the court think that he is mad so that he may carry out his master plan. Hamlet is a slyer and more deceptive character than most critics give credit. All of the evidence that points to Hamlet being mad is just a cover for Hamlet in the grand scheme that he has placed together. Hamlet’s appearance of being “ ungartered” (Act 2, Sc 1 .77), as well as his strange words and phrases are just a disguise. He succeeds in his convincing of the people that he is mad because Polonius, as well as the rest of the court, speaks on his strange behavior. Hamlet’s plan could then be carried out if he was not seen as a threat to the crown. It is interesting to note other characters in the play acting mad. One is Leartes. Unlike...
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