William Shakespeare’s famous play “Hamlet” is well known for it’s extraordinary twists and turns throughout the story. The constant doubt, indecision and seemingly double personality by the story’s main character Hamlet, makes for a very interesting plot which is centered around Prince Hamlet agonizing over what to do about his father’s death and possible murder. As stated in the text by Marcellus, “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark” (Act I, scene IV, line 88). Aside from the death of the King of Denmark, there are many other factors that contribute to this so-called “rottenness” in Denmark and these dilemmas all add fuel to Hamlet’s already flaring emotions. The way that he handles the nightmare that has become his life leads many characters in the play to believe that Hamlet has truly gone insane this creates confusion for the audience members that take their word for it. In Shakespeare’s tragic play Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark is thought to have gone mad but his actions prove otherwise because at the points in the text where Hamlet’s alleged insanity comes out he always has some type of reasoning behind it.
There are points in the play where the reader or an audience member could come to believe that Hamlet is in fact mad if they are not closely looked at. His fits of rage that some would consider fits of “madness” are easily explained, proving his sanity. Hamlet appears to act crazy when he hears who his father’s murder is. At the time Horatio says that Hamlet speaks "wild and whirling words." (Act I, Scene V, lines 127-134.) It is true that Hamlet is quite upset at this point, but is this type of reaction also to be expected from someone who has just learned about the death of his father. Hamlet’s feelings of both rage and disbelief could easily be translated as utter madness for a person with an etic perspective. The audience must draw the
line when questioning a person’s sanity... [continues]
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