Opening Statement: Hamlet Insanity or Not?
Affirmative: He is not
On this question there are four different hypotheses: (1) That Hamlet was throughout perfectly sane, but feigned insanity; (2) that Hamlet was after his interview with the Ghost more or less insane; (3) that in Hamlet insanity was latent, but was only fully developed after the Court-play; (4) that Hamlet was neither insane, nor feigned to be so. Is He Really?
“Despite what one may think, there are some things one cannot control including one’s sanity. Madness is complex to discern because it is hidden in the mind, develops slowly over time, and is difficult to prove” Hamlet decides to feign madness in order to discover the truth surrounding his father’s death. The events at the beginning of the play are enough to drive anyone mad. When Hamlet returns home to Denmark, he learns of his father’s death. Not only has his father passed away, but his mother has married Claudius, the brother of the deceased King Hamlet. Quote #2
How strange or odd soe'er I bear myself,
As I perchance hereafter shall think meet
To put an antic disposition on
After the Ghost tells Hamlet that Claudius has murdered his father, Hamlet begins to plan his next steps. Here, he warns his friends that he will put on an "antic disposition," which results in the delay of Hamlet's revenge. What does "antic" mean, exactly? Well, it means "clown" or a performer who plays the role of a "grotesque," which means that Hamlet is going to pretend to be a madman. COUNTER POINT:
The plan goes well until he begins to slowly slide down a dark tunnel causing his mind to spin out of control. What began as an act of insanity or antic disposition becomes less and less an act, until it finally ends up as Hamlet’s reality and tragedy for all. Quote #1
O, that this too too solid flesh would melt
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!
Or that the Everlasting had not fix'd
His canon 'gainst...
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