Hamlet Insanity Analysis

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In Shakespeare’s tragedy Hamlet, insanity plays an integral role in the development of the plot. Hamlet’s act of antic disposition leads him to say and do a number of questionable things, and as the plot progresses, his choices become more absurd and illogical. With a steadily growing death count, the pressure to avenge his father’s death intensifies and the strain on Hamlet’s mental state worsens. As the story progresses and tensions grow, Hamlet quickly crosses the line from feigning madness to a true insanity. By the end of Act 1, Hamlet has devised a plan to expose his father’s murderer, Claudius. His intent is to “put an antic disposition on” (1.5.192) and convince everyone that he has completely lost his mind, giving him the opportunity …show more content…
In the duration of the play, Ophelia has endured loss, deception, and complete disrespect; Hamlet had rejected her and her father had been murdered. Ophelia’s world was collapsing around her, she was losing so many things in her life, and the horror and tragedy of it all was too much for her to handle. She enters Act 4 Scene 5 singing about death, much to the king and queen’s confusion. In the end, the weight of all she’s lost leads to her death. Gertrude describes the scene: “When down her weedy trophies and herself fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide, and mermaid-like awhile they bore her up, which time she chanted snatches of old lauds, as one incapable of her own distress or like a creature native and endued unto that element. But long it could not be till that her garments, heavy with their drink, pulled the poor wretch from her melodious lay to muddy death” (4.7.199-208). It is impossible to say how Ophelia ended up in the water, but once there, Gertrude’s description tells us that the weight of her sorrows stopped her from getting up, and the weight of the water ended her life. Ophelia, so overcome by all her loss, no longer had the motivation to live, and allowed the water to end her …show more content…
Countless times throughout the play, we see Hamlet exhibiting the same thought process. His soliloquies focus a lot on the meaning of life, or lack thereof, and if it weren’t for religious beliefs and fear of the unknown, Hamlet may have taken his life before all this chaos ensued. Both Hamlet and Ophelia share their attitude towards life, but while Ophelia no longer has anything to live for, Hamlet seeks out one final act of justice for his father. As Hamlet’s life comes to an end, he leaves us with the final words, “the rest is silence” (5.2.395). Now that Claudius has payed for his crimes, all that remains for Hamlet is the silence of

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