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hamlet literary analysis

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In “Hamlet”, the tragedy by William Shakespeare, has Hamlet truly gone insane? Or is it all an act? The prince of Denmark is an expert at acting out roles and making people falsely believe him. The roles he plays are ones in which he fakes madness to accomplish his goals. Hamlet is not just putting on an antic disposition; Hamlet gradually slips into madness the longer he puts on his antic disposition. (II.ii.189-195) In this text, Hamlet is giving an example of how he is undergoing his antic disposition; Hamlet is saying that he has no idea who Polonius is but everyone knows that Hamlet does know who Polonius is, thus showing his antic disposition. (V.ii.15-28) In this text, Hamlet tells Horatio how he plotted to overcome Claudius’s scheme to have him murdered in England. He replaced the sealed letter carried by the unsuspecting Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, which called for Hamlet’s execution, with one calling for the execution of the bearers of the letter—Rosencrantz and Guildenstern themselves. Here is where Hamlet reveals to truly be mad by intentionally killing his own friends and not to just be putting on an antic disposition. (III.iv.27-35) “How now, a rat? Dead for a ducat, dead.”- Hamlet When Hamlet and his mother are talking; he hears a man, Polonius, behind the tapestry and proceeds to murder him without remorse. This Hamlet is extremely different from the one that was introduced at the beginning of the play. The sane Hamlet was kind, respectful, handsome, and behaved responsibly. This mad Hamlet is cruel, impulsive, slovenly and unforgiving.

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