Was Hamlet insane? Scholars have debated this question ever since Shakespeare presented this play to the public. Although I am not a scholar, I believe that there is enough evidence in the play to suggest Hamlet had been sane. He may have been depressed and angry however this was due to the treachery and betrayal contaminating Denmark. The insanity act had been an instrument to allow Hamlet the freedom to achieve his goal of revenge.
When the audience first meets Hamlet, he is dressed in black. He is in mourning over the death of his father. When questioned by Gertrude about his attire and his disposition, Hamlet replies “But I have that within which passeth show—these are but the trappings and the suits of woe.” (Act 1, Scene 2). Hamlet is incensed over his mother’s hasty remarriage to Claudius by stating “She married. O most wicked speed, to post With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!” He comments that he would commit suicide if his religious beliefs allowed it. To add to Hamlets problems, his girlfriend Ophelia refuses to see him anymore. She “did repel his letters and denied His access…”. No explanation is given to Hamlet about her actions. The audience knows that Polonius is responsible however Hamlet does not know this. Hamlet is an angry, depressed man due to life altering events. His faith in humanity is at an all time low.
It is in this depressed state of mind that Hamlet meets the ghost of his father. Hamlet’s friends find him ranting after his meeting with the ghost “Hillo, ho, ho, boy! Come, bird, come” (Act 1, Scene 5). Naturally, this supernatural experience has sent Hamlet’s mind reeling but he quickly recovers and apologizes to his friends “I’m sorry they offend you, heartily—“. Furthermore, he is unwilling to reveal what the ghost has said to Horatio and Marcellus and informs them that “How strange or odd...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document