The Importance Of Madness In Hamlet

Wednesday, April 6, 2022 2:05:59 AM

The Importance Of Madness In Hamlet

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Ghosts, Murder, and More Murder - Hamlet Part 1: Crash Course Literature 203

Many readers debate as to whether Hamlet is truly mad, or whether he is fully aware of his actions and what he is doing. This lead to Polonius scheming of an idea to figure out why Hamlet is insane. O, most wicked speed, to post with such dexterity to incestuous sheets! This complaint unequivocally accuses Claudius for the murder of King Hamlet. This play characteristically shows the internal conflict in. As the play develops, the protagonist Hamlet deceives Claudius, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and at times himself. This battle comes about after an interaction with the ghost of his father that triggers him to be deceptive, ultimately leading to the total demolition of an empire.

Each of these instances of deceit contributes to the message underlying the work as a whole, which reveals; revenge is not the answer. Hamlet is a play that incorporates betrayal, vengeance, misguided love, and death into its plot to showcase the downfall of Hamlet. There are many questions that arise within the plot that are left una nswered such as the significance of the Ghost and why Hamlet hesitates to take revenge on Claudius. But, a critical question to ask is how revenge influences the interactions between people. Show More. Read More. Insanity in 'Hamlet' Words 5 Pages Should insanity be considered a curse or a blessing in disguise? Insane Quotes by Mad Characters. In the Shakesperian classic known as Hamlet, a key theme is the topic of madness.

Whether it be genuine madness or madness used to confuse other characters, it surely plays a vital role in the play's entirety. Below are some characters that exhibit some form of madness throughout the play. Please note that the characters are listed according to significance to the topic of madness throughout the play As per my personal opinion. Along with it are some quotes that will be analyzed for their significance to the topic of madness regarding the listed characters: Ophelia Ophelia is seen as a level-headed and very much sane character at the beginning of the play.

However, things seem to take a downward spiral towards the latter half of the play when Hamlet's killing of Polonius is made evident to her. This seems to be the driving force behind her madness. Unlike other characters in the play, at first glance, Ophelia's madness seems to have no purpose or meaning behind it. Horatio goes on to speak on behalf of Ophelia's madness in Act 4, Scene 5. Here is an excerpt from that scene: She speaks much of her father, says, she hears. In this description we find many key elements that will point us towards the true nature and intent of Ophelia's madness.

One of the noted key elements of this analysis of Ophelia's mental state is that she seems to get angry at simple things that one normally wouldn't even bat an eyebrow at. Another is of what Ophelia is saying, which, according to Horatio, "carry but a half sense. Essentially the impression that Ophelia eminates in her madness is that her madness is genuine and fuelled by the death of her father.

However, later on in the play, Laertes says of Ophelia's madness that "This nothing's more than matter" VI. This basically translates to Laertes saying that the nonsense that she's supposedly spewing actually has more meaning than rational speech does. This is a tad ironic And quite funny in my opinion because, upon analyzing what she says, her words seem to hold no relevant meaning other than to indicate her madness being genuine. Overall, I would rate Ophelia around a 9 out of 10 on a supposed "madness scale. In other words, to quote my English teacher Mr. Lafleur; "She's coocoo-bananas.

One of the more central characters to the plot of the play, Hamlet seems to have a different association with the theme of madness within the play. Where Ophelia's madness seems to be genuine and without purpose or method, Hamlet's seems to be quite the opposite of that. That is to say, Hamlet's madness isn't really genuine, and it does play a vital role in the plot of the play because although other characters assume him to truly be mad because of the sudden death of his father Hamlet Senior, Hamlet is really putting on an act and faking this madness to throw everyone off while he plans the perfect revenge for King Cladius, who killed his father as opposed to the story spread around that the former king was killed by a snake in the garden.

In this, Hamlet basically tells Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, two of Hamlet's closest friends who were sent to spy on him by kind Claudius, that he knows why they are both there to see him and that, despite the fact that his actions seem to indicate madness, he's about his wits and can control his madness. In other words, his madness isn't more methodical and being used in a devious manner than anything else. However, there are also indications that Hamlet's "fake madness" might be slowly and gradually transforming into true madness. Hamlet seems to be falling victim to his own plans in other words. Some evidence that Hamlet might or might not be becoming mad can be found when Hamlet goes on a sort of rant about how his love for the now-deceased Ophelia is greater than Laertes' love for her.

Would't weep? In this rant, Hamlet basically tells Laertes that his love for Ophelia far exceeds anything that Laertes has to offer. However, this begs the question; why would Hamlet commit such a childish act towards someone? Is it caused by his passions for Ophelia taking over his level-headed reasoning? Or is it a sign of his imminent madness caused by constantly faking his own madness?

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