Change In Hamlet Essay

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In act 3 scene 1 of Hamlet, Shakespeare brings to question one of the most important issues in the play: Whether or not Hamlet is insane. By creating a change in Hamlet’s, diction, manner of speech, and structure of speech, Shakespeare highlights the importance of change, specifically, change in Hamlet’s mental state. While speaking to himself, Hamlet maintains perfect -more or less- iambic pentameter, as Hamlet delivers his famous “To Be or Not to Be” soliloquy in blank verse. Yet, as Ophelia initiates her conversation, Hamlet converses in prose, after addressing her in blank verse. This shift in tone is accompanied by a rise in tension in Hamlet’s dialogue, which serves to show that in the presence of others, there is indeed some sort of change in Hamlet’s behaviour. Shakespeare imposes this idea within the dialogue itself, where Hamlet quickly…show more content…
The deliberate change in Hamlet’s structure of speech supports this idea well. One may argue that in order to carry out his plan of revenge on his uncle, Hamlet needs to appear completely harmless to his uncle, and what better way to achieve this, than docile lunacy? However, the irony of the situation is, that Hamlet draws more attention to himself in his current state than before, as the king states “Madness in great ones must not unwatch’d go.” Therefore, it may be possible that Hamlet’s facade is an attempt to draw attention to himself, in order to let the king know that his wicked deed has not gone undiscovered. If Hamlet’s persona is indeed an attempt to provoke the king into taking action against him, Hamlet may be acting under the assumption that Claudius knows, that if something were to happen to the former king’s son, then the nation would be suspicious (then again, having the king’s funeral and Claudius’s marriage to the queen on the same day, has not proven the Danish citizens to be any less

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