Examples Of Insanity In Hamlet

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Hamlet’s Insanity: From Act to Actuality In regards to William Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, there exist two main hypotheses explaining Hamlet’s “madness” (II.ii.93): one, Hamlet feigns lunacy to further his revenge; two, Hamlet slowly descends into insanity as the play progresses. To argue for the second theory that Hamlet is truly psychotic, we can divide the development of his dementia into three main phases with Hamlet’s soliloquies representing transitions between each phase. The first stage of Hamlet’s descent to madness is his lack of insanity. Although the audience never sees Hamlet before the distress induced by former King Hamlet’s murder, it is made clear through Ophelia’s descriptions that Hamlet was once considered the paragon of…show more content…
When speaking to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Hamlet confides that although the sky is a “majestical roof fretted with golden fire,” (II.ii.275-276) it seems but “foul and pestilent” (II.ii.276) to him. In addition, Hamlet’s despairing tone reflects his state of depression. He admits that despite being the “paragon of animals” (II.ii.280), mankind brings him no joy. Hamlet’s superiority over Rosencrantz and Guildenstern make it unnecessary for him to feign insanity yet he still displays signs of craziness, suggesting that Hamlet truly is insane and not merely acting. When speaking to Ophelia, his offensive disposition is in direct opposition to his proclaimed love for her. In fact, his commands to “get thee to a nunnery” (III.i.118) and “marry a fool” (III.i.131) are spat out in a sardonic tone. At this point in the play, the line between upset and insane begin to blur, but it is not until Hamlet murders Polonius that he displays the full extent of his

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