The Guilty Of Insanity In Shakespeare's Hamlet

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One of the most recurring questions in Shakespeare’s tragedy Hamlet is whether Hamlet’s madness is feigned or real. Hamlet experiences sorrow, a normal feeling for any son grieving over his father’s death and discovering his mother’s marriage to his uncle. However, when he learns the truth about his uncle murdering his father, he readily plans a revenge that calls for him to act insane. I believe Hamlet was feigning madness in order to take revenge for his father’s murder by hurting those who have hurt him. Hamlet’s logical interactions with Horatio, the only moral character, and interactions with other immoral characters with different inner and external appearances, such as Claudius, Gertrude, Polonius, and Ophelia, prove that Hamlet was…show more content…
After Hamlet’s encounter with his father’s ghost, Hamlet tells Horatio that no matter how strange he acts, he should never let on with a facial expression or gesture of hands that he knows about the ghost, because Hamlet is planning “to put an antic disposition on” (I.v.192) in order to deceive Claudius and take revenge for his father’s death. Therefore, Hamlet appears mad, but in reality he is logically ensuring Claudius is guilty of murder. For example, Hamlet tells Horatio how he plans to stage the “Murder of Gonzago,” a play which reenacts events of his father’s death. He needs Horatio to watch Claudius because, “If his occulted guilt do not itself unkennel in one speech, it is a damned ghost that they have seen” (III.ii.86-87). Thus, as Hamlet told Horatio, he “must be idle” (III.ii.96) to discover the truth about his father’s murder and take revenge accordingly to Claudius’s reaction. Next, when Hamlet learns about Claudius’s orders to kill him by the English king, Hamlet reasons it just for him to take revenge because, “He hath killed my king and whored my mother. Is’t not perfect conscience to quit him with this arm? And is’t not to be damned to let this canker of our nature come in further evil” (V.ii.72-74). As a result, these interactions show that Hamlet is sane, because he is still a thinker, logically contemplating reasons to kill Claudius. If he was mad, he…show more content…
For example, Polonius wants power and recognition from Claudius, so he uses his own daughter to prove to Claudius that Hamlet’s madness is driven from love-melancholy. Therefore, Hamlet aware Claudius and Polonius is watching, feigns his madness for their benefit. Hamlet asks Ophelia where Polonius is and Ophelia replies saying that her father is at home, but Hamlet knowing that he is spying on her says, “Let the doors be shut that he may play the fool nowhere but in’s own house” (III.i.141-144). The actions of these immoral characters motivates him to get into this love-melancholy character, fooling them into believing that love is the reason behind his madness, but at the same time hurt them for hurting him. Therefore, by calling out Ophelia’s chastity, duplicitous behavior, and advising her to “get thee to a nunnery” (III.i.131) and toying with Polonius by calling him a “fishmonger” (III.i.190), he purposely gives them reason to believe his madness is genuinely due to losing Ophelia. Therefore, as Claudius said, what Hamlet spoke “though it lack’d form a little, was not like madness” (III.i.177-178). Instead, it was an “antic disposition” created to fulfill his goal of getting revenge for his

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