The Insanity Of Hamlet In Shakespeare's Hamlet

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Hamlet is set in the middle ages of the 14th and 15th century in the royal palace in Elsinore, Denmark. Throughout the play, Hamlet makes it clear that he feigned madness in order to confuse the king and his attendants. After the ghost tells Hamlet that someone murdered his father, his plan was to fake madness in order to get revenge on the murderer. Hamlet claims that “How strange or odd some'er I bear myself (as I perchance hereafter shall think meet to put an antic disposition on) (1.5.190-192) and he believes that if he goes “mad” then it will solve his father’s murder. Hamlet struggles internally throughout the play though to take action and find out who killed his father. In the quote “Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder, murder most foul,…show more content…
Many of Hamlet’s friends think that Hamlet is actually going mad, for example in this quote Ophelia says “He took me by the wrist and held me hard then goes he to the length of all his arm, and with his other hand to so’er his brow, he falls to such perusal of my face” (Act 2). Ophelia describes Hamlet as acting melancholy even though she at one point in the play starts to go mad herself. Ophelia’s madness may come from her being intimate with Hamlet then being rejected by him, as Ophelia’s songs all concern unrequited love. One song clearly accuses a lover who has left his love’s bed when she says “Before you tumbled me, you promised me to wed.” (Act 4) This song provides more proof that Ophelia’s madness came from Hamlet’s rejection to be with her after they had sex. Pre-marriage sex was a sin according to Ophelia’s father, so if she now carries Hamlet’s child, her desperation would be understandable. This scene is full of anger and dark thoughts, and it brings a repetition of the symbol insanity, this time through the character of Ophelia, who has truly been driven mad by the death of her
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