Why Is Hamlet's False Madness?

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Immediately after being introduced to the ghost and confiding in Horatio, Hamlet presents a false madness which leaves other characters dumbfounded and searching for either a reason or solution to the change. Claudius and Gertrude call upon his college friends, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, to find what is troubling the Prince's mind. Having been given a reason to be distrustful, Hamlet is very leery about who he trust; he believes there is something suspicious about his friends sudden appearance. Due to his antic disposition, he is able to inquire bluntly. In pursuing their reasons, Hamlet presses "That you must teach me. But let me conjure you, by/ the rights of our fellowship, by the consonancy of/ our youth, by the obligation of our ever-preserved/…show more content…
ii.). Not only do Hamlet's friends fail his test, they deeply cut Hamlet's trust towards Rosencrantz and Gildenstern. It puts more pressure on Hamlet to maintain his charade. Though through the interaction, his mental condition is observed, and "To his old friend, Guildenstem, he intimates that "his uncle-father and aunt-mother are deceived," and that he is only "mad north-north-west." (II. ii. 360.)" (Crawford, 2009). He is then introduced to a traveling troupe of players, who show so much passion towards their trade and scenes which they have neither seen directly nor have connections. Their skill in acting develops Hamlet's own will to act mad. "Why, what an ass am I! This is most brave,/ That I, the son of a dear father murder'd,/ Prompted to my reveng by heaven and hell,/ Must, like a whore, unpack my heart with words,/ And fall a-cursing, like a very drab,/ A scullion!" (II. ii.). Held in contempt towards the players, Hamlet parlays his own idleness to take action, discovering the truth about his…show more content…
He determines that the source is not grief towards death but a love sickness driving him mad. He deduces that Hamlet's longing for Ophelia who has not been able to communicate with him has rendered Hamlet love struck. One of the largest scenes in determining Hamlet's insanity is his meeting with Ophelia during the third act. His words are harsh, but also overly exaggerated like much of his character; they are meant to demonstrate a loss of control. "You should not have believed me; for virtue cannot/ so inoculate our old stock but we shall relish of/ it: I loved you not." (III. i.). This blatant denial of his feelings toward his beloved are not necessary, and further proven to be acted through more exaggerated words in his fight with Laertes. He states that "I loved Ophelia. Forty thousand brothers/ Could not with all their quantity of love/ Make up my sum," (V. i.). His initial reaction to Ophelia was methodical-- already leery of his friends and the King, he acted to deceive --but his reaction to Ophelia's death moves from an acted madness into a true sadness. Hamlet's actions, following his first meeting with Ophelia, maintain a crude yet witty and methodical organization. His disrespectful and troubling actions even escalate during the play, where he throws in boisterous and (primarily sexually) implicit comments. As he planned, his actions cause an uproar; when

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