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Hamlet’s madness.

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Hamlet's madness The period of Hamlet became a figure of exciting speculation and became a major role in the sum up of Hamlet. That being the spiritual agony of the individual alienated from society which was a close theme to Romantic sensibility. It was believed at the time if you had a deviance from the norm it meant that you had an illness which classed you as mad. There are many interpretations of Hamlet ranging from Hamlet loving his mother known as the Oedipus complex and therefore how can he murder Claudius when he has already committed the deed he subconsciously wanted this idea was written by Ernest Jones which was first brought about by the philosopher Freud. Whereas on the other hand critics such as T.S. Elliot argued that the problem was the play itself and was an 'artistic failure'. There are different views on Shakespeare's Hamlet such as Hamlet as a villain or a weak procrastinator, but the factor that I am going to discuss is the state of Hamlet's madness, that being whether he is insane, partially insane or just pretending to be insane. ...read more.


Therefore it is difficult to tell if Hamlet is truly insane or just frightened. From Ophelia's actions King Claudius and Polonius decide to set up an act to test the sanity of Hamlet and they send Ophelia to speak to him whilst they observe he then screams at her to 'Get thee to a nunnery' he is aware of her being sent to spy on him for the king, Hamlet is betrayed by the woman he loves and can only harm his exposed consciousness. A group of actors then arrive at the castle and Hamlet gets them to perform a play about his father's death and in addition adds an extra scene to the script to observe the King's reactions and find out if he is truly guilty. However the King is appalled by Hamlet's behaviour when he asks Ophelia 'Lady, may I lay in your lap', which he may be saying to prove his insanity, and due to this the King rushes from the court in disgust obstructing Hamlet's plan. ...read more.


the kings actions who Hamlet in turn kills, he then admits to the dying Laertes of his madness 'Roughly awake, I here proclaim my madness', he has know finally admitted that he does have some madness within him but Shakespeare never specifies whether he is admitting to faking madness or whether it is true insanity he is proclaiming. In conclusion, we are able to see that Hamlet's madness does exist in many ways but Shakespeare denies us of any information causing us to form our own point of view on the matter. As a result of this Hamlet's madness is defined from many different approaches however his madness is never truly established as true insanity. The death of his father understandably angered him and may have turned to madness, or maybe he is mad with love or is just purely insane. There are many considerations to his madness when you read the play that makes you ask is he mad or not? In the play the characters have different opinions and therefore so do you, the reader. Gavin Huggett ...read more.

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