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Hamlets antic disposition is feigned. Discuss.

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Hamlet's "antic disposition" is feigned A key issue in William Shakespeare's Hamlet, is that of the validity of Hamlet's "antic disposition". Views contradicting the belief that Hamlet's mind and nature is one of insanity would state that Hamlet merely wears a mask to "feign" madness - this mask is formed into the "wild and whirling words" which confuse so many. Weller states that "he can use it to gather knowledge as he originally intends to, and then come out with what he has learned in the end," which is of course, to "have grounds more relative" than basic assumptions of Claudius' doing in the death of Hamlet's father. I, however, believe that Hamlet - although appears to be feigning madness throughout the play - slowly and steadily, begins to descend into the "disposition" he initially wished to "feign", and although Weller's statement does assume a purpose for the apparent "feigned" madness, there are many instances in the play which suggests that Hamlet's sanity is decaying. ...read more.


Hamlet however, shows no consideration towards the ethics of religion and morality, and what's more, acts as the final judge - replacing God - by "contemplating" for Claudius' death to be ensued after an action of sin - therefore, no "salvation" will await him, and he will be "damned" - acts which completely contradict the rather basic analysis of Hamlet as a renaissance man; re-enforcing the view of Hamlet's descent into insanity. As aforementioned, Hamlet is already consumed by grief, and the decaying of his sanity had already begun - the prolonging of his grief as opposed to others, obviously shows that he is not yet finished with the matter. Due to his inability to let matters rest, Horatio's news of a sighting of his father not only breaks him from his dreadful cycle of depression and decay, but allows his obsession to wander onto the death, rather than the grief - "till then, sit still my soul". His obsession replaces his grief - this makes him much threatening than before as he now becomes a man who "acts without reflecting and reflects without acting" ...read more.


The resemblance behind meaning of the Ghosts soliloquy when compared with Hamlet's initial soliloquy is uncanny - some evidence linking both of the soliloquies are the accusations of "damned incest", and in particular, the "seems" of actions and characters, particularly Gertrude; proving that the Ghost is not a "soul from Purgatory", merely an idea about Hamlet senior's death, manifested into a physical form. One could contradict this view by stating that Horatio and the guards also witnessed the Ghost - although this is very true, one particular action they did not perform was hear the Ghost. Sight is the most suggestible of all the senses on the human body, so to have a witness of the existence of the Ghost based on sight would be highly unreliable. To further contradict Bradley's views on the Ghost being from purgatory, if the Ghost was indeed from purgatory, then it would be preaching atonement instead of murder, however, it performs the latter and does not mention atonement - any sane man would dismiss this absurd preaching as ludicrous, however, due to Hamlet's aforementioned obsession with his father's death, he makes himself believe, no matter how ridiculous revenge and murder for justice sounds. ...read more.

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