• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Exploring Hamlet's state of mind(Act 1, Scene 2 - Act 1, Scene 5)

Extracts from this document...


Exploring Hamlet's state of mind (Act 1, Scene 2 - Act 1, Scene 5) William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, with a reputation as the greatest of all writers in the English language, as well as one of the world's pre-eminent dramatists. Hamlet is one of Shakespeare's most analysed plays. The play is about Hamlet, Prince of Denmark who hopes to avenge the murder of his father. In the play, Hamlet is described as an intelligent, emotional, and grief-stricken protagonist but he is consumed by his own thoughts which make him a highly-indecisive individual; Hamlet's inability to act on his father's murder, his mother's hasty remarriage, and his uncle assuming of the throne are all evidence that Hamlet does not know what is going on in his own life. Perhaps Hamlet wants to place the blame on someone else after he wreaks vengeance on King Claudius, or capture the attention of certain characters so that he may find out exactly what has gone "rotten in Denmark" (Act 1, Scene 5, Line 90). Throughout the play Hamlet is deeply hurt by his mother's decision to remarry his uncle. As Hamlet says, "Frailty thy name is woman", her actions cause Hamlet to curse women all together (Act 1, Scene 2, Line 146). Clearly, Hamlet's concern for the Queen, his mother, is of genuine association to the death of King Hamlet. ...read more.


But that isn't good enough for Hamlet. Something has to be done. This soliloquy sparks an interest in the audience and provides a glimpse into Hamlet's thoughts while informing of the history of his family's tribulations. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I need help on scene 3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Later on, Hamlet goes to extremes of going with the ghost that looks like his father even though his friends warn him that the ghost may be evil and "...tempt you toward the flood...Or to the dreadful summit of the cliff..." (Act 1, Scene 4, Lines 69 & 70). If the prince was thinking right he would not have with the ghost that resembled the old "...King, father, royal Dane..." (Act 1, Scene 4, Line 45). Hamlet's radical actions do not just prove that he can sometimes be immature but also proves that he needs action from outside sources in order to get a reaction from himself. Being radical and acting on impulse is something that Hamlet has to use in order to get his work finished. Because of his persistent doubt whether Claudius did, in fact, kill his father Hamlet defers making plans to act out his revenge. Hamlet's internal dilemma begins to take place in full swing in Act 1, Scene 5; Although deeply sorrowful by his father's death, he did not consider payback as an option until he meets the ghost of Hamlet's father calling upon Hamlet to "revenge his foul and most unnatural murder" (Act 1, Scene 5, Line 25). ...read more.


In fact, before he even begins showing signs of madness, he says to his friend Horatio "As I perchance hereafter shall think meet to put an antic disposition on" (Act 1, Scene 5, Lines 179 & 180). It is not until after this statement that Hamlet becomes mad, and in saying this statement, it is implied that he is in fact feigning madness. The concept of "antic disposition" is the feigned madness that Hamlet uses as his first step towards revenge. Here, as far as I can make out, is a clear indication that Hamlet is a thinker, and bares a calculating intellect. It is this very intellect that I should question in Hamlet's status as a hero, simply because he is inextricably linked to a critical and tragic flaw within his nature. In conclusion, the Danish prince is developed into a mysterious and fascinating man. A philosopher and "avenger of wrongs", he is a man disgusted with the rottenness of life around him and is obligated to set things right. Under the guise of madness he attempts to achieve his ends; yet there is much to puzzle over. Hamlet thinks too much and this drove him to an insanity that was not feigned - Hamlet's "antic disposition" can easily be understood, through examples of Hamlet's unpredictable attitude changes and interactions with the ghost of his father, to be only the tip of the iceberg concerning his unstable mental side. ?? ?? ?? ?? GCSE English Exploring Hamlet's state of mind 1 Arnold Bashkevits ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Hamlet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Hamlet essays

  1. Free essay

    Hamlet Act 5 scene 2

    3 star(s)

    Hamlet causes a scene when he makes Osric (a courtier) remove and replace his hat a couple of times due to confusing him with wordplay. There is also a cause of drama when Osric tells him that the king wishes for Hamlet to fight Laetres in a duel using rapiers

  2. What do Hamlet's soliloquies reveal about his state of mind and how do they ...

    Another soliloquy that must be noted is that at of Act Two, the 'O what a rogue and peasant slave am I!' soliloquy which takes place immediately after the discussion between Hamlet and the travelling players. Here Hamlet is enraged, furious and rude. He lays himself, we feel, totally bare.

  1. "Spirit of health or goblin damned?" How do we understand the ghost in Act ...

    The ghost's use of spiterful verbs ("sting" and "prick") combine with the image of thorns, replicating the torture of Christ on the cross,. This is truly powerful imagery; in my opinion suggesting that only God can decide the fate of the "seemingly vituous queen", and the audience will never know the truth.

  2. Hamlet Act 1 Scene 1

    Horatio takes a very sceptical view and rational perspective on the situation, "What has this thing appeared again tonight?" but this line does however build up tension and is the first indication to the audience that something unusual has taken place.

  1. Hamlets dilemma - Why can't he act?

    In act 1 scene 2, Hamlet expresses his inner turmoil, caused by the death of his father and hurried marriage of his mother to his uncle: "Had left the flushing in her galled eyes, she married. O, most wicked speed, to post with such dexterity to incestuous sheets!"

  2. Which Version Of The Hamlet Ghost Scene (Act 1 Scene 5) Was The Most ...

    There are lots of modern things used as props such as the TV, that wouldn't have been around when the play was written. Its set in a modern studio apartment with big glass windows and the setting creates a lack of atmosphere, which in turn means this version of the ghost scene doesn't do the original play justice.

  1. Explore Shakespeare's presentation of Hamlet, his moods and motivations, through his soliloquies in Act ...

    Through the soliloquy the audience are given the impression that Hamlet is a 'layered' character. It seems clear that Shakespeare presents Hamlet as a complex individual. He portrays the ability to think about a situation carefully, proving that he is a rational thinker in most cases.

  2. How Does Shakespeare Convey a Sense of Anomie in Hamlet Act 1, and to ...

    in't; which is no other-- as it doth well appear unto our state - but to recover of us, by strong hand and terms compulsatory, those foresaid lands so by his father lost: and this, I take it, is the main motive of our preparations, the source of this our

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work