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

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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