Sanity of hamlet essay

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  1. Hamlet's Sanity Essay
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Laertes means that she must hide her feelings because although she loves Hamlet, his high status will prevent their love from ever being true. Another instance of appearance versus reality is the play-within-a-play.

Hamlet's Sanity Essay

On the surface, the play appears to be simply a form of entertainment for the court. When Hamlet comes to Claudius after the play-within-a-play with the intentions of killing him, Claudius is found kneeling and apparently in prayer. After Hamlet leaves, however, it is learned that Claudius was actually unable to repent. In this way, he chastises Ophelia and others for pretending to be something they truly are not. The establishment of this theme throughout the play is a means of suggesting that Hamlet is, in actuality, sane. By establishing Hamlet as a sane man who is simply feigning madness, he too fits into this major theme.

To have Hamlet actually become insane would be to break down a central idea of the play. Perhaps the most powerful evidence that Hamlet is sane, however, is the fact that his madness is extremely purposeful. The fact that his madness serves a distinct purpose and is only seen during distinct moments and around specific characters in the play suggests that the madness is certainly an act. Although his language seems to be wild, there is always a purpose or hidden meaning in his insane speech.

For example, Hamlet acts mad when speaking to Polonius in Act 2, Scene 2. Hamlet adopts a plan of feigned madness as a way of confusing his enemies and hiding his ultimate intentions of revenge. It further allows him the freedom to transgress the rules of etiquettes and obedience, and thus become a critical and sardonic commentator on the actions of the other characters.

In the beginning of the play, prior to adopting this plan, it is seen how Hamlet must restrict what and whom he criticizes. In his first soliloquy, Hamlet discusses suicide and reprimands his mother for marrying so quickly. This statement portrays how a sane man is restricted in articulating his thoughts in the court of Denmark. Once Hamlet adopts the act of insanity, however, he is much more able to assert his feelings and objections. Hamlet has the ability to pick and choose when he is going to act insane, a clear indication that his madness is feigned.

Hamlet patiently devises his plans to prepare for his revenge through the play-within-a-play; a cunning way of proving to himself that Claudius did indeed kill his father as the Ghost said. Hamlet is able to act perfectly sane, friendly, and courteous with the players.

Hamlet’s Insanity of Sanity

Additionally, shortly after to acting insane towards Polonius and calling him a fishmonger, he suddenly acts sane when Guildenstern and Rosencrantz walk in. He is completely capable of holding a rational and witty conversation with them, further suggesting his sanity.

Hamlet is also lucid when speaking to his mother, moments before killing Polonius. His statements are witty and critical, responding with plays on words. This presents proof that his killing of Polonius was an act caused by his weakness to act impulsively, not by insanity. He also remains lucid directly after the murder, stating an intricate analogy between his father and Claudius, comparing them to mythological gods and agriculture, further chastising his mother for her rash action in marrying his uncle, and telling her that Claudius killed King Hamlet.

Hamlet himself reaffirms his sanity to several characters throughout the play. This quotes means that Hamlet is mad only at certain times, and when he wants to act sane, he is able to distinguish between things that do not resemble each other. This quote demonstrates that Hamlet is picking when to act out his insanity. It further proves that beneath his apparent madness, he is actually completely sane. He is capable of recognizing his enemies from his allies, and is calculating at what times to appear mad.

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Other characters in the play are also suspicious of Hamlet and propose that he may be faking his madness. Hamlet purposefully acts insanity in certain scenes of the play as a cunning strategy to act out his plan of revenge against the King. Furthermore, his trait of ironically acting impulsively demonstrates that certain acts that may otherwise be characterized as irrational are actually a manifestation of a character flaw. The fact that his madness comes at such useful times is also a significant piece of evidence that his madness is not real.

Hamlet has the ability to act sane at specific times and around specific people, and then suddenly act insane around others. This evidence comes together to form the strong argument that Hamlet is in fact a sane man acting insane. Johnston, Ian. Malaspina-University College, February 27, Remember: This is just a sample from a fellow student. Sorry, copying is not allowed on our website.

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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Essays. It most likely means Hamlet wanted to come across like he is mad without actually being mad. His projected madness therefore encourages the audience to explore the fact that Hamlet is himself being hypocritical. The time interval between the end of Act 1 and the beginning of Act 2 subjects Hamlet to increasing mental torture.

Adding to this stress, Hamlet has been rejected by Ophelia. It would be relatively easy for Hamlet to feign madness with erratic speech and behaviour. However, to conjure up a hellish appearance as described by Ophelia would suggest genuine mental torture. Image credit: Savva Brodsky.

Gertrude recognises the death of King Hamlet and her own hasty re-marriage to be contributory factors. It hath made me mad. I hereby declare we will have no more marriage. Hamlet possesses the sanity to direct the players and to speak sensibly to Horatio. It is noticeable that Hamlet falls into insanity mode as soon as Claudius and Gertrude appear for the play. Hamlet: Lady, shall I lie in your lap? Ophelia: No, my lord.

Hamlet Madness Essay | Bartleby

Hamlet:I mean, my head in your lap? Ophelia: Ay, my lord. The falseness of Polonius is highlighted by their discussion regarding the shape of a cloud.

Ghosts, Murder, and More Murder - Hamlet Part I: Crash Course Literature 203

We see Hamlet indulge in the same revelation of falseness in the course of his conversation regarding the weather with Osric who agrees that it is both hot and cold.