Hamlet's Madness Analysis

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Distraught by the death of his father and the sudden remarriage of his mother-to his uncle-, Hamlet resorts to a state of frenzy and exaggerated insanity. His demeanor is motivated by his father’s words spoken through a ghostly apparition. After learning that his uncle murdered his father in cold blood to usurp the throne, young Hamlet assumes a state of insanity in order to justify avenging his father’s death. Hamlet’s madness can be characterized through five main causes: grief from his father’s death, anger over his mother’s new husband, his uncle’s fratricide, Ophelia’s rejection, and his friends betrayal Andreasen). Throughout the tragedy, it is evident that his madness is a masquerade. Hamlet talks with Horatio, telling him before the …show more content…
One could certainly argue that Hamlet, in today’s society, would be certifiably insane or a mental illness. At times, his attitude toward his mother as seen in Act 3 Scene 4 may support the claim that Hamlet has gone mad. This is demonstrated when Hamlet impulsively stabs Polonius through the curtains, when he talks to the King’s ghost, and when he angrily yells at his mother about her relationship with Claudius (Ham. 3.4.23-217). Even so, Hamlet chose to act the way he did and he did so with the intent to kill. His actions were not a result of his mental state; rather, his mental state helped him execute these actions. Hamlet’s lapses into sanity, previous disposition, and interaction with friends discredit the verity of …show more content…
One of Freud’s most impressive contributions to the crusade against mental health includes psychoanalysis as a cure: a talkative cure intended for patients to discuss discrepancies between the conscious and motivated unconscious (McLeod). As mental illness continued to present itself as time progressed, the 1930s were a time of drug experimentation. These treatments include electroconvulsive therapy, psychosurgery, among other experimentative procedures. Apart from drug-based treatments, the 1940s also resulted in more comforting facilities with professional care ( Foerschner). This care was essential to the fight against mental illness. However, in Hamlet, the young prince did not have supportive relatives to nurture and treat him. The rest of the court was sold by his charade and were convinced that his actions had dangerous and harmful tendencies. Even so, the perspective is skewed when the falsity of Hamlet’s mental illness is exploited. On the other hand, Ophelia would indeed be a victim of true mental health. If she lived in modern times, she would be diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, a psychiatric illness known for its mood swings and often resulting in suicide (Andreasen). She was traumatized by shifts in emotional and familial factors. She was told vehemently by her father that she was not supposed to see the love of

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