Is Hamlet Really Crazy Essay
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe proposes that Shakespeare means to "represent the effects of a great action laid upon a soul unfit for the performance …show more content…
Isn't it possible that Hamlet is both really insane and pretending to be insane? He doesn’t think he is crazy, but his actions suggest otherwise. His behavior throughout the play is erratic; one would expect such actions from a sociopath. For example, after he kills Polonius, he will not reveal the location of the body (Shakespeare 171). Since this act is not aimed at some good, that is strong evidence for his madness. Indeed, that is what defines an act of insanity: one that is aimed at no good.
But what effect does Hamlet’s insanity serve within the text? Firstly, it reveals that Hamlet cannot be trusted. If he is lying to himself, then how can an audience depend on the truth? Thus, the audience has to try and decipher what’s really going on, contributing to an atmosphere of questions rather than answers created by the play. Secondly, it affects each character and thus the overall plot of the play.
Indeed, in the beginning of the play his plan is a clever one, and many construe that his actions to the end of the play as a part of this plan. However, he is left with nothing after detaching himself from the world, he has few friends with which to talk, and he carries the wishes and regrets of two generation on his shoulders. How could he not become