Is Hamlet Really Crazy Essay

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Is Hamlet truly mad or is his “antic disposition” simply assumed when advantageous? Numerous scholars argue that is was all a clever act, continued to the end of the revenge tragedy. Despite the fact that he states it is all a plan, "I essentially am not in madness, But mad in craft" (Shakespeare 183), his actions speak differently. Though he would be the last to realize it, he becomes the duplicitous, mad individual he has feigned. Hamlet, though sane in the beginning, becomes mad due predominantly to the immense burden of ambition. His internal struggle tears both his morale and his morals to shreds.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe proposes that Shakespeare means to "represent the effects of a great action laid upon a soul unfit for the performance
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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

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