The question of Hamlet’s madness, whether feigned, pretended and assumed or real, genuine, and true, is the question of long debate and discussion. There are critics who believe in the madness of Hamlet as genuine and there are critics who believe madness of Hamlet as feigned or pretended, as well. The problem of madness is perhaps the most maddening problem in Hamlet by Shakespeare; this shows his unsurpassed mastery of human psychology. Indeed, it was the genius of Shakespeare which made his characters so life-like and multi dimensional with varying pictures of the same man. Here the madness of Hamlet is examined and analyzed from two different aspects i.e., (i) Hamlet’s …show more content…
The fundamental reasons behind his madness are, including the death of his father, the hasty marriage of his mother with his uncle who is more coward and beast as compared to his dead father, and the appearance of his father’s ghost. Hamlet’s madness can be observed in;
Ophelia is the lady, much like the flower of May, whom Hamlet loves. She was instructed by her brother, Leartes, and her father, Polonius, to avoid Hamlet’s love and gifts and she obeyed them. Thus, stopped meeting with Hamlet. Hamlet had already been in extreme melancholy due to hasty marriage of his mother and appearance of his father’s ghost and went to Ophelia in the conditions much like of mad person. As Ophelia says while expressing with her father that;
“Lord Hamlet, with all his doublet all embraced,
No hat upon his head, his stockings foul’d
Ungarter’d, and sown-gyved to his ankle,
Pale as his shirt, his knees knocking each other,
And with a look so piteous in purport
As if he had been loosed out of …show more content…
He calls Polonius a ‘fishmonger’ and further insults him with his remarks on his daughter, Ophelia; “Let her not walk in the sun, conception is a blessing, but as your daughter may conceive, friend, look to it.”
Hamlet’s Madness While Meeting With Guildenstern and Rosencrantz:
Hamlet’s madness is also proven in his interview with Guildenstern and Rosencrantz. Hamlet’s talks with them and about different matters such as honesty, dreams, life, and freedom etc. make them compelled to say that of his is “a crafty madness”.
The way Hamlet treated his mother in her closet and the harsh words he spoke do prove his madness and the murder of Polonius by Hamlet also reveals that he was mad; when he is having an interview with her mother, he hears the word “help” from behind the arras. Not knowing the identity of the person who is hiding there he takes it to be Claudius and draws his sword and kills Polonius. Only afterwards does he find out it is Polonius, but with least remorse he marks;
“Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell.
I took thee for thy better; take thy fortune
Thou find’st to be too busy is some