Hamlet's Madness

Good Essays
The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark written by William Shakespeare, is a play with a theme of revenge and madness. King Hamlet’s ghost comes to tell his son, Prince Hamlet, to get revenge on his killer. Hamlet follows his father’s orders. Hamlet is very clever. He begins acting mad in order to confuse and distract others. That way, Hamlet can quickly find out who his father’s killer is. A big question that is generated while reading this play is, was Hamlet honestly mad? Or was he just pretending like it? Many readers believe at the start he was only acting mad, but later go on to say by the end of the story Hamlet actually begins to lose his mind.
Readers can argue Hamlet overreacts and is very dramatic in multiple situations throughout
…show more content…
In the play, Shakespeare shows the difference between only acting mad and truly being mad. Ophelia, Hamlet’s potential wife and Polonius’s daughter, is a character that is truthfully mad. The difference between Hamlet’s act of madness and Ophelia’s real madness is, Hamlet acts senseless simply on purpose. Hamlet decides when he should talk or act crazy in order to help solve his father’s murder. Hamlet knows he can get away with asking people strange things while pretending to be mad. Meanwhile, Ophelia’s madness is entirely different. Ophelia’s madness is not her choice; it’s the result of the stress and grief she is put under after the death of her father. Furthermore, some readers also believe Hamlet is another cause of Ophelia’s madness. Before of the lost of King Hamlet, Ophelia and Hamlet were boyfriend and girlfriend. Hamlet was even planned to eventually marry Ophelia. But soon after King Hamlet was murdered and Hamlet started acting mad, everything changed for Ophelia. Ophelia’s father, Polonius, demands that she stops seeing Hamlet. Polonius realizes Hamlet’s madness, so he believes Hamlet will propose to Ophelia untruthfully. Ophelia’s brother, Laertes, also warns her Hamlet’s love is no longer the same as it once was. All these things combined make Ophelia become mad. She cannot handle the loss of her own father and the loss of Hamlet’s love. As the play continues Ophelia’s madness begins to get increasing worse. In Act 4 Scene 7, Queen Gertrude reports while Ophelia was climbing onto a tree she fell into the water and drowned. Gertrude

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Claudius, Gertrude, and Polonius have several theories for why Hamlet is acting this way. Polonius confronts the King and Queen to tell them what he suspects is making Hamlet insane. He is convinced that Ophelia is the reason the Hamlet is mad; ever since Ophelia has ignored Hamlet, he has been acting strangely. Polonius states, “Fell into sadness, then into a fast, / Thence to a watch, thence to a weakness” (II.ii.154-56). Polonius is saying the Hamlet is depressed because of his love for his daughter.…

    • 1172 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Hamlet Movement Analysis

    • 1343 Words
    • 6 Pages

    At first he acts sullen and angry toward everyone, but then hatches half a plan to begin his revenge for his father’s untimely demise. He takes it upon himself to pretend to be insane just to prove that his uncle is guilty. He acts as if everything is right in the world even though his inner thoughts are the opposite of his sunny disposition. He goes as far as denying his love for Ophelia just to cover his act of going mad. It is when Ophelia was brought into Hamlet’s agenda that Polonius gets involved, he sees that Hamlet had a relationship of some sort with his daughter and believes that he is lovesick.…

    • 1343 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, as Hamlet pursues the revenge of his deceased father, he acts in a state of feigned madness. Demonstrating such behavior allows him to disguise his intentions and construct a plan for murder, yet is also the cause of his inaction as he is held back by sane and rational thoughts. Hamlet seeks the ability to enact revenge when he reaches a state of true madness as faked insanity overtakes him throughout the play, releasing him from sensibility. Hamlet’s desire to seek revenge is instilled by the ghost of his deceased father who encourages him to take revenge on his known murderer, king Claudius. Pursuing the plan of revenge on his uncle, Hamlet vows to act “strange and odd” (1.5.77) in order to confuse his target and…

    • 1815 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    “Innocent” Hamlet actually isn 't so innocent his misuse of power results in the death of a few people. The first victim of Hamlet’s power abuse is sweet Ophelia a lover to the young prince. Just like Celine Dion’s 90’s hit Hamlet uses the power of love to help him avenge his father’s death. Hamlet acts crazy in front of Ophelia hoping she will buy into the fact that he has gone mad because she knows that Hamlet has never been like that around her. The fact that Hamlet is using Ophelia is betraying her and abusing the power of love between them.…

    • 1120 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Dan adams ms.walter A.C.A 12 3/2916 And You Thought Your Family Reunion Was Bad In William Shakespeare's tragedy Hamlet. Laertes allows his desire for revenge cause him to behave irrationally Throughout the book hamlet many of the characters are consumed with the desire for revenge. Laertes father is killed by hamlet, after he was caught spying on hamlet. Laetes puts up a revolt to make him king. His plan failed when the king told him who killed his dad (hamlet) and trick him to stop his war and kill hamlet.…

    • 431 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Hamlet is cognizant of the importance of having the correct facts because otherwise he may unjustly kill his uncle and have to deal with the consequences. With him acting mad, he gives him access to gain information about his father’s murder. Through his route to revenge, he finds himself getting into a depression and questions his existence, which shows he has suicidal thoughts again, “to be or not to be.” Hamlet’s madness is starting to take over him, and it’s affecting his relationship with Ophelia. As his journey continues he starts treating and acting differently. Ophelia confronts him about their feeling about one another, but instead Hamlet tells her that he never loved her.…

    • 843 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Hamlet was still depressed about his father's loss and Abadom4 Gertrude quickly getting married to Claudius, gave him more anxiety and depression. Gertrude also betrayed her former husband by marrying his brother. Gertrude betrays Hamlet when she defends Claudius, when Laertes accused him of killing his father Polonius. Rather than saying she had no knowledge of the death, she told Claudius Hamlet was the person who committed the murder. In Hamlet, the ghost also feels betrayed by Hamlet because Hamlet does not kill Claudius immediately like he promised, instead Hamlet is confused on killing Claudius because he does not know if the ghost is good or evil.…

    • 1157 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    He agrees that his mother is filled with lustful intent, Claudius is the ultimate enemy and an awful person no matter what, and his late father is seemingly faultless (Battenhouse). This acceptance of what a biased ghost has to say is the onset of what becomes Hamlet’s apparent madness, which leads him to lie and deceive most characters he comes in contact with. Hamlet takes part in the ultimate deception through speech to the characters around him and even to those reading Hamlet. He claims to be faking madness when around the characters, but this insanity comes through in his soliloquies when he is alone as well. So, Hamlet appears to play both the characters in the story and the audience reading it by acting with such irrationality that it keeps everyone guessing about Hamlet’s true mindset (“Hamlet”).…

    • 1643 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Hamlet is tragic play written by William Shakespeare, that tells the dramatic story of Hamlet the prince of Denmark. Hamlet finds himself as the center of the story following the death of his father, the king of Denmark, whom Hamlet finds out is murder by his uncle, Claudius. He also married the Gertrude, the queen, Hamlet 's mother. And takes over the throne, as the new ruler of Denmark. Hamlet has deal with several emotions which ended up making him mad.…

    • 1794 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Hamlet Impulsive In Hamlet

    • 1038 Words
    • 5 Pages

    “To be or not to be—that is the question” (Shakespeare 3.1.64). Hamlet is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare and was published in 1603. This play is tells the story of Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark. The story begins with Hamlet’s father being murdered, and his uncle, Claudius, marrying his mother. Hamlet formulates a plan to get back at the newly crowned king, which involves acting like a “madman.” Throughout the play, Hamlet interacts with a number of people, whom he always ends up ruining his relationship with them.…

    • 1038 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays