Love For Ophelia's Madness In Hamlet

1815 Words 8 Pages
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 …show more content…
They are led to believe his madness is due to this, rather than from the knowledge of his father’s death. This allows him to construct a plan without revealing his intentions, as he fears that if Claudius were to become aware of his plans, all chances of revenge will be destroyed. Hamlet’s love for Ophelia proves to be a successful distraction for his madness. After she “repelled his (Hamlet’s) letters and denied his access” (2.1.106), Hamlet enters Ophelia’s room in a state of madness and acts “as if he had been loosed out of hell” (2.1.81). Reacting this way after being rejected by Ophelia conveys the idea that his love for her has driven him to this state of madness. As Polonius, the king’s attendant, receives word of his irrational behavior, he acknowledges that love “afflicts our natures” (2.1.104) and attributes this as what what “hath made him (Hamlet) mad” (1.5.109). The belief that Ophelia’s rejection drove him to insanity is what Hamlet anticipated, and accomplishing this takes away the suspicion of his plan to kill Claudius. It becomes evident that this was his intent further along in the play when his love for Ophelia proves to be less significant than he acted it was. During the later interaction, he admits that the love he had shown was deceiving and tells Ophelia “I loved you …show more content…
He secretly approaches Claudius during a time of prayer, but does not take action, saying that he will instead catch him when “his heels may kick at heaven” (3.3.93). Hamlet desires to have Claudius sent to Hell for his immoral action, and thus reasons that he will wait to kill him during a time of sin. Hamlet’s sanity allows him self control as he acknowledges that he must postpone his execution and wait for the opportune time. Had he been truly mad at this point, he would not have had regard for the outcome of his actions and would have been able to strike the king

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