Madness And Morality In William Shakespeare's Hamlet

1095 Words 5 Pages
Madness is a character trait that is thought of in a negative connotation. Madness can be onset by a disorder, however, in the case of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the young prince is set off through passion for his morality and loyalty to his family name. Though Hamlet’s passion is justified through the fact that his father has just died, while his mother married Hamlet’s Uncle Claudius, and Ophelia, his love, has betrayed their love and trust to her father, Polonius, who is one of Claudius’ top advisors; the act of murder and Hamlet’s claim to acting mad qualifies Hamlet to be mad. Hamlets madness supports the overall theme of revenge because of his actions being determined by his emotions rather than thought. Grief is an emotion commonly …show more content…
The biggest lack of trust for Hamlet within all those who interact with Claudius. It is Claudius who has aided most in the making of Hamlet’s madness. First, Hamlet has to undergo the marriage of his mother to his uncle, which he expresses his disbelief for when he proclaims “she (Gertrude) followed my poor father 's body, like Niobe, all tears – why she, {even she} (O God, a beast that wants discourse of reason would have mourned longer!), married with my uncle” (1.2.152-156). This cry by Hamlet to have his mother feel just one true ounce of sorrow for her dead first husband, and the fact that she follows his death with not this but the marriage of his brother, makes Hamlet enraged with passion towards not only his mother, but also towards his uncle, Claudius. The way Hamlet feels he is able to justify feeling such rage is through stating that he will “put an antic disposition on” (1.5.192). Although Hamlet is stating here that he is acting of mad, his demeanor and actions throughout the play suggest that this is not just an act, which he comes to admit latter on in the …show more content…
Claudius is told to Hamlet to have murdered his father when the ghost states to Hamlet that “the serpent that did sting thy father’s life now wears his crown” (1.5.46-47). Through the admittance by the ghost that Claudius is the murder of Old Hamlet, Claudius is able to be characterized as an ambitious character, who will stop at nothing to get what he desires. Hamlet in turn develops this same characteristic as he murders Polonius and then with no sorrow states to his mother that his action is “a bloody deed – almost as bad, good mother, as kill a king and marry his brother” (3.4.34-35). By Hamlet having just committed murder out the ambition of avenging his father’s death and slaying the king, but when he comes to fruition that he has instead just killed Polonius he expresses no sorrow or remorse for his actions, but instead tries to justify it. Most people who hold a sane mind would not try to justify the action of killing someone who is innocence, but instead would experience instant sorrow, shock, and remorse. This is later admitted by Hamlet when he expresses to Laertes that the blame for the murder of his father and the drowning of his sister, Ophelia, should be his madness, which he expresses as “poor Hamlet’s enemy” (5.2.253). In this moment Hamlet finally admits that his actions and feelings thus far have been out of a maddening

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