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Essay Samples > Literary Analysis > Hamlet Essay
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Hamlet Essay

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Madness is mainly a health condition, which authenticity is difficult to recognize, or rather if it is factual or not. In the Hamlet play by Shakespeare, the actor Hamlet is seen to put on a jaunt character after encountering his father’s ghost and being asked to take revenge of his father's demise. Therefore he is seen to take up such character as he carries the mission in a less noticeable manner, and this reflects why his actions are often inexplicable in the entire play. William Shakespeare, seemingly, leaves the addressees to come to a decision on whether the character Hamlet is mad or not. All through the tragic play, protagonist's doubtful madness is discovered through his existent madness, contrived actions, as well as the responses of other people towards his insanity. 

In quite a number of occasions, Hamlet's madness is noted to be real. For instance, the murdered king’s son utters as he moves across the arras and apparently murders Polonius by accident; he is seen to think that Polonius is a rat, "How now! A rat? Dead for a ducat, dead!" (Hamlet 3.4 25). His insanity is no longer pretence when he fails to kill Claudius his father’s murderer and as an alternative stabs Polonius, who is the mistaken individual, in such like hasty manner. Additionally, Hamlet is seen to kill without even view of what exactly he is carrying out; and this phenomenon highly exhibits his rationale failure for putting on an adventure character. On the other hand, the young man may have suffered madness before even putting the jaunt temperament on. As apparent in the start of the tragic play, Marcellus together with Horatio are seen as trying to clutch Hamlet back, although he rebels. He thereafter goes on and utters, "Still am I called. Unhand me, gentlemen – / Heaven, I'll make a ghost of him that lets me! / I say, away" (Hamlet's Antic Disposition 1.4 84–86). Here, Hamlet places himself at jeopardy, and it appears that he does not reflect on the outcomes of the same. With the intention to stride towards the spirit and with no deliberation, his manners is full of rash and thoughtless, characters which can be associated to madness. His lunacy is clear, when he puts forward to his craving, rather than reckoning through intimidating those who hamper him from making appearances to the ghost, according to his wishes.

Seemingly, in the play, there are other instances, which reveal that Hamlet's madness is somehow feigned. A case in point is when the analyzed persona interacts with Polonius. He converses that, "Slanders, sir; for the satirical rogue says here/ that old men have gray beards; that their faces are wrinkled; their eyes purging thick amber and/ plum-tree gum" (Hamlet: Entire Play 2.2 197-200). He is seen to employ his feigned insanity to his benefit: so as to affront Polonius by cunningly crafting the topic of his manuscript towards the unequivocal depiction of Polonius. His wits illustrate clearly that, in a real sense, his rationale is not missing and, therefore, he is not mad. Further compelling evidence, depicting the pretence of Hamlet's lunacy, is when he is seen talking with his father’s ghost with Gertrude nearby. Since she is unable to spot the spirit, she thus says to son, “Nothing at all, yet all that is I see... No, nothing but ourselves… this is the very coinage of your brain..." (Hamlet: Entire Play 3.4 134-139). Gertrude thinks Hamlet is nutty in real: as she perceives him chatting to an empty space, hence thinking that he is talking to himself. Nevertheless, the spectators recognize that protagonist, in fact, is not lunatic; they notice he is really conversing to his father’s spirit in the ensuing play. 

Hamlet’s madness causes other people to reaction towards it. Immediately, after Polonius is told about prince's insanity, he goes to the king Claudius and informs him to be the main reason behind Hamlet's lunacy. His mother Gertrude points out: her son’s madness emanates from the loss of his father coupled with her speedy marriage to his uncle Claudius. These different views, concerning Hamlet’s lunacy, seem to assume that his madness is harmless, but things change, when he kills Polonius. This makes King Claudius think twice regarding Hamlet’s madness and somewhat compare it to foul disease, “We would not understand what was most fit. But, like the owner of a foul disease" (Hamlet: Entire Play 4.1 20–21). Therefore, his fury helped him fend off his real intention, which was to revenge for his father’s death through killing the king Claudius.

It is hard to determine whether Hamlet was mad, in fact. And through his actions its true to point out that he portraits dualship in the character of madness: some incidents reveal that he had a bit of lunacy in him; while in others its evident that he was putting on pretence. Hamlet is seen to be under numerous psychological pressures for instance from the death of his father, his mother rapidity in marrying his uncle Claudius, as well as knowing the murderer of his father. This could have instigated mental illness thus depicting mad-like characters (Hamlet's Antic Disposition). 

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