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Shakespeare/Hamlet - Essay Example

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One of the most debated topics by literature scholars regarding the play “Hamlet” by Shakespeare is whether Hamlet is really mad or not. Madness is the state of mind in which rational thinking is absent and the individual does not have an awareness of what is happening around him. …
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Shakespeare/Hamlet
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Download file to see previous pages Madness is the state of mind in which rational thinking is absent and the individual does not have an awareness of what is happening around him. Madness is the quality or condition of being insane. In Shakespeare play “Hamlet”, the concept of madness is seen in the protagonist Hamlet, but the real questions remains if his madness is a real one or not. The play is a complex play and is filled with layers of hidden meaning. These meanings are illustrated through the madness of the protagonist Hamlet. It seems that the writer of the tragic play leaves it to the audience to decide for themselves whether Hamlet is truly mad or not. In many instances Hamlet’s madness can be seen as a real one even though Hamlet himself admits that he is just faking his madness. The theme of madness -both real and feigned runs throughout the play. The theme of madness plays a significant role in the conflict of the play, the development of the play as well as the characters development. When referring to madness in Hamlet, one is instantly reminded of Hamlet’s madness and the manipulation of his madness or rather his pretence madness to seek his revenge. Throughout the play, Hamlet’s madness is quite questionable as he stated that his sole intention is to act “strange or odd and also to “put an antic disposition on” Hamlet’s madness or rather his act of madness, begins with the death of his father and seeing his father’s ghost. ...
Ophelia gives the detail of how Hamlet shows up in her chamber and that he appears, “with his doublet all unbraced, No hat upon his head, his stockings fouled, Ungartered, and down-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 hell" (Shakespeare). Polonius reports to the king, “"Your noble son is mad" (Shakespeare). He gives details of his erratic behavior and interprets his so called madness. But, however, Hamlet’s behavior and his clever acts soon made Polonius admits to the king that, "Though this be madness, yet there is method in't." (Shakespeare). Throughout the play, the king and his henchmen have many doubts over Hamlet’s madness. Regarding his madness, Polonius remarks, "This mad young man. But so much was our love/ We would not understand what was most fit,/ but, like the owner of a foul disease" (Shakespeare). They treat his madness as a foul disease without seeing the intentions behind the madness. Hamlet confuses everyone with his madness and everyone gives their own theory regarding his madness. His mother blames it on herself, his father’s death and the quick remarriage to his uncle. Even the king could really not understand Hamlet’s madness as he instructs his henchmen to "get from him why he puts on this confusion” (Shakespeare). This statement implies that Claudius understands that Hamlet’s madness is not a real lunacy. After dealing with Hamlet for some time, he soon comes to a conclusion that Hamlet’ behavior does not indicate a real madness but merely a melancholy. Claudius points out that, "What he spake, though it lack'd form a little. Was not like madness." (Shakespeare). It can be said that Hamlet puts on ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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