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Sanity of Hamlet

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  • Sanity of Hamlet



    Sanity of Hamlet





    Is he insane or isn't he? That is the question. What is the answer? Literary scholars have debated that question for over 400 years. Still people wonder.



    I, for one, don't think Hamlet is crazy at all. I feel that he is very depressed because of his father's death. But especially because of his mother's hasty marriage to his Uncle Claudius one month after his father's death. Hamlet is still in mourning, his mother should be also. He doesn't understand why she isn't in mourning. Upset by his mother unfaithfulness to his father, Hamlet scorns his mother saying, "frailty, thy name is woman" (I.2.46).




    In act I, we learn that his father's ghost has appeared to Horatio, Marcellus and Bernardo. Upon learning that, Hamlet goes with Horatio and Marcellus to speak with the spirit. Besides being depressed, I feel that he is acting like a madman to conceal his motive, revenge for his father's murder.




    Even though Hamlet barges into Ophelia's room and grabs her by the wrists, without saying a word, sighs and leaves, I believe it's an act to divert suspicion away from Hamlet's true purpose of wanting to kill Claudius, his father's murderer. Ophelia's father, Polonius, believes that Ophelia's rejection of Hamlet's desire has caused Hamlet to go insane. To prove his point, Polonius suggests that he and Claudius set up a meeting between Hamlet and Ophelia. I feel that Hamlet is acting strange towards Polonius. He is playing Polonius by telling him he's a fishmonger and acting like he doesn't know him, because Polonius is a weasel and would go back and tell the king. Hamlet might as well give Polonius something to talk about.




    Hamlet really seems to be sane when he asks the actors to perform a specific act in a play titled Mouse Trap. The scene will resemble the murder of King Hamlet. Young Hamlet expects that if the ghost is telling the truth about Claudius murdering him, then Claudius will react to the scene, admitting his guilt. Hamlet states "The plays the thing wherein I'll catch the conscience of the King." (II.2.581-82). In my opinion, anyone who can plot that, and thing that far ahead, needs to have a clear head.




    Then when Hamlet sees Ophelia at the play, he' hurt because she's rejected him, and he wants to hurt her back by talking nasty to her. "That's a fair thought to lie between maids' legs." (III.2.100). In my opinion, I feel that he has no use for women right now. He feels women are fickle. Ophelia can turn her feelings off for him. His mother can love Claudius and marry him two months after King Hamlet's death. Another reason I feel his is just depressed is because of his own fixation of death. He dresses in black and ponders thoughts of suicide by his own soliloquy:



    "To be or not to be; that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and, by opposing, end them? To die: to sleep; Nor more: and by a sleep to say we end: The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to, 'tis consummation devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep." (III.1.58-64).



    It would appear that Hamlet was mad when he was confronting his mother in her room and killed Polonius. When his mother asked what he had done, Hamlet says "Nay, I know not: Is it the King?" (III.4.27). I believe it was wishful thing on his part. He had just left the King to his confession.
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