5 December, 2013
What is true madness? Is someone mad merely because he or she is different, and do they in return see the same about the world? Is there a difference between madness and sanity? Was Hamlet mad, or was it one big act in order to give reason for his irrational actions and to keep his vengeful motives confidential? Everybody in Denmark believes Hamlet to be mad, though he states he’s just acting, it’s hard to tell if he was or wasn’t. In Shakespeare's tragedy, Hamlet, these questions are continually asked and some are answered. Hamlet, the protagonist, has lost his father by murder, and is urged to seek vengeance by his father who appears to him as a ghost. This raises the first bit of suspicion of madness. Most would say that because he saw the ghost of his dead father would be enough to warrant that he is insane. The only thing that hinders this observation is the fact that others saw the ghost as well and were even the ones who told young Hamlet of his appearance. Many may see Hamlet being insane only by the worldly view of him being different. Though towards the end of the play in Act III, Gertrude calls her son to her chambers to discuss the reason of his putting on a play so closely related to his father’s death; she tells him how upset Claudius is and is weary of Hamlet's recent actions. At this Hamlet explodes on his mother and threatens to kill her. Gertrude cries for help, and Polonius answers this cry. Hamlet stabs him with his rapier without even thinking. This incident shows Hamlet's wanting others to think that he is truly mad. But was it his insanity that brought about the rash action of killing the unknown man behind the tapestry or was it his postponed revenge that consumed him? Is there a difference? Hamlet in many incidences tells people of his insanity; he tells Guildenstern that he is mad. Hamlet trusts neither Rosencrantz nor Guildenstern. Since he is...
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