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Hamlets Madness Analysis Essay

The root of the madness of Shakespeare’s Hamlet has been debated by literary scholars for centuries. There have been scholars who believe Hamlet is an ignorant child who acts based on his emotions. Others say Hamlet was actually cunning by using his madness as a cover for his revenge, or Hamlet might not have been mad at all, but that some of his actions lead to the conclusion of him being mad. Before he met the Ghost, Hamlet already had complicated feelings about Gertrude’s remarriage, and the task the Ghost gave him increased his madness.

Hamlet was angry at Gertrude for committing incest, ut he did not understand why, which greatly influenced his madness. Throughout the play, Hamlet feigns madness, however, many of the actions he took might not be just a pretense. He was disoriented before he met his father’s ghost due to his obsession to Gertrude and her actions. After his meeting with the ghost, he overthought his own actions, which led him to become more insane. Before Hamlet met the ghost of his father, he was already mad due to the actions of Gertrude and what happened in the two months.

Hamlet was depressed when his father had passed away, and he was in ourning while Gertrude decided to marry Claudius only two months after his father’s death. He disdained the fact that Gertrude would do that to his father, and the timeframe that Hamlet was written in was when men wanted power – more than today. Hamlet should have become king if not for Gertrude’s remarriage. Thus, he had lost his father and his throne, both to his uncle, in addition to losing his precious mother with whom he had an obsession.

Hamlet’s obsession is similar to the Oedipus complex. The most obvious example was when Hamlet was speaking to Gertrude and telling er “go not to mine uncle’s bed” and his plan when he spoke with Gertrude (III. IV. 159). “Let me be cruel, not unnatural. Let me speak daggers to her, but use none; My tongue and soul in this be hypocrites; How in my words soever she be shent, To give them seals never, my soul, consent! ” (III. II. 413-417) In this scene, Hamlet finally let out his anger and told Gertrude everything she has done, but he was not acting out of hatred.

By “speak[ing] daggers to her,” he is making her realize that what she has done is sinful and Hamlet hopes that she will redeem herself. Furthermore, he described what Claudius might attempt to do to her in great detail, and it seemed as if he was speaking from Claudius’ point of view; that could be a hidden desire that he has not yet noticed. He admired Gertrude and her position as queen. Therefore, as Freud have explained in the Oedipus Complex, Hamlet wanted to marry Gertrude, or someone similar to her.

When Gertrude remarried, it felt like he lost that respect, that hope of finding someone like her. His love for Ophelia could have been real or fake at the same time. If he loved Ophelia, he changed his mind due to how Gertrude acted. If he did not love her, then he told her to become a nun in general because he lost all trust in women since Gertrude is his whole definition of an excellent woman. He treated Ophelia similarly to how he treated Gertrude. He was cruel to Ophelia, telling her that he did not send a love letter and that she should become a nun.

This can be viewed in two ways: getting her to become a nun, which takes away her high position and breaks the rule of what a woman is supposed to do at the time, or trying to protect her from becoming “a breeder of sinners” (III. 123). With this and his throne in mind, he became more insane through intense logical thinking after meeting the ghost. What further influenced Hamlet’s madness was his stress about all the events that has happened within less than three months; his madness “was an excess of sanity” (Davis 630).

Hamlet thought about Gertrude’s actions, his throne taken away, his father’s revenge, suicide, and then back to Gertrude. With the fact that he is insane before the appearance of his father’s ghost, his “feeling[s] which he cannot understand” about Gertrude and how this “remains to poison [his] life and obstruct ction” (Claude 97) further increases his insanity. When Hamlet saw Claudius praying, he “shrinks [away] from carrying out the revenge” (Claude 97) and whether or not he used the church as an excuse is unclear.

The audience would think that a person would take the first opportunity to take revenge for their precious fathers as Laertes had when he stated he would cut his enemy’s “throat i’ the church” (IV. VII. 125). Besides plotting his revenge, he had to be careful of his actions in front of Horatio and Marcellus, and the others so that no one notices he is either retending or is mad. Additionally, he planned the deaths of the messengers, while he escaped his trip to England. Furthermore, in his mind, he thought of “to be, or not to be” (III.

I. 56) and it was not until he found York’s skull in the cemetery that he indeed did not want to die. Thinking about suicide before his revenge is irrelevant, and with this the audience can conclude that he did not think much about the revenge. As stated before that the difficulty with his throne, and especially Gertrude, added onto his level of insanity, his first ove was telling Horatio and Marcellus that he will pretend to be insane. This is the idea he immediately came up with to divert the fact that he is slowly going insane.

One instance of his hesitation to kill Claudius is seen after the play within the play. Hamlet saw Claudius praying and apologizing for his sins, and this was his opportunity to kill him since he was alone; he decided not to because if Claudius is “in the purging of his soul” he would be sent to heaven instead of being “damn’d and black, As hell, whereto it goes” (III. II. 85, 94-95). It seemed as if he reated an excuse to not kill Claudius because Claudius is now his stepfather and the father of Denmark.

Killing him would be regicide, for which the punishment is death. While Hamlet plotted, he continued to ponder about Gertrude, even deciding if he wanted to commit suicide. At this point, the audience will start to wonder if Hamlet has actually gone insane. meeting the Ghost, Hamlet had already seemed confused and mentally tired, which is the result of his insanity before meeting his father’s ghost. What triggered the fact that he was insane was the feelings he felt about Gertrude.

At first, he was confused and disoriented, he did not know what to do, until his Before father’s ghost gave him a task. Despite that, Hamlet did not take the opportunity to kill Claudius, he did not even think about it at the time, until Gertrude died. This was his realization that he indeed loved Gertrude. Furthermore, whether or not his madness was real, it was from overthinking his numerous difficult situations. The fact that Gertrude married Claudius caused Hamlet to think nonstop of that situation; the only action he took related to the revenge was the play.

Seeing as how Hamlet sees Gertrude as the woman he wants, he treats Ophelia in a way similar to Gertrude. He was mean to her, but it was not mean just to be cruel or to pretend to be insane, it was something that was good for them. For example, he spoke harsh words to Gertrude in hopes that she will redeem herself, and he told Ophelia to become a nun in hopes that she will not be in the same situation as Gertrude. In the end, Hamlet killed Claudius because Gertrude died from the poison that was meant for him; his Oedipus complex had continued until the end.

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