Bipolar Disorder in Hamlet

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Sara Koziol Ms. Samsa AP Literature and Composition 9 May 2016 Bipolar Disorder in Hamlet There are several reasons why one would suspect Prince Hamlet to have bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder has five classifications, including: bipolar I, bipolar II, rapid cycling, mixed bipolar, and cyclothymia. It causes mood swings, severe depression, extreme feelings, and/or confusion. Hamlet, said to be about twenty years old, has been through so much more than the typical twenty year old has. In the play, Hamlet’s father had been recently murdered by his uncle, whom his mother has also recently married. These are the main reasons why Hamlet has also shown serious signs of major depressive disorder as well, which can often go hand-in-hand…show more content…
This would be considered as an unreachable goal, which is a characteristic of bipolar disorder. In one scene, Hamlet sees his uncle praying and knows it would be the perfect opportunity to smite him, but decides it would be better to wait for another time. The fact that Hamlet nonchalantly believes he will truly kill his uncle is delusional, and is obviously an unfeasible option. Along with Hamlet’s bouts of depression comes manic episodes of excessive happiness, another key component and telltale sign of bipolar disorder. Hamlet is excessively happy because he is about to reveal his uncle’s secret to the kingdom, via “The Mousetrap,” which is the play Hamlet puts on. “O God, you’re only a jig-maker. What should a man do but be merry? For look how cheerfully my mother looks, and my father died within’s two hours” (Shakespeare 143). However, Hamlet quickly loses his temper during a conversation with his mother, and acts like a crazed animal. “… Have you eyes? Could you on this fair mountain leave to feed and batten on this more? Ha, have you eyes? You cannot call it love, for at your age they hayday in the blood is tame, it’s humble, and waits upon the judgment. And what judgment would step from this to this? Sense sure you have, else could you not have, else could not have motion. But sure that sense is apoplexed, for madness would not err, nor sense to ecstasy was
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