Essay On Mental Illness In Hamlet

765 Words4 Pages
In the play, Hamlet, Prince Hamlet endures the tragic loss of his father, the King of Denmark, and the ultimate betrayal of his uncle, Claudius, who is throned king following his father’s death and marriage to Hamlet’s mother, Gertrude. Hamlet begins to show signs of depression and emotional instability from the beginning. As the play progresses, Hamlet becomes more and more mentally unstable until he begins to border insanity. Hamlet’s mental health is a recurring theme in the play and there are many signs of his suffering. Hamlet’s father’s death, betrayal of his uncle and resentment of his mother are causes for Hamlet’s troubled frame of mind and subsequent actions. The play begins with Hamlet’s mourning of his father. He is summoned…show more content…
He agonizes over what to do next and goes back and forth on whether to kill Claudius to seek revenge for his father though it is not in his nature to do so. He delivers a soliloquy that highlights his inner struggle and the hatred toward his uncle saying, “O villain, villain, smiling, damned villain! My tables, - meet it is I set it down. That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain:” Hamlet determines he must get at the truth and comes up with a plan to do so. He enlists the help of a troupe to put on a play that depicts the way he believes his father was murdered. At this time, Hamlet contemplates the hardships of life and whether death is easier than life. “ To grunt and sweate under this weary life, When that he may his full Quietus make, With a bare bodkin, who would this indure, But for a hope of something after death?” As Hamlet believed, Claudius reacts to the play by showing guilt. He leaves the room unable to breathe and Hamlet resolves to kill him. His mental health deteriorates as he finds himself feeling like a coward, unable or unwilling to avenge his father’s death. As his inner struggle rages, he begins to yell at his mother and ultimately kills Polonius who he had no intentions on doing so. Hamlet is sent away but is able to make his way back where his uncle has set him up for a duel that he cannot win. Hamlet directly and indirectly causes six deaths including that of his mother and uncle. He is killed as well, but
Open Document