Hamlet's Madness

Decent Essays
Motivation fuels almost every action that takes place in the world. In William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, the main character, Hamlet, has an episode where those around him observe that he is seemingly mad. His reactions and remarks to other characters, however, prove that perhaps his madness is a façade and a way to stay under the radar of King Claudius, his uncle. The interpretations of Hamlet’s mental state can be assessed differently for each reader. This, in turn, causes the story of Prince Hamlet to be individualized to each reader. This effect serves to raise questions about the complexities of the main character.

Hamlet’s supposed madness surfaces immediately after he converses with the ghost of his father, King Hamlet. In this discussion, Hamlet discovers the truth behind his father’s death. He learns that his uncle, Claudius murdered his father, stole his mother, Gertrude, and usurped the throne of the Danish Kingdom. Directly after this dramatic conversation, Hamlet begins to act strangely, casting away those who he cares about and adopting a violent and irrational behavior. This can be observed with the conversation that Hamlet has with his friends immediately after seeing his father’s ghost. This conversation
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The audience is tasked to struggle with how complicit Hamlet is in the final bloodbath and the merits of his true character. One scene that causes the readers to analyze Hamlet’s character and role comes in the form of Ophelia’s funeral. Hamlet states: “I loved Ophelia. Fourty thousand brothers/could not with all their quantity of live/make up my sum.” He feel responsible for her tragic death. His toying with her emotions and his later mad antics eventually caused Ophelia to take her own life. It is at this moment where Hamlet experiences anguish over his costly actions and shows the audience the price of “putting on antic
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