The Madness Of Hamlet And Ophelia

1131 Words Jan 19th, 2016 5 Pages
The Madness of Hamlet and Ophelia

Hamlet is one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays. In it, a young, Danish prince struggles with the death of his father and the betrayal of his mother. This struggle is so profound; it shakes its main character Hamlet to the core and brings him to the brink of sanity. Shakespeare uses madness to convey important information throughout the play especially through Hamlet and his love interest, Ophelia. Hamlet does not always appear to be mad, in fact throughout the play his sanity is questioned by the reader and other characters. Whether real or faked, Hamlet and Ophelia’s madness reveal to us more about their characters, opinions and secrets than their regular discourse. As demonstrated throughout the play, Hamlet’s madness is evident whether real or fake. In his own words, “I am mad but north-north-west: / When the wind southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw” (II. ii. 377-78). Hamlet is claiming that he is frequently seen as crazy. However, he claims that he can choose the moments to be mad. Hamlet is speaking to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern stating that Hamlet knows what Rosencrantz and Guildenstern plan to do. The reader is again asked to consider whether Hamlet is faking his madness or whether he is, in fact, mad. In a monologue, he says, “How strange or odd some’er I bear / myself / As I perchance hereafter shall think / meet / To pit an antic disposition on” (I. V. 190- 92). The death of Hamlet’s father is something Hamlet cannot…
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