The Mind of the Mad: Analysis of Hamlet

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The Mind of The Mad What is it to be mad? Is it related to something of biological background? Or is it to do with the complex breakdown of one’s emotions? Or is it both? These questions are important to keep in mind when understanding whether Hamlet is truly mad or feigning madness as part of his ‘plan’ in which Shakespeare builds up throughout the play. This relates to the second aspect which must also be looked at when comprehending the fictional play Hamlet. This aspect is the certain ‘key’ events that take place, and how they not only provide a basis for, but also shape and mould the emotions of the character Hamlet. When Hamlet is first introduced into the story, his dark mood can be perceived as an inveterate shape of…show more content…
However the reason for this is left completely up to the reader. Hamlet begins this conversation with, what seems, talking to himself. He then notices Ophelia and begins to talk to her. He denies the letters that Ophelia claimed he gave her. This is also left ‘open’ by Shakespeare, in the sense that the reader may believe that Hamlet did in fact give letters of a very affectionate nature to Ophelia, or that Hamlet never gave her letters, and that he’s denial is truthful. It is however commonly believed that Hamlet did in fact write Ophelia letters which, as mentioned before, Shakespeare uses to establish a history of Hamlet and Ophelia’s relationship. This being the case, why would Hamlet deny giving these letters? In the argument that Hamlet is truly mad by this stage, it is believed that he truly has no idea that he ever gave letters to Ophelia. However to argue the fact that Hamlet isn’t really mad, it is believed that to maintain his illusive madness he must end his relationship with Ophelia, and break all ties with her for his madness to look convincing. This is another example of Shakespeare ‘playing’ with the madness of Hamlet, and to keep the reader guessing. It is also interesting to briefly look outside the text of Hamlet, and into other Shakespearian plays, where he depicts madness to a similar level. The Character Lear, from King Lear, also suffers from a similar, brought on, madness. This argument of whether the madness is real or
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