Was Hamlet Insane Essay

919 Words 4 Pages
Was Hamlet insane? Scholars have debated this question ever since Shakespeare presented this play to the public. Although I am not a scholar, I believe that there is enough evidence in the play to suggest Hamlet had been sane. He may have been depressed and angry however this was due to the treachery and betrayal contaminating Denmark. The insanity act had been an instrument to allow Hamlet the freedom to achieve his goal of revenge.

When the audience first meets Hamlet, he is dressed in black. He is in mourning over the death of his father. When questioned by Gertrude about his attire and his disposition, Hamlet replies 'But I have that within which passeth show—these are but the trappings and the suits of woe.'; (Act 1,
…show more content…
Furthermore, he is unwilling to reveal what the ghost has said to Horatio and Marcellus and informs them that 'How strange or odd soe'er I bear myself—As I perchance herafter shall think meet To put an antic disposition on—'. This indicates that Hamlet has hatched plan to exact his revenge on Claudius. An unbalanced mind would be incapable of quick resolutions.

It is interesting to note that Hamlet only puts his 'madness'; performance on for the characters he is suspicious of such as Claudius, Polonius, Gertrude, and Ophelia. When Hamlet is around Horatio, Marcellus, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, the Players and the Grave-Diggers, he acts rationally. He changes his disposition with ease and speed. During Act 2, Scene 2, Hamlet is speaking with Polonius. When Polonius asks if Hamlet recognizes him, Hamlet replies that 'You are a fishmonger.'; He goes on to insult Polonius further and calls daughter Ophelia a 'good kissing carrion';. When Rosencrantz and Guildenstern appear, Hamlet begins to behave cordially again. He warmly greets his friends and engages them in light philosophical humor.
Hamlet's violence against his mother in Act 3, Scene 4 is due to the fact that he is very angry with Gertrude for marrying Claudius. Hamlet adds to the proof that he is not unbalanced when he says:
Open Document