William Shakespeare 's Hamlet : The Mystery Of Death Or Impossibility Of Certainty Essay

1497 WordsMay 11, 20166 Pages
The idea of madness in Shakespeare’s Hamlet is just as important of a theme as the mystery of death or the impossibility of certainty. Shakespeare uses the aspect of madness to delve into the issues of knowledge, and lack thereof. There are three apt examples which help explain on a deeper level how the issues of knowledge are represented in the madness of Hamlet, and also Ophelia. Firstly, Hamlet and the vast amount of knowledge he acquires, becomes uncertain and contradictory which inevitably leads him to lose his mind. There is also the possibility that his ‘antic disposition’ aided this downfall into delusion. Secondly, Ophelia, her lack of independence, and the circumstances that follow after she discovers that it is the love of her life who kills her father. And lastly, Shakespeare’s emphasis on surveillance cannot be ignored. Particularly with Hamlet, and the way attains information through eavesdropping leads to incorrect information and devastating results. Overall I think Shakespeare is clever in the way he uses madness as a medium to portray knowledge. It is commonly assumed that madness correlates with unintelligence because of the person in question being unable to portray their thoughts in a logical manner. It is refreshing to see a different perspective on the capability of madness. The first issue of knowledge is introduced in scene 1, act 5 when Hamlet speaks to the ghost who he believes to be his late father. He learns that it was his Uncle

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