Hamlet Madness

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The play “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare is an incredible tragedy, one of the most admirable classics and intriguing plays of the English language. Among the various issues highlighted by Shakespeare in the play, presumably the most frequent question is whether the leading character was pretending to be insane or was actually mad. Manipulating a variety of evidence from the text and analyses, it can be claimed that Hamlet does maintain his sanity throughout the plot.

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Hamlet’s connection with madness

All the heroes of the play “Hamlet” are in one way or another connected with madness, so during the plot their minds are depraved, bringing them to a critical moral state, which leads to tragic finales, grief-filled moments and disgraceful incidents. Hamlet, the main character of Shakespeare’s play, is represented as a sick man. Critics argue that this man is indeed deranged. They illustrate how Hamlet’s reactions and behavior are related to true madness, however, reflection and permanent planning are traits that Hamlet possesses over the course of the play. Hamlet retains both clarity of mind and sanity during the entire plot, but his brain is constantly in a state of balance, developing the intuitive perception that the “disease” of madness did not exist at all. Hamlet’s mental illness undoubtedly appears after he encounters the ghost of his father, who reveals the terrible secret of his death. After hearing this, Hamlet develops his plan to simulate insanity to avenge his father’s death. One of the most striking moments in the play is when Hamlet taunts Polonius, who realizes that Hamlet is a cautious man, to carefully make everyone believe the lie that he is actually unstable.

To judge by appearances, all the evidence suggests that Hamlet is really just pretending to be mad and skillfully deceiving everyone. However, as Polonius suggests, his “madness” has a certain meaning. That is, Hamlet conveys the impression of an unstable moral state to hide his true plans and ambitions to avenge his father – the murder of Claudius. If people perceive him as mad, they are likely to underestimate his personality and what he is capable of. It is also worth mentioning Hamlet’s constant doubts about killing Claudius, which definitely cause a convincing feeling that he is not a particularly unstable character. At the same instant, it should be borne in mind that Hamlet is a person who is significantly different from everyone else. In order to bring some characters closer to him, he reveals to Horatio that he is pretending, and Hamlet equally informs Gertrude at the end of Act 4 that he is pretending. The man could not reveal everyone the truth, as gossip would certainly start, which would strike the queen and then the king. Therefore, it was extremely necessary for Hamlet to keep his murderous plans secret.

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In conclusion, we can follow the opinion that Hamlet’s madness is not a real personality trait, but an essential part of his carefully thought out plan. Fortunately possessing a reputation of an intelligent and prudent man, he considered it necessary to go beyond his personal limits for the sake of implementing a plan of personal revenge for his father, with the appearance of whose ghost it all began.

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