Is Hamlet Mad or Just Pretending to be Mad?
Hamlet is a play that involves the prince of Denmark as the key character. The Prince returns home to find his Father murdered by his uncle Claudius with the aim of inheriting the throne. Besides, his mother remarries the killer of his father, and this makes Hamlet frustrated and plans a revenge mission. Hamlets pretend his father appeared to him in the form of a ghost and needed him to seek revenge for his death that causes a suspicion of his madness. He fakes madness so as to do things that would not in any ordinary way be accepted. Throughout the play, question rises on the Hamlet’s mental status. Some characters think that Hamlet has gone insane whereas others think that he is just pretending. This essay discusses whether Hamlet is mad or whether he is pretending to be mad.
Hamlet's madness is not real. Apparently, it is a pretense for him to stop and puzzle those who were trying to prevent him from the mission of revenge. He possesses a practical threat of insanity to his uncle's (Claudius) throne, and this offers him a defense to the harmful action. This is clear that he has some hidden tricks and has well planned his faked madness. Since the death of his father the king prince, Hamlet is in a state of madness and displaying characters of hatred and anger towards his uncle’s deeds. These characteristics make the people outside think that truly hamlet has a mental disorder, and this gives him the straight way to revenge his mission without hindrances from outside people. The fact that Hamlet is pretending to be mad which seems true puts him in a better position of achieving his revenge mission for his father’s killing.
Hamlet had warned his friends that he will put an antic disposition that later brings him a great fall, and ruins his bond with Ophelia (his girlfriend) and Gertrude (his mother). As a result of his pretense, Hamlet begins to believe that he is truly mad. His plans did not prosper in achieving his mission, and this contributed to a great downfall not only to him but also to all the people he treasured. Hamlets acts of disguised madness send Ophelia away which finally leads to her committing suicide and, also, makes him lose his loved ones. Ophelia feels betrayed by Hamlet the love of his life, which pushes her insanity then to committing suicide.
Hamlet's actions of extreme violent displayed towards Gertrude portray him as having a high level of mental instability and panic. At this point, Hamlets forcefully throws Gertrude on the flow, grasps her hair and forces her to look herself in the mirror. This violence action on Gertrude displays his incapability to resist his feelings. The fact that Hamlet has no ability to interact normally with his mother and allows his anger to control his feelings which he later takes out on Gertrude is an indication of his mental stability. It is within this scene Hamlet commits murder of Polonius by shooting and while he falls on the ground hamlet seems surprised not knowing what to do.
These emotions further show his mental instability. He shows no regret for his actions and shortly gazes the body before going back to Gertrude. At this point, Hamlet shows verbal abuse by yelling at Gertrude and speaking harshly to her, and Gertrude responds to his violence by slapping him in the face. Hamlet feels hurt and responds by dragging his sword and frightening her with it. All these deeds display his mental instability as he is not in a position to control his emotions. Hamlet allows his anger to control him and takes it out on Gertrude. The acts of Hamlet killing Polonius is a clear indication of hysteria because even after shooting him he is not in a position to stop himself as he goes ahead running over him and wounding him several times.
After killing Polonius Hamlet sits beside his body feeling remorseful by staring at the body with sorrow and then touches it. This shows that he is in a low mental instability. In another incidence, Hamlet shows uncontrollable anger towards the mother by tossing her to the bed, shouting and pulling her around, tries to wrap her in sheets and choke her. This irrational behavior on her mother and the lack of ability to solve their conflicts displays him as mentally unstable. All these acts by Hamlet cause more harm to his close touch than his plan of revenge mission. He ends up killing innocent individuals alongside the culprit.
The fact that Hamlet claimed to see the ghost of his father seeking revenge to him may warrant him to be insane. In reality Hamlet seemed mad to the worldly point of view but he was not. When he tries to kill his mother and Polonius comes to her aid it is just that he was seeking attention to let others know that he was mad. In many of his acting, Hamlets speaks out to be mad if truly he was should he speak about it? This is a clear picture that His madness as faked for his hidden mission of revenging his father. Everyone including the queen his mother truly believes Hamlets madness was real. His anger, bitterness and rash actions that sounded like his madness and this was only a planned way to make his uncle Claudius pay for his evil deeds.
Hamlet pretends to be mad to blind people of his bad sayings and deeds that would not be tolerated for any normal person because they are real abuse. These actions made him appear totally crazy which made the people pay no attention to him giving way for him to fulfill his plans of killing Claudius and revenge his father’s death. Hamlet’s madness is the central concern in the play. Throughout the play, he denies that he is insane, but in reality his actions and performance convince that he is mad. He wonders if it is true he is mad or not. Helmet seemed to convince Claudius and Polonius that he is really insane. However, these two men suspect that there is something hidden about his mental status.
Hamlet feigns madness after hearing the ghost demand for revenge specifically to kill Claudius, and this makes it hard for us to trust that he accidentally went mad after this plan. This imaginary madness gives him the primary way of interrelating with other people to the accomplishment of his mission. His obsession with the decision of his father’s revenge made him lose trust with everything because he was afraid of obstruction from his mission. Hamlet is displayed as through going modification from a student from college to a person who is looking for vengeance. Even though he is seen to lose a lot at the end, he feels complete to avenge his father’s death. The transformation from his true personality to mad persons sees him through his mission.
It is clear that when Hamlet is with an honest colleague, he is normal and has no symptoms, but as soon as the people he want to show his madness appear he changes immediately that they don’t notice his behavior. Different people have argued differently that it’s the kings and queens marriage that has resulted in his frustration while Ophelia her lover thinks it is the unfulfilled love that drives him mad. The continuous quick changes from sane speech with trustworthy friends to insane talks with those he desires to show his madness are a clear indication of the scheme. His cruel and cruel behavior to Ophelia and others are seen as part and parcel of his insanity. Hamlets madness is just deliberate and purposeful to fulfilling out the ghost caution, and his insanity does not seem constant as he is always sane when with trustworthy friends but changes rapidly when with other friends though he smartly does it in a manner that almost all the people have been convinced that his madness is true.
In conclusion, greed and revenge precedes the whole play that causes the death of most people included. This is a clear illustration of how greed and revenge can be devastating. It’s clear that greed and vengeance can become strong in anyone inclusive of those people who go far to pursue their visions only to have their deeds come crashing down after them as they seek to follow the ways of vengeance and greed which directors them to madness. It is a fact that greed can enslave individuals thus causing grief to them. When a greedy person achieves a certain goal, he can also work towards achieving another. Therefore, that person becomes an avidity till the time when they die. This is evident in this play. The characters have suffered due to greed.