The term insanity means a mental disorder, whether it is temporary or permanent, that isused to describe a person when they dont know the difference between right or wrong. Theydont consider the nature of their actions due to the mental defect.
(Insanity, sturtevant) InWilliam Shakespeares play Hamlet Shakespeare leads you to believe that the main character,Hamlet, might be insane. There are many clues to suggest Hamlet is insane but infact he iscompletely sane.Throughout the play Hamlet makes wise decisions to prove he is not insane. He knowsexactly what he is leading up to. He just delays to act due to his indecisiveness.
An example ofthis is in Act III, section III, line 73, Hamlet says Now might I do it pat, now a is a-praying, andnow Ill do it-and so a goes to heaven, and so am I revenged that would be scanned. A villainkills my father, and for that, I, his sole son, do this same villain send to heaven. Why, this is hireand salary, not revenge. He says here that he has his chance to kill his fathers murder but, he ispraying. By killing him while hes praying his soul goes to heaven and this wouldnt be revenge.
This is not a thought of an insane person. An insane person would have completed the murder atthis opportunity. In Act III, scene I, line 55, To be or not to be..
., Hamlet displays hisindecisiveness by thinking about suicide because of the situation he is in. He would rather bedead than live with the thought of his fathers death going unavenged. He is scared to getrevenge because he found out from a ghost and he doesnt know what to do.
In line 83, Thusconscience takes a major part in the thought and action of murder. This is why he delays so longto commit the murder. An insane person would not wait. They would be more apt to act inimpulse.Hamlets madness only existed when he was in the presence of certain characters.
WhenHamlet is around Polonius, Claudius, Gertrude, Ophelia, Rosencrantz, and Gildenstern, hebehaves irrationally. For example in Act II, section II, Polonius asks Hamlet, Do you know me,my Lord? Hamlet replies, Excellent well, you are a fischmonger. Hamlet pretends not toknow who Polonius is, even though he is Ophelias father. When Hamlet is around Horatio,Bernardo, Fransisco, the players and the Gravediggers, he behaves rationally.In Act I, sectionV, lines 165-180, Hamlet says How strange or odd someer shall think meet to put on anticdisposition), That you, at such times, seeing me, never shall, with arms encumbered thus, or thishead shake, …
. He dowsnt want Horatio to reveal anything that might be going on. If Horatioisnt surprised by Hamlets supposed madness or he leads on that he knows or something thenHamlets antic disposition will not be affective.
He tells Horatio he will be acting mad and hemustnt say anything. If Hamlet plans to put on an act of antic disposition then he cant beinsane.Throughout the play Hamlet questions everyone. He questions the ghost, is he real? Hequestions Rosencrantz and Gilderstern, Polonius, Claudius, Gertrude, and Ophelia. In Act III sc.I line 103, Hamlet asks Ophelia Ha, Ha! are you honest? Are you fair? and Where is yourfather? Ophelia tells Hamlet hes at home.
Hamlet somehow knows that he is being spied onby Claudius and Polonius so he pretends to be mad. At this point the King says in line 180Madness in great ones must not unwatched go. He still is not completely convinced ofHamlets madness so he is cautious.Throughout the entire play Hamlet is careful with his actions.
He thinks everythingthrough. Although he delayed his actions longer than Laertes did, he planned all his actions outinstead of acting out in a foot of rage. He had to be completely sure before taking action. Hamlet was completely aware of his actions and what was morally correct.
He never lost sightof his objective to expose the Kings sin of murdering his father and obtaining revenge. Hamletwas completely sane throughout this Shakespearean tragedy.Category: Shakespeare