To Be Insane or Not To Be Insane That Tis
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"To Be Insane or Not To Be Insane That Tis
With in Hamlet, Shakespeare gives a psychological dimension to the thouoghts and
actions of each of his characaters, exspecially hamlet. Shakespeare gives the reader an
indepth look into the mind of Hamlet. If shakespeare had not given the reader the complex
psychological state of Hamlet, then yes one could say Hamlet was insane, but Shakespeare
did. He made sure that there was an explanation, logical reason for all of his actions.
Hamlet, at the very least was sane. In the play Hamlet was percieved as being mad, but
there was a just cause. The symbolic meaning of Hamlet's actions are the underlining
meaning for his unconscious motivation toward his actions. This means that Hamlet, maybe
not knowing it at the time, would logically justify his actions. For example in act III,
Hamlet said to Ophelia:
You should not have believed me;
for virtue cannot so inoculate our
old stock but we shall relish of it.
I loved you not. ... Get thee
to a nunnery!...Go thy ways to a nunnery.
Here we can see that Hamlet had told Ophelia earlier in the scene how deeply he loved her,
but here he has changed completely, saying that he had never loved her. With in this quote
he slips in that Ophelia should go to a nunnery. This is his just cause for his maddness. He
tries to get Ophelia to forget him and go to the nunnery so that she can be safe, and away
from all his troubles that would soon come. Here we see his justcause as well as his
foreshadowing for things to come.
Like many Princes, Hamlet has been highly educated in Whittenburg, England. Here he has
learned to think logically and not to act or think on impulse. This is why the reader sees
Hamlet talkling to himself. In act III we see hamlet debating over ideas and problems out
loud. The most obvious one is in his "To Be" soliloquy.
To be, or not to be, that is the
question: Whether' tis nobler in
the slings and arrows of out-
rageous fortune.... to die - to
sleep No more. (Sc.I 65)
Here we can see Hamlet debating with his inner self. Should I exsist or not? ShouldI sleep
or not. Hamlet argues with his inner consious on the fact that if he should die and leave his
troubles or live and fight his troubles. this is not to be classified as maddness, for he
challenges his self for life, not an imaganery person. Hamlet does an unconscious analsys on
himself. This only proves that he has built up rage which he lets out in a form of internal
debate instead of taking it out on someone else like Claudious.
In act three scene two, Hamlet proves that he has a mind of a genious not a
maddman. He has the players act out a play, where they pantomine with a plot similar to the
circumstances of Claudius' murder of Hamlet's father. He also has them do the poison scene.
this is Hamlet's most cunning thing he has done through our the whole play. He lets the king
and his mother know that he too knows what went done that dreadful day when his father
In the first act Hamlet specifically shows his disgust and rage for the marriage of his mother
to Cladious the king. Hhamlet tells his mother:
Tis not above my inky cloak, good
mother, Nor customary suits of solemn
black, Nor windy suspiration of forced brevity. No, nor the fruitful riverin the eye ( Act I
Sc. II 82)
Here Hamlet demonstrates his rage by saying that his mother did not wear black or cry long
for his departed father. Here the reader can see the beginning of the Oedipus comlex.
Hamlet hating his new father, yet still loving his mother even though she was part of the plot
to kill his father. Many scholars have said,
"If Hamlet had performed his resolution to kill the king then the play would have ended in
the first act."
Hamlet could eliminate Claudious the first instance he had, but no, he waited so his killing
would be for a meaning, instead of a bloody killing, out of rage. Only if he had killed the
king then instead of when he did could he be called insane, or mad. When Hamlet killed the
king, everyone thought it was just, considering that they heard the whole story. Here the
reader can clearly see that
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Characters in Hamlet, Prince Hamlet, Ophelia, Hamlet, Horatio, To be, or not to be, Shakespeare Programming Language, Hamlet in popular culture, Critical approaches to Hamlet
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