The colloquy with the Ghost, who to the queen is invisible, leads her to imagine that her Hamlet insanity is subject to some hallucination. With them, however, it is necessary for him to play a somewhat different role.
In the play the only persons who regard Hamlet as really mad are the king and his henchmen, and even these are troubled with many doubts. He therefore reports to the king that "Your noble son is mad" II. There, as neither the sexton nor the clown knows him, he is free to talk without disguise, and the most critical disputants of his sanity would be at a loss to find anything in his remarks which savours of a disordered Hamlet insanity.
To give her the slightest opportunity of exercising her magic influence will be to sacrifice his oath to the spirit of his father.
Later on, alone with his one friend, Hamlet relates in minute detail the circumstances of his escape from being carried into England, and plainly announces his intention of killing the king. In this as in everything the king is insincere, and seeks not the truth but his own personal ends.
Their sudden return to Elsinore strikes Hamlet as something strange, and he quickly guesses that the king is at the bottom of it. She is herself, rather than Hamlet, "Like sweet bells jangled out of tune, and harsh. Passing over his reflections when watching the king at prayer with the remark that, passionate as they are, they betray nothing of an impaired intellect, we come to the interview to which his mother has summoned him.
But it needs no drama to teach that. Now, this is not immediately after the Ghost has left him, for he has had time for considerable reflection, and for writing down a memorandum as to the oath he has given to the Ghost.
But before stating reasons in support of this assumption, it will be convenient to consider the views of those who hold that Hamlet was more or less insane from the time at which the Ghost appeared to him.
Contrast his demeanour then with the instantaneous change upon the entry of the king; contrast it with his behaviour to Polonius while the play is preparing, and to Ophelia during the action of the play; note his irrepressible exultation, when alone with Horatio, at the success of his stratagem, and again the immediate resumption of his "antic disposition" upon the re-entry of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.
Such a belief would act as a "flattering unction" to her soul, and thus frustrate his purpose of driving home to her conscience that recognition of her guilt which it is his aim to awaken. His first assumption of eccentricity or mysterious reserve is when to the shouts of Horatio and Marcellus, "Illo, ho, ho, my lord!
So, when summoned by the king, he befools him as before with witty extravagance, though when left alone again abandoning all incoherency of thought. So, too, when Horatio joins him, his intellect is as calm and clear, his reasoning as sound, the expression of his feelings as sober, and the plan of action he announces as practical, as the most exacting judge could desire.
His avowed intention to act "strange or odd" and to "put an antic disposition on" 1 I. For awhile after this torturing scene Hamlet has no need to assume his disguise.
How to cite this article: Hamlet quickly dispels this idea and, though in less vehement language, eloquently calls upon her to manifest contrition by a change of life, and exacts a solemn promise that she will not reveal to the king what had passed between them.
But to all else, Horatio excepted, he has still to maintain his disguise; and when shortly afterwards Rosencrantz and Guildenstern come upon him, he instantly relapses into irrelevant language. There is much evidence in the play that Hamlet deliberately feigned fits of madness in order to confuse and disconcert the king and his attendants.
To understand the madness as real is to make of the play a mad-house tragedy that could have no meaning for the very sane Englishmen for whom Shakespeare wrote. If during that interval he also comes to the decision that it will not be advisable to communicate to Horatio and Marcellus what had passed since he left them, there is nothing to be wondered at.
Hamlet, prince of Denmark. Was not like madness.
He saw much to be gained by it, and to this end he did many things that the persons of the drama must construe as madness. That the strain upon him has been great in keeping up appearances is plain enough from the relief he expresses when left alone; and the soliloquy which follows betrays nothing of incoherence or mental derangement.
The latter phrase, which is of doubtful interpretation, should be taken in its context and in connection with his other remarks that bear on the same question. Osric is too great a fool for it to be necessary that Hamlet should assume the cloak of insanity; but answering him with a witty imitation of his own affected jargon, he dismisses him with an acceptance of the challenge; and shortly afterwards engages in the combat which, as we have seen, ends fatally to both Laertes and himself.
If the other persons associated with him could at once discover that the madness was put on, of course the entire action would be marred, and the object for which the pretended madness would be designed would be defeated by the discovery.
Possibly under temptation they might, or at least Marcellus might, break an oath made to Hamlet alone; but an oath fortified by terrors of the supernatural is something too dread for any such treachery. His instructions to his henchmen, "Get from him why he puts on this confusion" II.
Nothing is more so than a fondness of annoying those whom they dislike by ridicule, raillery, satire, vulgarity, Hamlet insanity every other species of shame. For the moment, anger at the trick sought to be put upon him evokes nothing but contempt for his victim, though later on contrition succeeds to his passionate outburst.
He probably further suspects that he is being secretly watched, and he can be quite certain that his words and actions will be reported to Polonius, that is, to the king.Hamlet faking his insanity Horatio’s continuous support seems to keep Hamlet from falling off the brink Ophelia’s death brings an end to Hamlet’s facade, and he confronts Claudius and Laertes Laertes learned to think clearly during his fight with Hamlet.
Hamlet and Insanity William Shakespeare’s creation of the character of Hamlet within the tragedy of that name left open the question of whether the madness of the protagonist is entirely feigned or not.
Maybe. But keep in mind that (1) Hamlet says he's going to pretend to be mad ; (2) Hamlet's already "melancholy" at the beginning of the play ; (3) Elizabethan ideas about "madness" are unstable and.
sanity and insanity in hamlet Sanity and insanity is a theme often referenced in Hamlet. For most of the play, the subject is brought on by the sudden plague of insanity that seems to take over Hamlet when his mother remarries soon after his fathers death. From Hamlet, an ideal prince, and other essays in Shakesperean interpretation: Hamlet; Merchant of Venice; Othello; King Lear by Alexander W.
Crawford. There is much evidence in the play that Hamlet.
On this question there are four different hypotheses: (1) That Hamlet was throughout perfectly sane, but feigned insanity; (2) that Hamlet was after his interview with the Ghost more or less insane; (3) that in Hamlet insanity was latent, but was only fully developed after the Court-play; (4) that Hamlet was neither insane, nor feigned to be so.Download