Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Is Hamlet insane or merely pretending insanity Why Essay

Is Hamlet insane or merely pretending insanity Why - Essay Example The ambience is eerie and unnerving. The appearance of the ghost makes it even more mysterious and intense. In such a context it is difficult to maintain composure and remain sane and more so for a prince. A question about Hamlet’s insanity may be put in the mind of the audience due to the appearance of the ghost and Hamlet’s speaking to it. But it is offset by the earlier appearance of the same ghost in Elsinore, after the stroke of twelve, in front of Horatio, Bernardo and Marcellus and vanishing by the sound of the morning cock. Thus Hamlet is not uniquely mad to have witnessed the visitations of the ghost of his father. However as the play progresses, we come to know clearly that Hamlet is not mad. He has planned to feign madness in order to convince his enemy that he is unaware of the truth about his father’s foul murder by his uncle. In the beginning Hamlet is distressed and says: â€Å"O God! O God! How weary, stale and unprofitable seem to me all the use s of the worlds.† He seems to be undergoing tremendous depression. In Elizabethan age, hallucinations were often associated with acute depression. Thus, in the beginning, it might seem that out protagonist is going through a period of deep depression of un-proportionate amount and this justifies the visions of the ghost. This type of thought was prevalent in the Elizabethan era. The unexpected death of his father and the almost instant re-marriage of his mother to his uncle were causes good enough to cause mental and emotional instability and unhinge his mind. Instead we see that despite his deep grief, he immediately transforms into his own, normal, commanding self when the players enter: â€Å"You are welcome, masters; welcome, all. I am glad to see thee well.† Hamlet in fact can be viewed to possess an extremely logical and cunning mind. He himself is not sure about the truthfulness of the ghost’s pronouncements. To ensure that it is not a trap laid by an evil spirit, he plans to write a play about the truth that he believes about his father’s death and plans to play it in front of the King and the Queen. He also warns his close friend Horatio and asks him not to be alarmed at his â€Å"antic disposition†. He sets the trap and during the play he sets his eyes on his uncle to follow his reactions as the play unfolds. He hurriedly leaves. Hamlet is convinced and starts planning his next steps. Hamlet plays the role of his contrived madness very convincingly. Ophelia thinks that he has been â€Å"loosed out of hell. To speak of horrors he comes before me.† Polonius is also convinced that Hamlet is madly in love with Ophelia: â€Å"He knew me not at first; he said I was a fishmonger; he is far gone, far gone†¦Ã¢â‚¬  Hamlet is so clever that he even convinces his mother Queen Gertrude: â€Å"Alas how is’t with you†¦Ã¢â‚¬  The queen’s suspicion is even more aggravated when Hamlet again experienc es his father’s visitations in front of his mother. He also speaks to it and this convinces the queen that his son is â€Å"mad as the sea and wind†. In fact Hamlet’s manifestations of madness changes according to the persons he is which. He feigns madness in front of Polonius, Claudius, Gertrude, Ophelia, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. But in front of Horatio, Bernardo, Francisco and the Actors in the play, he acts normally. However Polonius says that: â€Å"actions although strange, do not appear to stem from madness. Polonius

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