Shakespeare's Hamlet: Investigating Hamlet's Insanity

Nicolas Hutchison
Hamlet is one of Shakespeare's most famous plays, and hardest to
perform. The reason it is so hard to perform is because of the main
character Hamlet. Hamlet is an easily liked character that must revenge his
father's death. He is forced to act insane in order to find out the truth
of his father's death. Hamlet does an excellent job of acting insane, so
good, in fact, that it is questioned if he was acting insane or if he
actually was. Hamlet's madness is an important part in the play. It is an
important role that recurs throughout the play. The question to his
insanity lies in the reasons for his insanity. He is constantly betrayed
throughout the play by everyone he ...

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of forced breath,
No, nor the fruitful river in the eye,
Nor the dejected 'havior of the visage,
Together with all forms, moods, shapes of grief,
That can denote me truly: these indeed seem,
For they are actions that a man might play:
But I have that within which passeth show;
These but the trappings and the suits of woe.”(1.2)

Here Hamlet shows his unstable mind. He is screaming at his mother telling
her how his actions are honest and he is not pretending to grieve, but that
he is truly saddened by his father's death. He has become offended by his
mother's inference that Hamlet is not actually upset by his father's death..
She uses the term "Seems" which pushes Hamlet to this rage.
Hamlet is so saddened by his father's death that he begins to think
of suicide. "O, that this too too solid flesh would melt / Thaw and resolve
itself into a dew!”(1.2.129-130). He is wishing that his flesh would melt
away or “Or that the ...

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ghost, he is given an instruction to remember. Hamlet begins his obsession
with revenge here:

“ I'll wipe away all trivial fond records,
All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past,
That youth and observation copied there;
And thy commandment all alone shall live
Within the book and volume of my brain,
Unmix'd with baser matter”

Hamlet vows to himself that he will think of nothing but his task till it
is complete. He will wipe his memory of everything in his life and the only
thing dwelling within will be his task given to him by the ghost. "I
perchance hereafter shall think meet / To put an antic disposition on"
(1.5.171-172), ...

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Shakespeare's Hamlet: Investigating Hamlet's Insanity. (2005, December 11). Retrieved December 4, 2021, from
"Shakespeare's Hamlet: Investigating Hamlet's Insanity.", 11 Dec. 2005. Web. 4 Dec. 2021. <>
"Shakespeare's Hamlet: Investigating Hamlet's Insanity." December 11, 2005. Accessed December 4, 2021.
"Shakespeare's Hamlet: Investigating Hamlet's Insanity." December 11, 2005. Accessed December 4, 2021.
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Added: 12/11/2005 07:07:53 AM
Category: Arts
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1471
Pages: 6

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