Hamlet Is Hamlet Truly Insane Term Paper

Download this Term Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Term Paper:

Hamlet by William Shakespeare. Specifically, it will answer the question, is Hamlet truly insane? Hamlet is a deceptively simply character whose insatiable need for vengeance makes him appear insane to the casual reader, but in reality, Hamlet is not insane, he is just insanely jealous and vengeful, and these qualities color his life and the lives of those around him. This makes Hamlet the consummate tragic hero, whose actions lead to his downfall, and the downfall of those closest to him.

Hamlet is a tragic hero because his actions lead to his downfall, and the downfall of many around him. He recognizes that he has character flaws that will ultimately lead him to jealousy, despair, and death, in fact, he notes, "I am very proud, revengeful, ambitious, with more offences at my beck than I have thoughts to put them in, imagination to give them shape, or time to act them in. What should such fellows as I do crawling between heaven and earth?" (Shakespeare 2049). Hamlet recognizes that he has character flaws, but he is powerless to act on them, and so, he self-destructs by the end of the play, taking many other characters with him. Tragic heroes also exhibit characteristics that endear themselves to the audience, and Hamlet has many of these characteristics.

Anyone who has suddenly lost a family member can certainly understand Hamlet's grief and woe at his father's death and his mother's quick remarriage. He laments, "But two months dead! - nay, not so much, not two: / So excellent a king; that was, to this" (Shakespeare 2013). Immediately, he captures the audience's sympathy, and it is clear Hamlet is suffering, and suffering deeply. His emotional state may be fragile, but he is not insane, unless he is insane with grief and woe. In addition, Hamlet is a victim of circumstance, which also makes him more sympathetic to the audience. Hamlet could not have anticipated or stopped his father's murder, and because of this, he could not stop fate, he is a victim of circumstances beyond his control, it is his reaction to them that causes his downfall, but it is his sympathetic portrayal by Shakespeare that adds to his acceptance by the audience. He is clearly not an evil man; he is simply a man reacting to events around him that cannot control his reactions, and jealousy is one of his most dangerous reactions.

This play reeks of jealousy and betrayal. Queen Gertrude has waited less than a month to marry the new king (the murderer of Hamlet's father), and Hamlet's insane jealousy over this drives him to murder, deceit, and revenge. Gertrude knows the danger of jealousy and guilt, and she knows it will have an effect on her son. She muses, "So full of artless jealousy is guilt, / It spills itself in fearing to be spilt" (Shakespeare 2076). To make things worse, Gertrude is happy in her new marriage, and he finds this even more difficult to accept. His distress at his mother's actions also lead him to distrust his love, and this is also a tragic flaw in his character. He is jealous, guilty over his jealousy, and so he takes his unhappiness out on those who are closest to him, like Ophelia. Just because his mother betrayed his father does not mean that all women are not to be trusted, but Hamlet cannot make the distinction, and so he ruins the life of his beloved by murdering her father and thus leading to her suicide. Hamlet is blinded by his jealousy, and so, he ruins the lives of others, and himself in the end. His reactions are emotional rather than well thought out, and so, he allows his emotions to override his common sense. He rants at Ophelia, "Get thee to a nunnery. Why, wouldst thou be a breeder of sinners? I am myself indifferent honest, but yet I could accuse me of such things that it were better my mother had not borne me (Shakespeare 2049). He is weak and emotional, vengeful and jealous, but none of these things makes him mad, although many of the other characters believe Hamlet is losing his senses.

By the end of the play, Hamlet's actions cause those around him to become convinced of his depravity. Queen Gertrude laments, "Alas he's mad!" (Shakespeare 2066) after one of his outbursts after seeing his father's ghost,…[continue]

Cite This Term Paper:

"Hamlet Is Hamlet Truly Insane" (2004, April 06) Retrieved December 5, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/hamlet-is-truly-insane-167717

"Hamlet Is Hamlet Truly Insane" 06 April 2004. Web.5 December. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/hamlet-is-truly-insane-167717>

"Hamlet Is Hamlet Truly Insane", 06 April 2004, Accessed.5 December. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/hamlet-is-truly-insane-167717

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Hamlet Is a Play About

    He does however, have a reason for his treatment of these people. In the case of the king's courtiers, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, they can be seen as plotting against Hamlet and being 'two faced' in their treatment of him" (Hamlet). From the above evidence, it is clear that due to the consequences of the actions of characters, lives are destroyed, which can be seen from the direction of the stage.

  • Hamlet s Emotional State the Oxford

    He questions whether he should try to clear the court of corruption or just give up and end his life now. It is this emotional doubt that drives Hamlet to act deranged at times, but he overcomes it, and almost manages to answer the difficult questions posed in his life. In Act V, when calm returns, Hamlet repents his behavior (V, ii, 75-78) (Lidz, 164). In Lidz's book Freud is

  • Hamlet the Psychological Deterioration of the Title

    Hamlet The psychological deterioration of the title character is the cornerstone of Shakespeare's Hamlet. Consumed by a desire for revenge, Hamlet loses his already tenuous grip on reality. Starting the play with a scene in which Hamlet sees a ghost Shakespeare shows that Hamlet might not have been psychological stable to begin with, and that the emotional strain of losing his father at the hands of his uncle, and losing the

  • Hamlet Grapples With Revenge and

    To act in a murderous, vengeful way that is contrary to his true nature, and to assume madness creates madness. At first, Hamlet suggests that vengefulness in a corrupt court is a kind of sanity, when he vows to put on an antic disposition, but he acts in a way that is more and more contrary to his moral nature as the play goes on, rebuking his mother against

  • Hamlet Tragic Flaw Is His

    While it would seem that she did not love her husband, but it really seems like Gertrude marries Claudius so quickly because she knows it is the only way to preserve her status and position in the kingdom, otherwise she will lose power, rank, and privilege. She needs a man to protect her, and she uses Claudius to save herself, just as Claudius uses her to ensure he can

  • Hamlet First Soliloquy Hamlet s First

    "So excellent a king, that was to this Hyperion to a satyr" (Shakespeare, William) is a Shakespearian juxtaposition used to compare Old Hamlet with Claudius. Hamlet alludes to Hyperion, the God of Light who represents not only honor and virtue, but also nobility, which are all traits Hamlet saw in his own father. The half-human, half-beast satyr creature represents hedonism and excess, similar to the way Hamlet regards Claudius.

  • Interpretation Assertion About Hamlet

    Hamlet and Revenge Hamlet -- Prince of Denmark -- is considered to be one of Shakespeare's greatest plays. (Meyer, 2002). It is also one of his most complex plays. It is about the evolution of a character within the context of a revenge drama -- that of Hamlet in Hamlet. In keeping with the revenge-theme of this drama, this thesis of this essay will aver that Shakespeare exalts Hamlet as a


Read Full Term Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved