Hamlet: “To Be Insane or Not To Be Insane That Tis The Question”Hamlet: “To Be Insane or Not To Be Insane That Tis The Question”With in Hamlet, Shakespeare gives a psychological dimension to thethouoghts and actions of each of his characaters, exspecially hamlet. Shakespeare gives the reader an indepth look into the mind of Hamlet.
Ifshakespeare had not given the reader the complex psychological state of Hamlet,then yes one could say Hamlet was insane, but Shakespeare did. He made surethat there was an explanation, logical reason for all of his actions. Hamlet, atthe very least was sane. In the play Hamlet was percieved as being mad, butthere was a just cause. The symbolic meaning of Hamlet’s actions are theunderlining meaning for his unconscious motivation toward his actions. Thismeans that Hamlet, maybe not knowing it at the time, would logically justify hisactions.
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. (Sc.
I 125)Here we can see that Hamlet had told Ophelia earlier in the scene how deeply heloved her, but here he has changed completely, saying that he had never lovedher. With in this quote he slips in that Ophelia should go to a nunnery. Thisis his just cause for his maddness. He tries to get Ophelia to forget him andgo to the nunnery so that she can be safe, and away from all his troubles thatwould soon come. Here we see his justcause as well as his foreshadowing forthings 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 seehamlet debating over ideas and problems out loud. The most obvious one is inhis “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 ifhe should die and leave his troubles or live and fight his troubles.
this isnot to be classified as maddness, for he challenges his self for life, not animaganery person. Hamlet does an unconscious analsys on himself. This onlyproves that he has built up rage which he lets out in a form of internal debateinstead 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 amaddman. He has the players act out a play, where they pantomine with a plotsimilar to the circumstances of Claudius’ murder of Hamlet’s father. He alsohas them do the poison scene.
this is Hamlet’s most cunning thing he has donethrough our the whole play. He lets the king and his mother know that he tooknows what went done that dreadful day when his father was killed. In the first act Hamlet specifically shows his disgust and rage for the marriageof 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 blackor cry long for his departed father. Here the reader can see the beginning ofthe Oedipus comlex. Hamlet hating his new father, yet still loving his mothereven though she was part of the plot to kill his father. Many scholars havesaid,”If Hamlet had performed his resolution to kill the king then the play wouldhave ended in the first act.”Hamlet could eliminate Claudious the first instance he had, but no, he waited sohis 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