Hamlet during the play he was actually insane or merely acting. This issue is confusing because Hamlet states that he will act insane to exact revenge upon Claudius after he has met his father's supposed ghost. However, there are many times during the play where it seems Hamlet could not possibly be acting. Since Hamlet exhibited both these characteristics throughout the play, it is obvious that he was sane.
Hamlet displays the ability to reason on several occasions. Hamlet has the sense to question the identity of the ghost. Hamlet would only have been able to reason this if he had been in full control of his mental capacities. To test whether indeed the ghost was telling the truth, Hamlet has players perform a play before Claudius and the rest of the cast with events similar to the ones the ghost described to him. "I'll have these players / Play something like the murder of my father / Before mine uncle.
Hamlet reasons that if the ghost is telling the truth, then Claudius will give away his guilt through his facial expression when he sees the play. Hamlet again displays the ability to reason when he goes to talk to his mother about his plan for revenge. An insane man would have such sharp sense of the secret plans everywhere. Hamlet's final display of his ability to reason occurs before his fencing match. (Hapgood, 47-53)
Hamlet states that death will occur when it wants to and there is nothing you can do about it. His statements show that Hamlet has the ability to reason and contemplate death. Hamlet also gives proof that he understands the difference between right and wrong, another important characteristic of sanity, throughout the play. Hamlet again questions the lawfulness of killing, when he has the chance...