Hamlet's "Mad" Behavior In Shakespeare's play Hamlet, there are many different interpretations of the characters actions and Shakespeare's intentions. For example, when Hamlet acted crazy and no one knows why, the reader has to take what they have read and develop their own reasons for these actions. Hamlet is not literally crazy, his life and its course had made him be the person he has become.
Early in the story, Hamlet is told about the witnessing of the ghost of his father, King Hamlet. He goes to see what the ghost has to say and finds out that Claudius, the new king had poisoned him. At this point, Hamlet shows a change in personality. He promised the ghost of his father that he would act crazy and eventually get revenge on Claudius. Within the story, Claudius thinks that Hamlet has gone mad because of his love for Ophelia; Gertrude seems to recognize the signs of depression and pain from the loss of his father, but does not know why there is such a change in behavior in such a short amount of time.
Ophelia after she talks with Hamlet after their confrontation with each other. Ophelia confesses to Hamlet "My lord, I have remembrances of yours that I have longed long to redeliver. I pray you now receive them." Hamlet says that he has never shown her any sort of love and that she should be put in a nunnery. "It hath made me mad," Says Hamlet. At this point in the book Hamlet notices that everyone is noticing that he is crazy, which is what he was instructed to do by his father's ghost to create a distraction. She is comparing how he is acting now to how he used to act when he was younger, saying that he has become a madman.
During the scene where Hamlet has players come in to perform the act of Claudius killing King Hamlet, Hamlet tells Horatio to act like he has after he met with the ghost. Horatio already knew what he had learned from the ghost, and went along with this. He knew that Hamlet was not really mad and all this was a front to prove a point.
Although Hamlet was not acting like he always did with his father alive, this is understandable; his lifestyle changed by this drastic event to more depression and unhappiness, but did not make him mad. If he were really crazy, he would have had more evident, drastic changes and most likely done more harm. His life was altered by this event, might have been in love with Ophelia, and might have just been acting crazy because of his father's death but he was not truly an insane person.