The Dangerous Lunacy of Hamlet

Essay by buu212College, UndergraduateA-, March 2003

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"The World will not end with a whisper, but with a boom!" As it is William Shakespeare, the greatest playwright's most studied and intriguing tragedy is Hamlet. William Shakespeare well-known for his ability to establish a realistic plot, handle themes and develop characters within his plays, which sets him apart from other playgoers. In the play Hamlet Act III - Scene II effectively emphasizes the theme of madness. This theme also connects to revenge and victimization within the entire play.

Madness referred to a thesaurus book defined as "mental incapacity caused by an unmentionable injury." In the play the tragic hero Hamlet uses an 'antic disposition', which is the feign madness to cover up his revenge plot. Many parts of the play support his loss of control, even he reveals that he lost his mind in particular moments. As Hamlet around with some characters, he put on the concept 'antic disposition' to confuse them.

"They are coming to the play/ I must be idle" (3.2.89). While he is with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Hamlet makes them believe; the motive for his madness is their spying 'duty' against him. "Why do you go about to recover the wind of me?" (3.2.337). He is much aware while he speaks to these 'friends' and he is sick of them. With the King and Queen, he reveals, their quick marriage, and his father's death that upset him. To Polonius Hamlet uses rejected love as a reason for his madness.

Claudius confesses, 'even though Hamlet's actions are strange, they aren't odd', as he reveals it, "Get from him why he puts this confusion" (3.1.2). Later on, he gets much and much aware of Hamlet's madness. "Madness in great ones must not unwatched go" (3.2.200), after witnessing the meeting between Hamlet and Ophelia. He realizes...