Is Shakespeare's Hamlet character mad?

Essay by jesterboyCollege, UndergraduateC+, December 2004

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Shakespeare has a way of writing creating his characters for each play he wrote; each have their own individual faults and issues that we learn about throughout the plays. Hamlet, being one of the more famous of Shakespeare's creations, has his issues with his mother, deceased father and his new father, or rather his uncle. Throughout the play we hear of a ghost appearing to the watchmen, it appears only briefly each night and wearing a fullsuit of armor, at first we interpret this as something is a-miss in the state of Denmark. Hamlet is taken to meet with the ghost, upon following this ghost to a secluded area away from others, the ghost speaks to him. Though that which the ghost has to tell, is exactly what Hamlet wants to hear, Hamlet from this point forward is the only person to see the ghost of his deceased father.

Also, in connection to this, the way Hamlet thinks of his mother is similarly odd in particular to his thoughts of his mother in bed with his uncle, his current father. 'Incestuous sheets' throughout most of this play Hamlet thinks about his mother in bed with the new King, their playful or lustful behaviour in the bed of his former father.

In linking with this Hamlet's behaviour toward Ophelia is too quite odd, he believes that he loves Ophelia, and she too believes she loves him, though despite this Hamlet behaves quite harshly toward her, telling her she should leave and commit herself to a nunnery. Only her death snaps him out of his negativity toward her when he fights with Laertes over who sheds more tears and heartache for the loss of her.

Hamlet's melancholy feelings last throughout alot of the play, some parts not playing a...