Hamlet’s Madness in Shakespeare Play

Ok so, I already wrote an outline for my ideas for this essay. This essay is supposed to use critical sources to prove my thesis but the quotes from the sources are included in the outline. I also included quotes from the text but please add more quotes from Hamlet. The outline is below (please read carefully and incorporate all my ideas)  Thesis Statement: While Hamlet is experiencing true grief and depression throughout the play due to the loss of his father at the hands of his villainous uncle, his emotional state is one that is perfectly normal in response to such a troubling time. Though he may appear mad to those around him he is merely putting on this act on purpose to mask his real emotional state. It is obvious to the reader that Hamlet does not experience a break with reality and is very aware of himself and his surroundings. Critical Source Used: Hamlet and the Trauma Doctors: An Essay at Interpretation Topic: As a reader, we have the all-seeing eye. We are able to hear the thoughts of each character, know the motives behind their actions, and watch how the events unfold with this prior knowledge that the characters within the reading do not have. With this all-seeing eye, we are able to get a glimpse into the true mind of Hamlet, one that no one else is able to see. Early in the play, after Hamlet meets with the ghost of his father and it is revealed that he was murdered by his own brother, Hamlet devises a plan to act as though he is mad to contribute to his grand scheme of revenge. Supporting quote: “as I perchance hereafter shall think meet to put an antic disposition on”  (1.5 190-191) Critical source: “Hamlet’s melancholy, by his own lights, is wholly real—in 1.2 he has not heard about or seen the Ghost—but upon being traumatized by the Ghost’s revelations, his strategy is to feign madness. There is more continuity between his genuine melancholy and the “antic disposition” than he himself can acknowledge” Topic: Judging by Hamlet’s encounters with other characters after he commits to putting on this “antic disposition” it appears that Hamlet has gone mad. He rambles on and on about things that seem to not make sense, he never answers people’s questions directly and goes on long tangents about what seems to be nothing. These are all signs that Hamlet is experiencing a break with reality. But with this prior knowledge that we as readers have, we understand Hamlet’s ramblings and we know that they actually make perfect sense. From our perspective, it could be argued that Hamlet’s true emotional state, one where he is experiencing depression compounded with anger and grief is his true madness but I simply disagree. Hamlet is stuck in a state where he views the world as a rotten cesspool but that’s because, from his recent experiences, it is.   Supporting quote: “it goes so heavily with my disposition that this godly frame, the Earth, seems to me a sterile promontory… why it appeareth nothing to me but a foul and pestilent congression of vapors” (2.2 320-325)   Critical source: One could further speculate that Hamlet’s initial melancholy is a response not only to the “o’er hasty marriage” but also to the secrecy and lies perpetrated by Claudius and the feeling that he is being used. His gradual awareness that Ophelia too is being used (whether with or without her consent he cannot be sure) augments his sense of betrayal and anger, perhaps pushing him farther than he can control. In short, Hamlet’s feigned madness is a symptom of the “feigning” and deceit around him, but he is intermittently more unhinged than he realizes or wishes to be. Topic: To shine a light on how true madness is portrayed in Hamlet I’d like to talk about Ophelia. Much like Hamlet, Ophelia’s father was murdered by someone close to her and she experiences an actual break with reality. Because Ophelia is painted as a weak, delicate, damsel in distress who relies on the influence of men, more specifically her father, to give her purpose and to keep her grounded, when she loses her father, she loses her grasp on reality. Ophelia continuously sings fragments of songs about chaos, death, and unrequited love. The King and Queen both try to speak with her, but she replies only unintelligibly. Her mental break soon causes her to commit suicide. In Ophelia’s case, there is no plan to act in this manner, she has truly gone mad, so much so that she kills herself.  Supporting quote: Critical source: Another way of looking at the traumas that drive Ophelia to madness is that, with the death of her father and absence of her brother, she has lost male protection and has no standing as an unmarried woman

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