Psychological dimensions in Hamlet

August 26, 2020 by Essay Writer

A study of the psychological dimensions of Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet”.

” “To Be Insane or Not To Be Insane That Tis The Question” With in Hamlet, Shakespeare gives a psychological dimension to the thoughts and actions of each of his characters, especially hamlet. Shakespeare gives the reader an in-depth look into the mind of Hamlet. If Shakespeare had not given the reader the complex psychological state of Hamlet, then yes one could say Hamlet was insane, but Shakespeare did. He made sure that there was an explanation, logical reason for all of his actions.

Hamlet, at the very least was sane. In the play Hamlet was perceived as being mad, but there was a just cause. The symbolic meaning of Hamlet’s actions are the underlining meaning for his unconscious motivation toward his actions.

This means that Hamlet, maybe not knowing it at the time, would logically justify his actions. For example in act III, Hamlet said to Ophelia: You should not have believed me; for virtue cannot so inoculate our old stock but we shall relish of it.

I loved you not. … Get thee to a nunnery!…Go thy ways to a nunnery. (Sc.I 125) Here we can see that Hamlet had told Ophelia earlier in the scene how deeply he loved her, but here he has changed completely, saying that he had never loved her. With in this quote he slips in that Ophelia should go to a nunnery. This is his just cause for his madness. He tries to get Ophelia to forget him and go to the nunnery so that she can be safe, and away from all his troubles that would soon come. Here we see his just cause as well as his foreshadowing for things to come. Like many Princes, Hamlet has been highly educated in Whittenburg, England. Here he has learned to think logically and not to act or think on impulse. This is why the reader sees Hamlet talking to himself. In act III we see hamlet debating over ideas and problems out loud. The most obvious one is in his “To Be” soliloquy. To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether’ tis nobler in the slings and arrows of out- rageous fortune…. to die – to sleep No more. (Sc.I 65) Here we can see Hamlet debating with his inner self. Should I exist or not? Should I sleep or not. Hamlet argues with his inner conscious on the fact that if he should die and leave his troubles or live and fight his troubles. this is not to be classified as madness, for he challenges his self for life, not an imaginary person. Hamlet does unconscious analyses on himself. This only proves that he has built up rage which he lets out in a form of internal debate instead of taking it out on someone else like Claudious.

In act three scene two, Hamlet proves that he has a mind of a genius not a madman. He has the players act out a play, where they pantomime with a plot similar to the circumstances of Claudius’ murder of Hamlet’s father. He also has them do the poison scene. this is Hamlet’s most cunning thing he has done through the whole play. He lets the king and his mother know that he too knows what went done that dreadful day when his father was killed. In the first act Hamlet specifically shows his disgust and rage for the marriage of his mother to Cladious the king. Hamlet tells his mother: Tis not above my inky cloak, good mother, Nor customary suits of solemn black, Nor windy suspiration of forced brevity. No, nor the fruitful riverin the eye ( Act I Sc. II 82) Here Hamlet demonstrates his rage by saying that his mother did not wear black or cry long for his departed father. Here the reader can see the beginning of the Oedipus comlex. Hamlet hating his new father, yet still loving his mother even though she was part of the plot to kill his father. Many scholars have said, “If Hamlet had performed his resolution to kill the king then the play would have ended in the first act.” Hamlet could eliminate Claudious the first instance he had, but no, he waited so his killing would be for a meaning, instead of a bloody killing, out of rage.

Only if he had killed the king then instead of when he did could he be called insane, or mad. When Hamlet killed the king, everyone thought it was just, considering that they heard the whole story. Here the reader can clearly see that Hamlet is not mad, but a genius. In the final scene Hamlet dies, but before he does he leaves the reader with some important words: As th’art a man, give me the cup. Let go! Be heaven, I’ss have’t. O good Horatio, what a wounded name shall live behind me! If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart, absent thee from felicity awhile, and in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain, To tell my story. Here Hamlet leaves his final words to Horatio. He tells him that he leaves behind a story unknown, and that he would like him to give absence from felicity or happiness until the pain is gone and the story told. Hamlet is not a fool. He wants it known what has happen is the kings fought and not his own. He leaves the world a brave man not a mad one. In conclusion, Shakespeare has let the reader see the psychological aspects of Hamlet’s thoughts. He has shown the reader that there is a reason for every action, just as in Einstein’s theory, that for every action there is a reaction. Hamlet is not mad or insane, just maybe a little weird. Hamlet takes great effort in coming up with conclusions to his problems. If Hamlet inner thoughts were not showed, then one would not understand the actions he performed. The fact is that he did, and that in itself proves that he was sane.”

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