Throughout Our Lifetime
Throughout our lifetime, we create our own perspective of the world we perceive. William Shakespeare’s play, “Hamlet”revolves around Hamlet’s journey of action. A complicated play layered with many complex meanings. Hamlet’s madness is explored through his feigned actions, inability to comprehend reality from his imagination, and inner turmoil. His sudden reckless behaviour toward the ones he loved, cautions them of the danger he is becoming. He perceives everyone as a threat. Hamlet refuses to make straightforward distinctions between reality and pretense, balancing on the thin line between the two.
His comprehension behind his father’s death led him to wanting justice. So, the more things that he did to avenge his father the more that he felt that he had justified him. He wanted more, which leads him spiralling into a profound mess, not knowing when to stop. Self-indulgence is considered key to every man’s downfall. As well, his own insanity mirrors his own inner preoccupations and feelings.
Hamlet’s decision to fake his madness is just a cover for real insanity.
1 Reckless behaviour not only affects the character, but the individuals around them as well. Hamlet’s actions were not uncontrollable, many noticed, but he was too far gone to be saved. Not even he, himself could be saved from the madness embedded into his mind. Hamlet’s behaviour towards his mother and Ophelia, the women he loves proves his lack of sanity. One of Hamlet’s biggest emotional outbursts are directed against the women in his life and their sexual feelings suggesting that his mad behaviour is not just a hoax to disguise his revenge plans. Throughout the play, we can piece together evidence that neither Ophelia or Gertrude are of any wrongdoing. Both of these important women in Hamlet’s life show genuine concern and love for him. Yet, he ends up treating them both with paranoia, cruelty, and suspicion. This shows other characters that he has lost the ability to think about other individual’s feelings other than his own. In the opening scene of Act 4, Gertrude talks to Claudius about Hamlet, after his talk with her. She says that he is, “Mad as the sea and wind when both contend Which is the mightier.” (IV.1.8-9) Gertrude the one person who knows Hamlet best, particularly reveals that she views him as a storm, in the midst of battling himself. A comparison to chaos, where he is having an inner battle where one cannot win.
2 Madness is a condition in which it is difficult to identify whether it is true or not. Hamlet being in an unstable state of mind becomes even more distraught by the appearance of his father’s ghost, who claims his uncle has poisoned him. After this traumatic encounter Horatio states, “What if it tempt you toward the flood, my lord, Or to the dreadful summit of the cliff, That beatles o’er his base into the sea,, And there assume some other horrible form, Which might deprive your sovereignty of reason, And draw you into madness? Think of it.” (I, IV, 69-74) In this statement Horatio suggests that if Hamlet decides to follow the ghost, he may be at risk of losing his logic and reasoning. Foreshadowing that he will actually become insane, having no control over any of his emotions and to not tell from whats real or not. Despite this, Hamlet’s choice ultimately lead to his downfall. Hamlet himself wonders if he is not mad, most notably, when he sees his father’s apparition in his mother’s room. The fact that he is able to see the ghost and not his mother confuses him.
3 Hamlet allows his emotions to take over, without a doubt he would allow madness to take him over too. He battles with his own mind and conscience over the idea of revenge. He has felt conflicted and forgotten from the start, in a setting where he can not really do anything about it. If he pretends to act insane he does not have to hold it together for other people anymore. It was a way for him to let go of all of his bitterness, anger, and desperation. Immersed into the darkness, he could not think straight. He was solely blinded and tempted to justify his father that he overlooks all the consequences that he faces. Not being able to distinguish any errors or consequences in his actions. Therefore his ambition was misplaced, he had allowed power and ambition to cloud his judgement. He continuously fell into the mess not knowing when to stop. The key to overcoming madness lies finally in choosing to remain true to one’s character.////Hamlet was estranged with the fact that right after his father died, and his mother had betrayed him once he seeks comfort from Ophelia she deserts him
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