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Madness in Shakespeare's Hamlet

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 02:30 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 60.3 
  • Words: 842
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Madness may be “mental incapacity caused by an unmentionable

injury.” Such wounds often are not easily perceived but may be

revealed in time of stress.   Hamlet’s question, “have you a

daughter?”(Act II. Sc2 182) Polonius about the Prince’s emotional

state.   What is hidden will surely be told to Cloudius by his adviser.

Laertes’ search for revenge is sharper proof that madness in degrees

of publicity causes harm to the observers.   Claudius promise “no wind

of blame”(Act IV, Sc.7,66) once Laertes kills Hamlet; perhaps this is

what the uncle has sought all along for himself.   Ophelia has a

unique, very powerful form of madness; she seems caught as a “baker’s

daughter,"(Act IV, Sc. 5, 42) between memories of her father and

Hamlet who ought have   spokedn to her of events on “Valentine’s

day."(Act IV, Sc 5, 48)   She is doubly hexed and the madness she has

infects the whole court.   Once a person’s mental state has been

studied in public, there is no telling the injuries which may affect

the viewers.

        Ever since the death of King Hamlet young Hamlet has been what

appeared to be in a state of madness.   In a discussion between Hamlet

and Polonius Hamlet questions Polonius by asking him “have you a

daughter.”(Act II, Sc.2, 182)   In this discussion Hamlet shows antic

behavior towards Polonius by mocking him when Hamlet would usually

show great respect for him because of he age and heis high position in

the court.   This sudden question to Polonius has caused Polonius to

believe that Hamlet has a form of love-sickness and that Polonius is

sure to tell Claudius of his condition.   Hamlet also accuses Polonius

of being the “Jephthah, judge of Israel,”(Act II,Sc.2, 399) meaning

that Polonius would put his country...


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