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Madness in Shakespeare's Hamlet

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 02:30 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 60.3 
  • Words: 842
  • Essay Grade: no grades
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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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