To be Sane or Not to be Sane
One of the biggest arguments in Hamlet is whether the main character, Hamlet, is sane or completely insane. This question is left up to the readers to digest and interpret for themselves. I believe that Hamlet was sane throughout the story and only trying to get revenge on those he believed deserved it. For my reader’s journal, I am going to focus on the reasons why I think Hamlet was completely sane, just smart enough to fool everyone else. I believe that there are very little events that one can conclude Hamlet to be someone who is insane. Everything that Hamlet does in done in a way that is for a reason and with a liable purpose, also he knows and is aware of what is happening around him, which could not be done by someone who is insane.
In Act 1 the reader is introduced to the main plot in the entire drama, the death of King Hamlet. Suddenly a ghost appears; Bernardo, Horatio and Marcellus can’t believe that the ghost of the King is right in front of their very own eyes. Then the drama turns to scene 2 and the readers are introduced to Hamlet. This young man is the son of King Hamlet, and soon the readers are introduced to the idea that Hamlet has “gone mad” due to the death of his father and the re-marriage of his mother to King Hamlets brother Claudius. I believe that Hamlet is sane and is merely acting on negative attention.
When Hamlet first encounters the ghost of his father, he tells Marcellus and Horatio to never speak of what is happening. Hamlet eventually tells Horatio that despite how weird he is acting, he should not speak of anything. “And therefore stranger, you must need help you (187/202).” Hamlet was telling Horatio that he would be acting in a way that was not like his usual self to not ask questions about this. This shows that Hamlet knew exactly what he was going to have to do, also it shows how determined Hamlet was to avenge his father’s death. He also tells Gertrude, his mother, “…mad in craft (188/19).” This meaning that he was acting in a smart and deceiving way that was smart and crafty.
Hamlet: Insane or sane? Uploaded by Sam Skillz (552) on Feb 22, 2004 Was Hamlet crazy? Or only acting crazy? Throughout Shakespeare's play, Hamlet, the main character, young Hamlet, is faced with the responsibility of attaining vengeance for his father's murder. He decides to feign madness as part of his plan to gain the opportunity to kill Claudius. As the play progresses, his depiction of a ...
A reason in particular that I believe Hamlet is sane is because upon Hamlet doing something, he plans out exactly what it is he is going to do. For example, when the acting company arrives, Hamlet needs to convince himself that the play will be about the mind and principles of his father’s killer. As a result of this, he comes up with a plot that looks a lot like his father’s death; being about a man who gets killed. For this reason exactly, I believe that Hamlet was not insane planning this event out. Those who are indeed insane, do not plan out events such as this and do not keep themselves together while doing so. The only time the reader actually notices Hamlet is acting out or acting “insane” is when he is around others. Characters that I took note of Hamlet “acting” insane around were, Polonius, Gertrude, Claudius, Rosencranz and Guildenstern, and Ophelia. If Hamlet were to have been insane, it would not make sense as to why he was planning a play that would hint to Claudius that he was guilty of killing his father.
Another reason why I believe that Hamlet is sane is because of the manner in which he completes his actions. Hamlet does not act in a way that an insane person would, which is doing random violent things or bursting out in a certain way. In the part of the play where Hamlet was ready to kill King Hamlet’s brother Claudius, he stops himself for the reason that it looked like Claudius was praying and confessing. Hamlet knew that if he killed Claudius, Claudius’ sins would be gone and he would go straight to heaven rather then get avenged for killing King Hamlet. He can also be seen as sane here because he is very bright and has a particular agenda in mind.
Towards the end of the play, the readers can see that Hamlet, even though has gone through so much, is still sane. I believe that this reason is the most important of them all, which is the fact that he is very much cognizant about what he has done and what is going on all around him. He understands what has happened thus far and knows completely what he has done. When the opposing army arrives, he knows that it would be silly to fight and die. When Hamlet gets stabbed by the sword, he sees he is going to die and he now feels he understands why. Hamlet was aware of his surroundings and knew what was going on all around him.
Was Hamlet insane? Scholars have debated this question ever since Shakespeare presented this play to the public. Although I am not a scholar, I believe that there is enough evidence in the play to suggest Hamlet had been sane. He may have been depressed and angry however this was due to the treachery and betrayal contaminating Denmark. The insanity act had been an instrument to allow Hamlet the ...
For all of the reasons above, I believe that Hamlet was sane and should not be labeled as insane. I believe that if he was insane, he would not have been so aware all of the time and he would not have been able to plan such elaborate events. Someone who could be labeled as an insane person would not have acted in the way that Hamlet did.