Hamlet Is Sane The period between the fourteenth century and the eighteenth century was considered the Renaissance. During this time period had famous paintings being painted, famous sculptures being sculpted, and famous plays being written and performed. One of the most famous figures during this time period was William Shakespeare.
Shakespeare was both famous for The Globe Theater, which was specifically built for his plays, and the plays that were written by him. Shakespeare has written some of the world’s most famous tragedies, comedies, and romances such as Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Julius Caesar, and Hamlet. Hamlet was one of his more famous tragedies about a prince named Hamlet. Hamlet is faced with many problems in this play and is forced into acting abnormally.
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In doing so, he needed a clear conscience and clear thoughts. Even when Hamlet stabbed Polonius, he knew what he was doing the whole time and was completely sane. Early in the play Hamlet is faces with the passing of his father, and the marriage of his mother and uncle, causing him to become depressed. His actions are accurate to that of any other depressed person with thoughts of suicide, dressing in clothes of dark colors, and pushing away friends and family. Hamlet sees the actions of his mother and uncle as a sin, and since he is unquestionably Catholic causes him to think badly of the whole marriage. He worries that her soul won’t be as pure as his father’s because she loved another man and is now married to Claudius. Hamlet sees her relationship with Claudius as an incestuous relationship, which as Now Hamlet has the right to believe that incest is a sin against the Church. He see things in a manner that is surprising for a teenager.
Since he’s Catholic, he sees anything that is done against the church as a sin causing him to throw temper tantrums. Hamlet throws these temper tantrums for attention because he is depressed and that’s what depressed people do because he wants other people to feel his sorrow for his father’s death instead of just forgetting it. He is also throwing them because out of all the people in the world to commit a sin against the church would be Gertrude, Queen of Denmark, and mother of Hamlet. What doesn’t help Hamlet the most with his depression was the marriage of his mother and uncle a month after the death of his father, King Hamlet. He soon talks to Horatio about the whole mess to relieve some of the stress from all that has happened this far.
The funeral baked meats Did coldly furnish forth the the marriage tables. Would I had met my dearest foe in heaven Or ever I had seen that day, Horatio! My father! – Methinks I see my father (1.2.180-183)Hamlet is trying to make Horatio feel his sorrow for his father’s death and the marriage of his mother and uncle.
As the play goes on, Hamlet is not the only one who witnesses the Ghost. Marcellus, Bernardo, and Horatio witnesses the Ghost in the beginning of the play. The Ghost enters multiple times before the three attempt to interact with it. “Lo, where it comes again!/ I’ll cross it, though it blast me. Stay illusion!/ If thou hast any sound or use of voice,/ speak to me!”(1.1.130-133). After that the scene changes; Gertrude and Claudius confronts Hamlet about how he needs to cheer up and forget about the death of his father because he has a new one (Claudius) because .
Hamlet is upset and confused right now due to the death of his father, the marriage of his mother, and the fact that he may potentially become king. He runs off and contemplates suicide, but this is normal for a depressed person like Hamlet because if things change drastically in their life their view on life changes as well in a negative way, mostly wanting to commit suicide. Now Hamlet convinces himself that he can’t commit suicide because it’s against his religion.After Hamlet is finished contemplating suicide he encounters Marcellus, Bernardo, and Horatio who bring him news of a ghost sighting.
He is intrigued to hear that the ghost looks like his father, and wants to see the ghost for himself. So the three bring Hamlet on guard duty with them. The Ghost eventually appears and motions Hamlet to follow. He obeys the Ghost and they have their conversation about his death and how Hamlet needed to avenge him. Hamlet is completely sane at this point in the play due to the fact he’s not the only one who saw the Ghost. He’s also stressed due to the Ghosts request from him. The Ghost asks Hamlet to Avenge him by killing Claudius.
Now this is completely against Hamlet’s religion. Hamlet at this point in time is very flustered by the request from the Ghost. He doesn’t know what to do, and he isn’t sure if he should believe the Ghost or not. This is a great deal of stress on Hamlet’s shoulders because he has the choice to either break one of the rules associated with his religion, or to believe a ghost who he doesn’t know is truly his father or not. Since Hamlet is so stressed he’s been acting differently. He treats his girlfriend as if she’s dirt and acts the same way towards his mother and father(uncle).
Which is why the King, Queen, and Polonius set up a plan to figure out how insane Hamlet is; except Hamlet is not insane he’s just simply stressed of everything spinning in his head. He doesn’t know how to relieve or cope with his stress due to the fact he’s still fairly young, and hasn’t learned an effective way to do that because it comes with time, so he just takes it all out on Ophelia and doesn’t know any better. As Hamlet’s stress builds more stuff gets piled on top of him. Two of Hamlet’s friends, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, meet up with him out of nowhere. Hamlet is skeptical about their appearance in Elsinore, “Were you not sent for? Is it your/ own inclining? Is it a free visitation? Come, come, deal/ justly with me.
Come, come. Nay, speak,”(2.2.275-277). Rosencrantz and Guildenstern shocked by what was just said try to cover up the truth fail. “.
.. so shall my anticipation/ prevent your discovery, and your secrecy to the King/ and Queen molt no feathers.
I have of late- but/ wherefore I know not- lost all my mirth, forgone/ all custom of exercises…”(2.2.294-297). Rosencrantz and Guildenstern add to hamlet’s stress because they’re not there to help Hamlet in anyway, shape, or form. They’re there to help the King and Queen prove that Hamlet is insane. This action made by the four of them adds to Hamlet’s stress because he can’t trust his friends anymore because they’re working against him. Hamlet notices that traveling actors visit Elsinor, and comes up with a plan to get rid of some of the weight on his shoulders. As he talks to the actors about his plan he mentions to Horatio that it’s to find out if the Ghost was lying to him, or if Claudius actually Murdered King Hamlet.
Hamlet found out the answer during his play that the actors performed. Hamlet’s stress was somewhat lifted because it brought his religion back into his aspect due to him having to murder his uncle to avenge the Ghost. Hamlet is in a bad predicament because once he gets rid of some of his stress he gains it back. This time it was due to Claudius, but for Hamlet not being able to kill him because Claudius at this point in time is “praying to repeal his sins,” and in doing so Hamlet leaves him living so he can kill Claudius at a time when he’s committing a sin. Before Hamlet enters his mother’s room his stress builds more because he wants to tell his mom out the way he wants to, but he holds his tongue because he doesn’t want to hurt his mother in a way that would ruin their relationship, but once Hamlet enters her room he starts telling her how it should things should be.
As Hamlet’s rampage towards his mother continues she lets out a cry for help. Polonius, who was in the room the whole time, shakes the tapestry. Hamlet shocked by the motion states, “How now?A rat? Dead for a ducat, dead!”(3.
4.25) as he stabbed Polonius.Now Hamlet killed Polonius for the simple reason he believes the man behind the tapestry is Claudius. “Is it the King?”(3.4.28) states Hamlet after Polonius dropped to the floor.
Hamlet is expecting Claudius to be behind the curtain, but instead he finds Polonius. He refers Claudius as a rat, as stated earlier he specifically calls the man behind the curtain a rat referring to Claudius. Polonius was stabbed on accident not on purpose due to the fact that tapestries are very opaque. So whoever was behind the curtain was at fault, and in that case it was Polonius. Polonius’ Death was a complete accident because when people are stresses they lose their conscience a little bit and do anything that will relieve their stress. In Hamlet’s case killing Polonius was the first thing.
The second thing was going back to telling out his mother about how she hurt him by marrying Claudius and forgetting his father all in a period of one month. Hamlet, in the middle of his rampage, sees the Ghost and talks to it. The Ghost reminds him about his promise towards his vengeance. Hamlet goes back to talking to his mother in a more civil manner and tells her that he’s not crazy and has been acting it.
He also tells her not to tell Claudius which adds stress because he doesn’t know if she believes him or not, and if she does believe him if she tells Claudius or not. When Claudius finds out about Hamlet’s murderous happenings he sentences him back to England “to go back to school,” but actually gives two letters to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to have Hamlet beheaded by the executionist in England. Hamlet knows not to trust Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. This puts more stress on him because he knows he’s on a ship to his death with some of his ex-friends. So to relieve the stress he changes the letters given to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to make them put themselves to death.
Why, man, they did make love to this employment.They are not near conscience. Their defeatDoes by their own insinuation grow.’Tis dangerous when the baser nature comesBetween the pass and fell incensed pointsOf mighty Opposites (5.2.57-61).Hamlet changes the letters for self defense.
He doesn’t want to let Claudius get away with his crime toward the church before he gets the Ghosts vengeance; which is why he rewrites the letters. As the play comes to an end Hamlet dies with a murderous soul, but all for good reasoning. Polonius was mistaken for the king, so it was an accidental murder.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern both are killed not directly by Hamlet, but because of Hamlet because he was preventing his death in England so he rewrote the King’s letters so they would get slain by the English. Laertes was killed because he used a poisoned sword to stab Hamlet, so Hamlet retaliated by cutting his arm open. Then Hamlet finally avenged the Ghost by stabbing claudius and forcing the poisoned wine down his throat. Was Hamlet mentally Unstable? No, because he changed his way of life for very specific reasons, like his depression from his Father’s death and his aggravation towards his mother for marrying his uncle. Stress could play a role into his change in character because he didn’t know if the Ghost was telling the truth or if it was just hoodwinking him. In the end Hamlet knew what he was doing the whole time.