Madness in the Play Hamlet Madness is defined as “a mental delusion or the eccentric behavior arising from it.” In the play Hamlet, the tragic hero Hamlet went mad after his dead father’s ghost appeared and told him that his uncle, King Claudius, was responsible for his murder. Hamlet believed that if he became mad people would become comfortable and bold around him hoping that eventually King Claudius would reveal that he was the murderer of King Hamlet. By continually revealing Hamlet’s madness, Shakespeare proves that madness as a result of revenge for the family’s sake and the lust for revenge caused Hamlet’s madness to be indeed real and authentic. In Hamlet, Hamlet’s madness involved acting socially unstable when he fooled Ophelia into believing that his madness was genuine, while also asking philosophical questions, this trickery was a reasonable attempt to reveal the murder of Hamlet’s father.
Hamlet’s madness is demonstrated through his social instability. He started speaking harshly to those that were supposed to mean everything to him. He changed his appearance and behavior and began to act rudely towards Ophelia. By doing this, it made it seem as if Hamlet did not love Ophelia anymore and he was just talking insanely. Ophelia seems deceitful in Hamlet’s eyes as she gives him back his possessions when she knew that King Claudius and Polonius were listening to their conversation. Because of her perceived betrayal, he says, “Get thee to a nunnery, farewell.
Or if thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool; for wise men know well enough what monsters you make of them. To a nunnery, go; and quickly too. Farewell” (III.i.145-148). This served as Ophelia’s first sign that Hamlet has gone mad.
If Hamlet loved Ophelia he would no. ., Polonius. Fortinbras wanted revenge from a battle that his father lost with King Hamlet which led to the loss of territory. The outcome of all three situations of revenge ended in death. Therefore, revenge was not achieved, even with the event of madness.
Madness is seen with a “discerning eye.” Hamlet’s madness played an essential role in the play Hamlet. Hamlet’s madness consisted of speaking inappropriate comments and asking philosophical questions. Hamlet’s madness was reasonable to him because he tried to carry out the order of his father’s ghost. He wanted revenge from his uncle, King Claudius who killed his father, King Hamlet. This led to the theme of madness which led to revenge for the family’s sake.
The event of revenge eventually led to the death of everyone trying to achieve revenge. Hamlet will forever be a character that tried to achieve madness.