But he does. While Hamlet slowly is driven mad by visits from the ghost of his father and the scheming plots of his uncle Claudius, the one thing that actually keeps Hamlet focused and centered are his feelings for Ophelia. Hamlet’s seemingly unreasonable actions and questionable motives toward her are all part of a ruse to fool everybody at court and actually protect her from being used as leverage by the murderous King Claudius. There are several moments where Hamlet professes his love for Ophelia in moments where he didn’t have to, which in my opinion point to where his heart really lies. Let’s explore the moments within the text where Hamlet actually used his smarts to trick the other conniving characters into thinking that he didn’t love Ophelia and was going insane instead.
I believe that Hamlet was completely aware of the words he spoke and the actions he made and acted in a way that could be considered “insane” for vengeance. The only reason why Hamlet claimed his madness is because it allowed him to say or do whatever he felt without having people taking him seriously. “How strange or odd some’er I bear myself (As I perchance hereafter shall think meet to put an antic disposition on). (1.5 191-193)” Hamlet used his “madness” very cunningly to avoid reprimands for the actions he had committed such as murdering Polonius. And you must needs have hear, how I am punished with a sore distraction.
This makes her questions the sanity of Hamlet throughout the play: "It's worth examining Hamlet's condition and asking whether the apparition is truly there or not"(1). At the beginning it was obvious that Hamlet was pretending to be mad, for example, n Act 3 he was aware of Claudius and Polonius existence and the fact that Ophelia was sent by them to trap him, they use her as a bait to spy on him, that's why he pretends madness, he acts in a weird way as he makes strange expressions and contradictory statements, he acts in a strange way because he knows that he is being watched by Polonius and Claudius. He used clever words in this scene ,his remarks are clearly coming out of the mouth of an intelligent man, "Even so far , Hamlet is not truly insane"(2). She adds that what makes us more convinced of Hamlet's sanity is his plan to perform a play in front of the king; he named the play mouse trap, furthermore "His plan works, and Claudius raises from his seat before the play is over". The play Hamlet's prepare was exactly what has happened between his father and his uncle; this was intentional by him to watch the reaction of the
The ghost tells Hamlet that he was killed by Hamlets uncle: “Ay, that incestous, that aldulterate beast, with witchcraft of his wit, with traitorous gifts.” (I.V.43-80). This causes Hamlet to investigate Claudius, trying to find guilt in his face, as well as leading to his hatred towards Claudius. Another betrayal is one that most people would never expects. Hamlets two best friends who he has known since childhood betray him. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern become spies for Claudius telling him about Hamlet while pretending to be his friends after being offered payment: “ If it please you to show us so much gentry and good will, as to expend your time with us a while for the supply and profit of our hope.”(II.II.19-25).
The family drama keeps Hamlet from having any true support. But, next Ophelia enters the plot. As sad as it is Hamlet is so brilliant that he will eventually use poor Ophelia for revenge. Hamlet is so capable of destroying a person. H e uses attacking with language, plays with words and cons people into thinking his way or believing what he wants them to believe.
Hamlet who is focused on getting revenge on Claudius ends up stabbing Polonius who is behind the curtains as Polonius drops to the floor, Gertrude calls Hamlet's deed “most rash and bloody”(3.4.27). The ghost suddenly enters, visible only to Hamlet. He addresses it, prompting Gertrude (who sees nothing) to think he has now positively lost his mind. The most prominent confession of sanity then comes after as Hamlet says to Queen Gertrude, “I essentially am not in madness, but mad in craft” ( 3.5.188). He is trying to reveal to his mother that he is not truly insane but is instead acting.
Theme Presentation Sanity vs. Insanity Theme Statement: Madness is a useful tool for Hamlet as it helps them reveal the truth. In the play Ophelia and Hamlet ignore all social boundaries as a result of madness. Introduction: When the ghost of his father appears initially triggers his madness. He then harnesses his madness to trap Claudius. This act of madness unfortunately leads to the unintentional death of Polonius.
A tragic hero will effectively gain our fear and pity if he is a good mixture of good and evil. Ophelia can be viewed as a tragic hero in this play. We first meet Ophelia in Act 1, Scene 3 where she is warned by her brother Laertes that Hamlet is playing with her and that she should not keep her "chaste treasure open" suggesting that his sister has no 'worth of her own except in her sex'. Ophelia hears her brother but sticks up for herself and defends her relationship with Hamlet. She even turns Laertes' lesson around to focus on him and how he is doing exactly what he is telling Ophelia not to do.
Giles Fraser explains in his article that when Jo Berry wanted to seek revenge on Patrick Magee, the man who killed her father but reminds us that revenge is inflicting pain on others but only hurt ourselves. In King Lear Shakespeare makes it clear that Edmund is a Bastard, not just because the way he is born but the way he acts throughout the play. The audience understands the feeling you will get if you went to a party and your dad said “Oh, here is my son his mother is a harlot, but we had fun together so here he is” who would not be mad. Also with the bastard name that follows him, Edmund does retaliate with schemes states “Thou, Nature, art my goddess; to thy law, my service are bound. Wherefore should I, Stand in the plague of custom and permit, the curiosity of nations to deprive me,” (Shakespeare 1.2.1-4) so Edmund punish his father for the lack of respect he has gotten over the years.
Polonius effectively demonstrates notions of corruption throughout the play. As Polonius himself is corrupt and false he cannot think of others as genuine. In Act 1, Scene 3, Polonius interferes with his daughter’s relationship with Hamlet - doubt’s Hamlet’s integrity, sincerity and affection for Ophelia, “Do not believe his vows” Polonius elucidates his corruption and falsity at the very beginning of Act 2, when he gives Reynaldo money to spy on his own son Laertes’ behaviour in Paris, through devious and indirect methods such as lies, “Inquire... and there put on him what forgeries you please”. Shakespeare’s examination of corruption through the interaction and relationships apparent between Hamlet and Gertrude,