Hamlet’s Sanity “When sorrows come, they come not single spies. But in battalions!” This quote by William Shakespeare in his play, Hamlet, and portrayed thus in Kenneth Branagh’s movie Hamlet, conveys the essence of the internal conflict in Hamlet. Although not spoken by Hamlet, this quote applies to him above other characters in the play as he, and arguably Ophelia, are the victims of this play. Although many scholars believe that Hamlet has lost his sanity, Hamlet is wholly and completely sane. Hamlet is not crazy because his actions, his intelligence, and his words ultimately prove his sanity.
The soliloquy can be broken down into three sections: Hamlet’s consideration of the player’s acting ability, his self-berating for being cowardly and doing nothing, and his resolve to stage a play to ‘catch the conscience of the King’. The notion of the revenge tragedy is a very complex issue in Hamlet, as it both adheres to and breaks away from the conventions of this genre. Some notable conventions of dramatic delay, the degeneration of the hero, and the play-within-a-play are utilized by Shakespeare. In this excerpt alone, the concept of the Mousetrap is included in the final rhyming couplet – “The play’s the thing / Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the King.”, the hero, Hamlet, breaks down his own self and sees himself as cowardice and feminine, which he ultimately blames for his inability to act – his delay. The use of characterization in this excerpt is crucial to the demonstation to the inaction of Hamlet, as well as the theme of illusions and reality.
In Shakespeare's Hamlet, although the character Hamlet makes similar points about himself in the soliloquies of Act II and Act IV, he seems to be less self-blaming and more in control of his emotions in the Act IV soliloquy. In the Act IV soliloquy, Hamlet is less self-blaming and more in control of his emotions. In Act II Hamlet blames himself for the delay in his revenge, "O, what a rouge and peasant slave am I!" (2:2:519). He also seems to be more self-abusive in his expressions, "Why, what an ass am I!"
In Act 1 and 2, Hamlet’s relationship with language show that he is unable to see the truth in language and finds that words are often untrustworthy. Hamlet can be contrasted to Horatio who, in the play, is viewed as a teller of absolute truth and is very trustworthy. In Act 1 Scene 1, Horatio is chosen to speak to the ghost as seen in the repetition “Stay! Speak, speak, I charge thee speak!” which therefore from the beginning of the play is viewed to be reliable and truthful. As well as this, Horatio is often the storyteller as
“You should not have believ'd me, for virtue cannot so inoculate our old stock but we shall relish of it. I lov'd you not." (3.1.116-118) Hamlet contradicts himself a lot because he is cautious when he speaks but is very reckless with his unplanned actions. He is also courteous when he needs to be but uncivil when the moment is inappropriate. Hamlet is also very affectionate to Ophelia in the beginning of their private but romantic relationship.
“giving him a disguise that enables him to spy in a way that is not as suspicious as spying” (Corum 63). His antic disposition gives him a way to spy, and therefore he cannot be insane while trying to spy on Claudius, Polonius, and his other enemies. Hamlet is proven sane throughout the entire play because he is very coherent when he talks with his friends, he is foiled by Ophelia’s insanity, and he is sane throughout his dialogue. When speaking with his friends, Hamlet is very sane, but when speaking with people he thinks are his enemies, he is clearly not making any sense with his dialogue. In Act 2 scene 2, Hamlet is completely sane when talking with his friends, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.
Literature Passage Analysis Three: Hamlet – William Shakespeare Shakespeare’s tragedy, Hamlet, portrays to readers the consequences of isolation on the human conscience, which is expressed in Passage One by the main protagonist Hamlet. Hamlet’s statement, “now I am alone,” explores how seclusion is viewed as a relief for the Prince, as when he is “alone,” he can be avoid the numerous aspects of society he despises. The statement has intentionally been placed at the beginning of the soliloquy to amplify Hamlet’s need for detachment from others. This structure is effective as it has Hamlet express his innermost beliefs only when he is in the comfort of his conscience. As the audience we are able to understand more about the Prince’s traits, such as using moments of isolation to plot and scheme in order to, “play,” against the King, which will allow him to, “observe,” signs of, “guilt.” It is visible that Hamlet’s desire to be alone originates from being allowed to, “unpack,” his mind with, “words,” emphasising Hamlet’s tendency to examine the details of events, thus, justifying his reasons for his delay in avenging his father.
In another instance, it is used as defense against greater harm, as in Othello. And of course, let’s not forget the instances when deception takes the form of well-planned tactics in the hands of evil characters, as in Julius Caesar. In comparing any two plays, such as Hamlet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream for example, one can easily list many dualities– tragedy and comedy, an unhappy and happy ending and seriousness and mockery. But when it comes to similarities, the repeating patterns of deceit should be the first to come to one’s mind. A short essay cannot investigate all instances of this occurrence in all works of the author, but could provide the reader with the major categories.
An aside is different, however, to a monologue or soliloquy, because it is not a speech but rather a brief thought. Shakespeare’s purpose in having Macbeth use this in scene iii is to show us Macbeth’s ability to hide his true feelings from those around him, and to portray his strong characteristic of
But to call it ‘King Lear’ is misleading to the audience who unlike Macbeth go into great detail of his character. Anyway, sorry about the rant. Its easy to criticise, but hopefully you’ll change my view. I’ll write a better King Lear then I can criticise. At the start of the play the audience see King Lear as a very powerful character as they would any King.