Hamlet starts to act as a madman to avenge the death of his father by his uncle. Ophelia on the other hand, goes mad after the death of her father. Shakespeare uses both these characters to affect the main plot in the play and their relationships with other characters. Many people debate whether Hamlet’s madness is real or fake. Shakespeare incorporated the theme of madness to serve a motive for Hamlet in order to deceive others.
187-8.) This pretense of madness Shakespeare borrowed from the earlier versions of the story. The fact that he has made it appear like real madness to many critics today only goes to show the wideness of his knowledge and the greatness of his dramatic skill. In the play the only persons who regard Hamlet as really mad are the king and his henchmen, and even these are troubled with many doubts. Polonius is the first to declare him mad, and he thinks it is because Ophelia has repelled his love.
Hamlet assumes these actions from the actor because these are the actions that Hamlet would use to express his feelings. Hamlet then feels that he is not courageous enough to bravely kill Claudius and all he can do is mope. He puts himself at the peak of frustration since he has not accomplished anything yet and begins to doubt his ability to for revenge and calls himself a coward. He says he should have killed Claudius a long time ago. He then comes up with a plan to have the actors put on a play that is similar to the Murder of King Hamlet.
Hamlet’s uses antic disposition as a tactic to uncover the truth behind his father’s death which leads the reader into believing that Hamlet is truly insane. However, the truth of it all is that it is an act of foolishness to distract others into believing that he is mentally ill. Through the use of character Hamlet proves himself as a strategic thinker by congregating solid evidence that is pointing towards Claudius being guilty of performing an act of violence. Hamlet begins to question the presence of the ghost as he states, “The spirit that I have seen/ May be the devil: and the devil hath power/ To assume a pleasing shape” (II, ii, 596-597). The act of logical thinking demonstrates that Hamlet did not act hastily and commit a sin after witnessing his father’s spirit.
Many scholars have read this line, and taken the meaning as a rhetorical question, which shows that everything seen may not be true, and the actual character of the main players may not appear to be obvious. Shakespeare uses the final words, and lines leading up to the death of some of the main players, to show their true character, and to reveal themselves to the audience. This can be seen, when Hamlet shows that he reveals that he truly wants himself to die a noble prince, Claudius reveals his true self to the audience as the murderous villain that he is, Laertes also shows his true character in his final moments by making things right and tries to retain his honor and nobility. In the case of Laertes, as he dies he shows regret for what he did. In the events leading up to his demise, Laertes is corrupted by Claudius and his evil motives.
Hamlet’s inaction is caused by his being overwhelmed with his own conscience. Therefore, Hamlet’s delay ultimately leads to the demise of many characters in the play. In this essay I am going to show how Hamlet’s inaction and obsession with thought led to many loved ones dying. Before I discuss how Hamlet affected the outcome for others in this play, I want to address Hamlet’s view of the nature of thinking. Throughout the play Hamlet is cursing thought.
Revenge in Hamlet Hamlet is a play written by William Shakespeare and is based on revenge and how the act of certain individuals can lead to tragedy and affect everyone. Hamlet’s father has just died, and as a ghost, visits Hamlet and secretly tells him the truth of what had happened. He tells Hamlet that he did not die of natural causes, but was poisoned by Claudius, Hamlet’s uncle and now stepfather. This encounter begins a challenge and obligation to seek revenge for his father. Hamlet is speaking to the mysterious ghost, whose message is if Hamlet ever loved his father he will “Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder” (1.5.25).
Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, is full of tricks, ruses, deceptions and conspiracies. The play also contains many details that support a theme of rottenness or foulness. Because of this, it is easy for the reader to be driven to the conclusion that Hamlet is, in fact, primarily a revenge play. However, in Hamlet the word revenge takes on a different meaning because it is actually Hamlets delay in avenging the murder of his father that makes this play a tragedy. The prince’s inability to act and tendency toward melancholy refection is a “tragic flaw” that leads inevitably to his demise.
This plan backfires though, because his family and friends bend over backwards to find the cause of his madness. Every main character in Hamlet seems to have their own conjectures as to why Hamlet is acting so out of character. One obvious reason is the mourning of his father's death. In addition to this, though, they all have personal ideas of varying merit. Claudius thinks that Hamlet has some kind of secret cause for the sudden change in his personality.