This act illustrates the theme of uncertainty which is presented through dramatic irony as we know that Hamlet is "I essentially not in madness, But mad in craft." In Act 1 scene 3, Ophelia is caught in an ultimate struggle in which she cannot win as Ophelia is trapped in this tradition of patriarchy with no personal choice. At first she remained uncertain for the reason of Hamlet's madness but once Polonius concludes that the blame is the very presence of Ophelia, pain and guilt are inflicted upon her as she suddenly feels responsible for Hamlet's downfall. However these feelings evolve as his seeming insanity and rudeness strangles and fades any love Ophelia had for him. We are then shown that Hamlet's insanity frightens Ophelia away.
Although Ophelia does go insane and ultimately commits suicide, the central lunacy of the play revolves around Hamlet himself. Hamlet's plan to act mad is completely unexplained. It is safe to assume that he is pretending to be mad so he can get away with saying and doing things that would not ordinarily be tolerated. Also, if people think that he was crazy, they would not pay any attention to him in his plot to kill Claudius and avenge his father's death. This plan backfires though, because his family and friends bend over backwards to find the cause of his madness.
This shows that Iago is a rogue at the beginning of the play that simply wants to replace Cassio and not murder him. Iago further develops into his role as a terrifying villain in the quote, "And nothing can or shall content my soul/Till I am even'd with him[Othello], wife for wife;/Or failing so, yet that I put the Moor/At least into a jealousy so
“Which of you shall we say doth love us most” Act 1, Scene 1, Line 52. Through this, both King Lear’s and Gloucester’s rage and rashness can be seen, resulting in them both loosing sight of what is important. Despite this, their weak characteristics have a small influence on their tragedy and suffering. After King Lear bestows all his possessions to his daughters, rather than being grateful, Goneril and Regan’s lust for power causes them to turn on their father. In Act 2, Scene 4, Goneril and Regan diminish his retinue, disregard his authority and Goneril instructs her servants to treat King Lear with the utmost disrespect.
In the soliloquy, Hamlet is at first upset with himself about finding ways to avoid avenging his Father’s murder, like his spirit in ghost form told him to. This complaining turns into self hatred and then Hamlet is insulting himself outright. The main reason for this is he has agreed to get revenge on Claudius so his father’s spirit can be at peace, but he hasn’t done it yet. The fact that the Player seems to be more able to get into the mindset of revenge than he can further discourages him. This on top of the fact that Hamlet’s dad is dead and his mother married that man he hates most in the world makes for a pretty melancholy fellow.
Consider how Shakespeare presents Hamlet’s sense of betrayal by female characters which contributes to his alienation from the world Not only does the heavy burden of avenging his father take its toll on Hamlet, but also his alienation due to the disloyalty of the female characters Gertrude and Ophelia. This feeling of alienation adds to his procrastination. They both undoubtedly betray him and this could add to the delay in him avenging his father. This adds to the sense of tragedy in Hamlets’ tale as he has to undergo this quest alone. Hamlet is a play where the characters don’t experience catharsis; Hamlet has a tragic flaw, he's indecisive “To be or not to be”, but he dies before he can overcome it.
They both display the Machiavellian trait of whoever holds the power holds the right to control and both the sisters exert this fairly ruthlessly. In Act 4 Scene 4 Regan regrets her decision to spare the blind Gloucester’s life: “It was great ignorance, Gloucester’s eyes being out, to let him live” suggesting her indifferent attitude to what Gloucester calls a “horrid act”. Goneril also suggests a demonic personality through her treatment of her husband Albany calling him “milk-livered” when he questions her wish to kill her own father. He retorts fittingly by saying “see thyself, devil”, implying Goneril has changed vastly from the woman he married and the only explanation could be possession by the devil to justify her evil. Similarly, Goneril is insulted by her father when he calls her “[a] marble-hearted fiend” and a “sea-monster” however although Goneril’s later actions of agreeing to her father’s murder is inexcusable, Lear’s accusations in Act 1 Scene 4 show Lear’s own struggle with female dominance cause him to be unfair to her.
The main representation of madness is within the character of the protagonist, King Lear. Through him, Shakespeare shows us true insanity and how it waxes and wanes due to outside influences such as love and rejection. At the commencement of the play, Shakespeare presents the seeds of madness through Lear’s vain demands for appreciation. Lear states that he was ready to express his “darker purpose” (I, i, ln36) when he begins to divide up his kingdom. From an outsider to the drama’s perspective, is obvious that the ‘darker purpose’ is related to Lear’s mad insecurities, which go
Indeed, one could view Romeo and Juliet as a transitional play in which Shakespeare merges the comedic elements perfected in his earlier work with tragic elements he would later perfect in the great tragedies -- Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth, and King Lear. This mixture of styles ultimately hurts Romeo and Juliet, exposing the immaturity of the playwright. The heroes of the play must contend with external forces that impede their relationship, but, unlike the great tragic heroes, they are devoid of the inner struggle that makes for great tragedy. The influential Shakespearean scholar, A.C. Bradley, went so far as to neglect the play entirely in his well-known collection of lectures on the great tragedies, Shakespearean Tragedy. While no one can deny the merits of Shakespeare's powerful, inspired verse, the themes Shakespeare stresses in Romeo and Juliet also seem to reflect his immaturity as a writer.
Hamlet, Claudius, and Gertrude all put up a facade in an attempt to get what they want, and these characters play their roles behind a veil of duplicity. The theme of appearance versus reality gives shape to Hamlet’s, Claudius’, and Gertrude’s characters, as they all try to conceal their true emotions that stem from King Hamlet’s death. Hamlet has been interpreted as a tragic figure due to the poisonous misfortune that is inflicted upon him. It is abnormal that Hamlet cannot find the will to avenge his father’s death immediately. The full conflict of which he feels and keeps concealed within himself is not explained.