Theme of Madness in Hamlet

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The tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, is, perhaps, one of William Shakespeare s most popular works. One of the possible reasons for the intense recognition of this play is the way Shakespeare uses Hamlet to illustrate the complex workings of the mind, and how one must use deception in order to deceive others to get to the truth. In Hamlet, Shakespeare incorporates the theme of madness to serve a motive. In fact Hamlet was not crazy, but used the madness as a deception to achieve what he wanted. Hamlet himself says, "That I essentially am not in madness, but mad in craft." He thought about everything he was doing, and everything he was going to do. Hamlet did in fact act like he was mad, just so he could follow through on his plan to avenge his father's death. Hamlet acted like he was mad because he did not want to outright kill Claudius, because he would probably go to heaven, and Hamlet wanted to make him suffer like Claudius had made his father suffer. Hamlet also knew that he could not go around telling people that Claudius killed his father just because a ghost told him so. Therefore, instead Hamlet masterminded a plan that made the King, Claudius, show his guilt and then he would have proof that Claudius did in fact kill his father. Hamlet's obsession with his mother's remarriage to his uncle contributes to his insanity. In numerous occasions, Hamlet will make a comment about the little time that it took for his mother to move into his uncle's bed. Sarcastically, Hamlet states, "What should a man do but be merry? For look you how cheerfully my mother looks, and my father died within's two hours". Unlike Hamlet, Laertes has developed a different kind of madness, a madness that is controlled by revenge. When Laertes is talking to Claudius, Laertes gets so much revenge building up inside him against Hamlet that Laertes now wants to cut his throat.

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