What is madness? Madness cannot be categorized into one definition, nor can it be simplified into one specific action. In Hamlet, Hamlet, prince of Denmark, is consumed by madness and is alternately driven to his own death. Despite the fact that many people believe that Hamlet’s mad behavior was planned and controlled. It is arguable that his madness was not feigned, and he was actually insane. Hamlet was drove into madness by the demonic possession of the ghost of Hamlet, the deep grudge he had for his mother Gerturde, and the craving for revenge he had for the death of his father In act 1, scene 4, Hamlet, Horatio and Marcellus are confronted by the ghost that has been roaming around the outskirts of the castle. Hamlet sees, and recognizes that the ghost that has been haunting his home is none other than the spitting image of his father, the late king Hamlet, who was inconspicuously murdered by his own brother Claudius, who later becomes king of Denmark, instead of Hamlet.
The ghost calls out for Hamlet to follow him alone into the woods. Hamlet’s perseverance led him to believe that the ghost of his father had the answers that he desperately needed, and for that, Hamlet decided to follow him alone. Horatio (warning Hamlet against following his father’s ghost) gravely warned Hamlet that if he follows the ghost, it might “deprive your soverereignty of reason and draw you into madness.” In other words, Hamlet’s madness began when he became possessed (both body and mind) by the ghost of his father to bring about his evil deeds. In this case, Hamlet lost his mind when he erased himself from his own brain and replaced it with his father’s commandments.
In addition, Hamlet’s madness was also driven by a deep grudge he had for his mother Gerturde. After the death of Hamlet’s father, Gerturde remarried within a month, to his brother Claudius. Hamlet shows provocation at Gerturde for happily marrying so soon. And to add insult to injury, it was to his uncle, of all people. Hamlet questions the faithfulness his mother has towards him, and later doubts the love Ophellia has for him. For this reason, Hamlet displays resentment, not only towards his mother, but to Ophellia, who was uninvolved in the tragic death of his father, and the sudden remarriage of his mother to his uncle.
In act 3, scene 1, Hamlet and Ophellia are having an emotional conversation with each other. Hamlet screams to Ophellia “get thee to a nunn’ry, why would tho be a breeder of sinners.” For this reason, Hamlet yells “get thee to a nunn’ry” several times because he exhorts ophellia to become a nun, so that way, she may never breed sinners, like him. Even tho he offends Ophellia by saying this, the insult is more intentionally made for his mother Gerturde. The lack of faithfulness his mother has causes the vulgar behavior he has towards Ophellia, which henceforth progresses Hamlet’s madness.
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