Madness quotes in Hamlet

HAMLET
“How strange or odd some’er I bear myself
(As I perchance hereafter shall think meet
To put an antic disposition on)”
Madness
Antic disposition presents the fact that Hamlet is going to put on his madness and act it out for other people.

“There’s method in my madness”
HAMLET
Although not truly mad, Hamlet quite clearly puts on his madness and states that there is method in what he is doing.

OPHELIA
“No hat upon his head, his stockings fouled,
Ungartered, and down-gyvèd to his ankle,
Pale as his shirt, his knees knocking each other”
Ophelia is pointing out Hamlet’s madness and how his anti-disposition on his mind is also affecting the way he looks and behaves.
Elizabethans thought that love really could make a man sick, they believed that Hamlet’s madness was primarily because of his love that he has for Ophelia.

HAMLET
“[…] The spirit that I have seen
May be the devil, and the devil hath power”
The Ghost of Hamlet’s father always seems to be associated with Hamlet’s is-he-or-isn’t-he insanity. Here Hamlet is quite clearly questioning whether or not the ghost is ‘the devil’. It seems that Hamlet is blaming the ghost for his temporary and fake madness.

POLONIUS
“He is far gone. And truly, in my
youth, I suffered much extremity for love, very near
this.”
Yet again Hamlet’s madness is being blamed on his love for Ophelia, and Polonius says that Hamlet ‘has gone too far’ with his love for Ophelia. So far that is has driven him insane and he has gone mad because of it.

GERTRUDE
“Mad as the sea and wind”
Gertrude tells the King that Hamlet is mad at sea and wind. Portrayal of how rocky Hamlet’s madness potentially is by comparing it to two unsure, rocky parts of the natural world.

CLAUDIUS
“[…] poor Ophelia
Divided from herself and her fair judgment,
Without the which we are pictures or mere beasts;”
Here, Claudius describes Ophelia as “divided from herself” which is a clear portrayal of her losing her mind- therefore in other words Ophelia has also gone mad.

KING
“Follow her close; give her good watch, I pray you.”
Ophelia’s ramblings are seen as very problematic to the Royal Court. This is seen clearly when Claudius orders Horatio to keep a close eye on her.

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