Hamlet's Madness: Tragedy, Revenge, and Mental Struggle

Categories: Tragedy


Shakespeare in Hamlet showing the belief of the people were thinking about that time in the dark ages of Europe, also showing us some of the corruption in the country like when Claudius killed King Hamlet just to be the king after he killed him and married his wife. Hamlet is a very unique character whether you agree with him or not, some of us will consider him as a mad person some will consider him as a normal person, that is the intelligence of Shakespeare which is to make the reader part of the play, so the reader can decide whether Hamlet is a mad person or no .

depending on the common things and common experiences between Hamlet and the reader so maybe some of us have the tragic life situations like Hamlet has so they will have a way of understanding the play differ from the people who don’t have a tragic life like Hamlet. The inability of accepting the loss of something very valuable in our life will affect our lives very badly as it will change our moods and it will make us always thinking of this loss, that thinking maybe ends with mental illness like what Hamlet has and it ended by losing his life as the result of his madness.

Get quality help now
Sweet V
Sweet V
checked Verified writer

Proficient in: Tragedy

star star star star 4.9 (984)

“ Ok, let me say I’m extremely satisfy with the result while it was a last minute thing. I really enjoy the effort put in. ”

avatar avatar avatar
+84 relevant experts are online
Hire writer

So Hamlet is a very realistic character that most of us have something common with his story and his experience like the tragic life that Hamlet has or having an honest friend like Horatio, so Shakespeare in Hamlet wrote what people always thinking in different generations like experiences that many of us have, and he tried to collect most of the people’s life experience and wrote it in a great play called Hamlet.

Get to Know The Price Estimate For Your Paper
Number of pages
Email Invalid email

By clicking “Check Writers’ Offers”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We’ll occasionally send you promo and account related email

"You must agree to out terms of services and privacy policy"
Write my paper

You won’t be charged yet!


William Shakespeare's time, England was marked by many changes in different sides like social fields, political fields, religious fields, philosophical fields, and artistic perceptions. One of Shakespeare’s greatest plays still learned and discussed in today’s society is Hamlet. The themes explored in most Shakespeare’s works can be applied to any society and any generation so we can see Shakespeare plays are learned all over the world in different universities and different countries. In the world, there are a lot of writers and a lot of plays but isn’t so appealing like Shakespeare’s plays for many years and generations. So what made Shakespeare's plays especially Hamlet still being found so appealing to this moment? One of the reasons for making play Hamlet still modernized in today’s society is Hamlet's character ability to absorb a number of similar interpretations within a single intellectual context, which differ in many intellectual contexts. Hamlet's play - as described by Polish poet John Kot - is like a sponge that will soak up all the problems of our time, Shakespeare's plays being re-interpreted and re-read into modern culture, that’s why we can see till now there is a lot of people still reading for Shakespeare.

Hamlet is the first of Shakespeare's great tragedies plays, in writing Hamlet, Shakespeare wrote what was common in the culture of England for that time, so he concentrated on many problems like love, betrayal, and death, Hamlet struggled with the idea of death. death was a very common component of life during the dark ages in Europe. With all of the surrounding believes in Europe at that time that death was normal, but for Hamlet, it took a slightly different twist. Shakespeare the creative writer introducing to us in Hamlet, a character which is full of love for Ophelia and his father king Hamlet when we see Hamlet trying his best to avenge for his father’s death. Shakespeare also showing us the corruption in the countries that time in Europe, when we see that Claudius one of the nearest men to the king put the poison in the king’s ears when he was sleeping, to kill him to be the king after him, so all these facts are been introduced to the reader in just one play for this intelligent writer.

Shakespeare is writing what’s common for the behavior of a man in the society, but the decision that Hamlet made to revenge on his father’s death however who is the murderer even if he is the current king himself in my opinion is a very brave decision mixed with madness. This revenge can show us the madness of Hamlet, that he wants to go in a war with the king himself, as it was known in the traditions of any country that time that the king is the highest position of the country, he can do what he wants, kill anyone without anyone knows, so he can kill without a crime, so the king can just order to kill someone and there are a lot of people below him who can do this as a favor to the king in order to get money or to get a high position in the country, here Shakespeare is showing us part of the corruptions of the countries that time, so Hamlet, when he is trying to be in a war with the king who has all this power and authority, is real madness, because maybe Hamlet will lose his life as a result by being killed from the people who were ordered from the king, but the king will lose nothing but the money he gave to those killers.

Here is a short summary of the last part of the play showing that the madness of Hamlet ended with the death of Hamlet himself. One day Hamlet met his mother and in the same time Hamlet was with his mother, Polonius was hiding behind the curtains of the same room as a spy sent by the king, as I mentioned before that the king has the power to do anything and there is a lot of people who wish to make a favor for him to be in a closed position to him. When Hamlet heard that there was a noise behind the curtains he took his sword and killed Polonius as he thought that the person behind the curtains is his uncle Claudius but then he knew that he killed Polonius, not the king but he didn’t regret it at all. When his uncle Claudius heard about what happened he ordered to bring him back. When Hamlet arrived England Claudius persuaded Laertes to join him against Hamlet, Claudius and Laertes were planning to kill Hamlet. Laertes prepared the poisoned blades that’s he is planning to use to kill Hamlet.

Claudius tried to offer Hamlet a poisoned drink but Hamlet refused to drink, but then Gertrude took a sip, that time Hamlet wasn’t guarded so Laertes wounded him, then Hamlet wounded both of Laertes and Claudius with the poisoned blade killing them, Laertes has asked Hamlet for his forgiveness before he died .then Hamlet before he died he asked his close friend Horatio to tell the people the truth about what happened in his story, so here we can see that Shakespeare wants to refer to us the importance of having a good friend to trust in our life. Madness as a definition is a condition of the mind that eliminates all rational thought leaving an individual with no proper condition for what’s happening around him or her. So let's suppose that Hamlet is a mad person, actually, there are many reasons that lead him to madness. The death of Hamlet’s father, then his uncle married his mother, then Hamlet met a ghost telling him that his uncle was the person who killed his father and Ophelia’s father make it impossible to Hamlet to meet his love (Ophelia). So this tragic life that Hamlet experienced in his life. Make it clear to us that it’s the reason behind his madness, maybe if any one of us has faced the same tragic situations that Hamlet has in his life he will also be mad or at least he won't be in a good mood.

So I can’t imagine if any one of us has all these problems in his life and can live a normal life as if he has no problem in his life, actually anyone of us when he lost a person he loves very much, he will be so sad for his losing this person and then maybe we can accept this fact of losing this person we love and try to adapt with our life without the existence of this very close person to us, this person may be one of our family members like Hamlet’s situation, maybe a very close friend, and this happens to every one of us. But the problem with Hamlet’s character is that he doesn’t have the ability to accept that the loss of his father and this matter is really disturbing him, so Hamlet’s thinking of revenge for his father that leads in the end to be a mad person, the reason behind this thinking of revenge is that Hamlet’s inability to accept the death of his father, the existence of the ghost in Hamlet’s life is also supporting the belief of revenge for his father.

The existence of the ghost in Hamlet’s life shapes a connection between the spiritual life that not all of us believe in it, even who are believing in it, just very few of the people in the world who saw a ghost in their life before that made many people read Hamlet thought that Hamlet is a real mad person because they don’t believe in ghosts. Shakespeare in Hamlet gave the reader the choice to decide whether Hamlet is a real mad person or he just pretend to be mad, as we sometimes see him a person with good decisions, in Hamlet the reader never know what’s going next, Shakespeare makes the reader a part of the play so every reader have to think about the play and everyone has his own opinion of the characters so maybe someone can think Hamlet is a mad person but another one can see Hamlet is a perfect one. Many people when they read Hamlet, think that Hamlet isn’t a really mad person but he just pretends to be a mad person because sometimes his reactions aren’t like a very mad person. Actually Hamlet’s madness is real, as I defined madness before that the madness is a condition of the mind that eliminates all rational thought leaving the person with no proper condition. By researching the reasons that can make any normal person has some mental illness, one of these reasons is the loss of a very important person in our life like a parent. So here we can see the tragic life that Hamlet experienced especially losing his father which can be considered one of the factors that may be lead to madness. Also by researching the behavior of the person who has a mental illness, we will find that one of these behavior is hesitation and confused thinking. Actually Hamlet has very confusing thinking that he always thinking about revenge for his father and killing his uncle but he got the chance to kill his uncle but he didn’t kill him.


The imagination of Hamlet requires a special way of thinking that must have been obtained by showing real insanity or demonstrating it. Hamlet needs imagination " for his strange mood," and he would expose himself if he used straight, clear language. That is why he had to speak obscurely to conceal the true meaning under the guise of quirks, verbal manipulations, fantasies, and symbolic tales. What happens is that other people deepen their belief that he is a real mad person, but the audience can access the reality of the situation. Through that mask of "strange mood," Hamlet says a lot of pungent things. Thus, Hamlet's imagination plays a "new" role in Shakespeare's drama, which is similar in function to that of King Lear.

Updated: Nov 30, 2023
Cite this page

Hamlet's Madness: Tragedy, Revenge, and Mental Struggle. (2020, Sep 06). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/the-tragedy-of-hamlet-essay

Hamlet's Madness: Tragedy, Revenge, and Mental Struggle essay
Live chat  with support 24/7

👋 Hi! I’m your smart assistant Amy!

Don’t know where to start? Type your requirements and I’ll connect you to an academic expert within 3 minutes.

get help with your assignment