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Madness is considered to be performing some successive controversial actions in the hope of a contrary result. In the classic tragedy “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare, the youthful and not quite intelligent Prince Hamlet may seem to be mad. Nevertheless, although he speaks and acts in ways that are out of the norm, he does not do the identical actions time and again hoping for a totally opposite result. It is explicit that he talks about wild ideas that may not be consistent with reality and voices his personal and somewhat inadequate views, but he is not a madman. Hamlet is a man who is going through a very difficult, exhausting period in his life, and he is doing nothing but trying to survive this moment.
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Why Hamlet’s behavior is not mad
Hamlet is detrimentally affected by the violent death of his beloved father, just like any other young child. It is apparent that a person can not survive the death of relatives without typically experiencing a strong depression, grief or anxiety, as Hamlet says in the message: “But two months dead-nay, not so much, not two. So excellent a king” (1.2 142-143). As Hamlet points out here, his dear father, the king, efficiently was a remarkable man. Not even two months have passed, and people are waiting for him to put his father’s death behind him and live as if everything has gone and become alright again. Before this emotional scene from Hamlet, he was depicted as being in the courtroom of the castle where the current king was issuing his commands. This new king is revealed to be Hamlet’s wicked uncle, who displays no feelings about the death of the previous king. Shakespeare portrays that Claudius, the current king, displays no contrition when he states: “But you must know your father lost a father, that father lost, lost his, and the survivor bound in filial obligation for some term to do sorrow. But to persevere in obstinate condolement is a course of impious stubbornness.” (1.2 93-98). Claudius does not provide any support or demonstrate any compassion to Hamlet in this challenging time for him. He merely suggests that Hamlet is an egotistical child and should move on. With the pressure to forget about his father who was a major figurehead, it is not extraordinary that Hamlet acts out in this manner.
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Why are Hamlet’s actions justified
Hamlet’s mother, Gertrude, by marrying Claudius, produces an irrevocably negative impact on her son. This is undoubtedly one of the most terrible events that could have occurred in Hamlet’s life. As mentioned in the following section, Hamlet should have experienced his father’s death side by side with his family, but instead his mother treacherously marries his father’s murderer. Hamlet’s accumulated negativity affects the way he treats others. He states that his mother “calls virtue hypocrite, takes off the rose from the fair forehead of an innocent love and sets a blister there, makes marriage vows as false as dicers’ oaths.” (3.4 51-54). Hamlet mentions in a biting way that his mother betrayed his father by entering into this unacceptable marriage. Gertrude has merely betrayed the love she felt for Hamlet’s father during their life together. Hamlet indeed refers to her new marriage as fake and impossible. Now that this marriage has taken place, Claudius has altered the way of life in the castle, and he has forcibly entered Hamlet’s life. All these things can force someone to act harshly, and one wishes to unmask the misconduct of the person who is guilty of it. Hamlet is trying to expose Claudius for the murder of his father, and many people think he is mad for that. The prince is merely attempting to argue here, in this phrase, that Claudius is a deceiver, and furthermore, a murderer. “He poisons him in the garden for his estate…. You shall see anon how the murderer gets the love of Gonzago’s wife.” (3.2 287-290). Hamlet asks the players to paste in parts of the play that he initially planned to show and expose Claudius killing the king while the king himself witnesses it. This produces an emotional scene at the end of the play, and Claudius reacts dramatically. This is precisely what Hamlet has been seeking from the beginning. He is not in position to achieve justice or vengeance for his father’s murder, so instead he has to cause as much havoc as possible in the court.