Essay Example on It resides in everyone but varies from person to Person

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Madness It resides in everyone but varies from person to person A little bit of madness keeps life interesting but it can become extreme in some cases such as Hamlet and Ophelia from William Shakespeare s play called The Tragedy of Hamlet Prince of Denmark In Shakespeare s play the main character Hamlet mourns for Old King Hamlet or his father s death and is disgusted by his mother and uncle s or Gertrude and Claudius s recent marraige Soon after Hamlet gets a visit from a ghost claiming he is Old Hamlet and Claudius murdered him urging Hamlet to seek revenge Hamlet stays hesitant but finally takes action at the end ultimately leading to the death of five people including himself Throughout the play madness is a device used to reveal truth However as the play progresses real insanity eventually takes over allowing the characters to reveal their inner thoughts In the beginning Hamlet uses madness as a way to mask his true intentions of seeking the truth and revenge When Polonius attempts to talk to Hamlet Polonius believes Hamlet is far gone And truly in Polonius s youth he suffered much extremity for love very near this II ii 181 182 The court believes Hamlet s lunacy derives from being lovesick taking the attention away from any suspicion of conspiracy By doing so he brings Claudius into a sense of false security that Hamlet is harmless With this mentality Hamlet convinces Claudius to attend his modified play designed to test if Claudius really is the murderer or not After the scene depicting the King s murder by his nephew in Hamlet s play Claudius immediately walks out and tells Rosencrantz and Guildenstern I like Hamlet not nor stands it safe with us to let his madness range III iii 1 2 



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At this point Claudius is not entirely sure if Hamlet is truly insane but he knows he accidently blew his cover and that Hamlet is aware of it Claudius cannot call Hamlet out for feigning madness because he fears Hamlet will expose his dark secret Overall Hamlet calculatively utilizes lunacy to confirm the truth about Claudius Although Hamlet intended it to be an act he becomes a victim of madness which ends up being for the greater good since it allows him to reveal his truth For example after he slays Polonius Hamlet states he is a wretched rash intruding fool III iv 32 Despite being dead already Hamlet continues to insult Polonius marking the turning point when Hamlet truly becomes insane However through this newfound insanity Hamlet no longer has to hold back his inner thoughts Another example is when Gertrude asks why Hamlet is being rude to her he responds it is because she did Such an act that blurs the grace and blush of modesty calls virtue hypocrite and makes marriage vows as false as dicers oaths III iv 42 47 Up till this point Hamlet hinted his disgust at Gertrude and Claudius s marriage many times but has never directly told her It was only until Hamlet reaches his breaking point before he could truly express his feelings without any restraints Thus Hamlet finds freedom in madness in a sense that he can truthfully convey his thoughts without being afraid Similar to Hamlet Ophelia becomes insanity due to her father s death but through it she is finally able to reveal her true character For example when Ophelia meets with Gertrude she sings a song stating I a maid at your window to be your Valentine

Then he dubbed the chamber door Let in the maid that out a maid never departed more IV v 33 38 Ophelia may seem to be babbling on but in reality her song has truth in it It is only after she snaps when Ophelia can reveals how she feels betrayed by her ex lover Hamlet Ophelia also suggests she slept with Hamlet before revealing that she may not be as innocent as the audience thinks she is In addition Ophelia shows her inner thoughts when she gives symbolic flowers to the court She hands fennel and columbines a symbol of male adultery to Claudius and rue a symbol of adultery and repentance to Gertrude IV v 151 152 Ophelia demonstrates she is aware of the corruption within the court for quite a while However she does not reveal her acknowledgement until now because her society expects females to be a submissive and obedient After losing Hamlet and her father Ophelia loses all faith in humanity thus not giving a single care about the consequences of her actions and words Although Ophelia loses her sanity in return she gains the ability to speak her mind and show her true side Madness plays a significant role in the play by revealing the truth within the characters and society Hamlet feigns madness to find the truth about Claudius but his act becomes a reality that enables him to speak truthfully with his mother Likewise Ophelia falls into lunacy but this allows her to voice her opinions for the first time From these events one can see that madness is not necessarily a bad trait In fact madness is simply the result when one realizes and accepts the truth of reality


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