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Madness in Shakespeare's Hamlet

            The mystery of the human mind is highlighted throughout William Shakespeare's "The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark," with a focus on protagonist Prince Hamlet's desperate attempts to uncover his father, King Hamlet's death. Prince Hamlet seeks revenge and his despair is evidenced by Shakespeare's twenty-two references to the term "madness.".
             A fine line between sanity and insanity is cleverly depicted by Shakespeare as Hamlet reckons with his father's unexpected death, views the ghost of his father and attempts to understand his mother's abrupt marriage to Claudius, Hamlet's uncle. Prince Hamlet's erraticism and depressed tendency lead others to believe he is 1) "draw[n] [] into madness" (I.v.66)1. At the onset of the play, however, Prince Hamlet feigns insanity in an attempt to gain the trust of his enemies. 2) "His madness: if't be so," (II.ii.296) is well portrayed with manic behavior and palpable distress that even his mother, Queen Gertrude, is convinced it is real. Prince Hamlet attempts to explain, 3) "That I essentially am not in madness,But mad in craft" (III.vii.202). Nevertheless, Queen Gertrude is not affected by her son's truthfulness. In an attempt to understand Prince Hamlet's 4) "[] madness wherein now he raves," (II.ii.105) Queen Gertrude blames his erratic behavior on the stress of his father's death and Ophelia, the woman he loves. Prince Hamlet's hopelessness continues when he struggles with morality while trying to seek revenge for his father's murder.
             The desolation Prince Hamlet experiences is highlighted by Shakespeare during the play with unique, intense situations that force the prince to question his faith. Prince Hamlet finds himself unable to fulfill his father's ghost request; he stops short of killing King Claudius during a prayer. Although Prince Hamlet is unable to act, King Claudius recognizes that the prince has some direction and motivation; King Claudius alludes, 5) "Though this be madness, yet there is a method in't" (II.

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