In the play Hamlet, written by William Shakespeare, Hamlet never loses his sanity, in his plan to feign madness. Hamlet tells Horatio and Guildenstern that he is feigning his madness. Hamlet only acts mad around characters whom he has suspicion of their knowledge concerning his father's death. Hamlet professes to his mother that he is merely acting insane.
Hamlet tells Horatio and Guildenstern that he is feigning his madness. Hamlet has spoken with the ghost and has learned of the wrongdoings in his father's death. He later speaks with Horatio concerning his future actions ""As I perchance hereafter shall think meet/ to put an antic disposition on . . ."" It is after this statement that Hamlet begins to act mad. In the next Act, Hamlet speaks with Guildenstern and tells him that his "" . . . uncle-father and aunt-mother are deceived."" Guildenstern asks Hamlet what he means by this and Hamlet professes he is "" . . . but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw."" Hamlet is foreshadowing to his friends the fabrication of his madness.
Hamlet only acts mad around characters whom he has suspicion of their knowledge concerning his father's death. Hamlet is putting on an act, a deception in order to confirm who was involved in his father's death. He only performs his act for a few certain characters. Only in the presence of Gertrude, Claudius, Ophelia, and Polonius does he behave as a madman. These are the characters that Hamlet may have reason to suspect played a part in his father's death. In feigning madness, Hamlet attempts to confuse these characters in hope of exposing the truth about his father's death. He uses the play "The Mousetrap" and his dialogues with these characters as a means of unmasking the truth in his father's murder. In a dialogue with Ophelia, Hamlet uses their relationship to further people's beliefs that he is in fact, mad.