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Madness in Hamlet

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Jay Tiw

on 12 November 2013

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Transcript of Madness in Hamlet

"Antic Disposition?"

actually descend to
What caused Ophelia to go
Difference between Hamlet's madness and Ophelia's madness?
Difference in speech and behavior?
What causes Ophelia to go mad?

What purpose does her madness serve in the play?

What textual evidence would you use to support your claim?


Create Confusion
Confuse the King and his attendants.

Consequences of Hamlet's action are to be blamed on his Madness.
"Antic Disposition."
Reasons why Hamlet is insane
Mood of the play in the beginning
quick marriage
Encounter with the

Horatio foreshadowing Hamlet`s Madness
"What if it tempts you toward the flood, my lord, Or to the dreadful summit of the cliff That beetles o'er his base into the sea, And there assume some other horrible form
Which might deprive your sovereignty of reason, And draw you into


Hamlet's Radical and Questionable behavior
Hamlet's action towards Ophelia before and after her Death.

Hamlet jumped into Ophelia's grave and fought Leartes.

Will not reveal the location of Polonius's body.

Hamlet tells Laertes that he killed Polonius in a "fit of madness". [Act V, Scene ii, lines 236-250]

Hamlet behaves insane only around Claudius, Polonius, Gertrude, Rosencratz and Guildstern, Ophelia. However, when Hamlet is around Horatio, Bernardo, Franscisco, The Players and the Gravedigger, Hamlet behaves rationally.
Polonius admits that Hamlet's actions and words have a "method" to them; there appears to be a reason behind them, they are logical in nature. [Act II, Scene ii, lines 206-207]
Hamlet tells his mother that he is not mad, "but mad in craft." [Act III, Scene iv, lines 188-199]
There are 2 main reasons
What causes Ophelia to go mad?
Reason 1
- All men in Ophelia’s life left, Laertes to France, Hamlet leaving her, and Polonius dying.
Reason 2
- Hamlet said he doesn't love her anymore and broke her heart.
Who cares if Ophelia is mad?
- Ophelia’s madness serves many purposes. (Advances the plot)
Ophelia’s death angered Laertes even more for vengeance to kill Hamlet.
“Get thee to a nunnery; why wouldst thou be a breeder of sinners...”
(Act 3, Scene 1, line 121).
What purpose does this quote serve?
Ophelia was in love with Hamlet and after hearing this, Ophelia’s spirits were crushed. After everything she’s been through, this served as a trigger to her madness. This shows how her madness arose.
Difference in madness

Ophelia loses control, Polonius`s murder Traumatized her.

Ophelia did not feign her
Speech Pattern
-- Hamlet thinks rationally.

-- Ophelia sings and gives out flowers.
Hamlet is not

Notifies of his Antic disposition to Horatio
Hamlet's Example
"The body is with the king, but the king is not with the body. The king is a thing -"
(act 4, scene 3, line 27-28).

Shows how clever he is even though he's "mad" while Ophelia never thinks before acting.
Highly intellect individuals identify Hamlet`s madness with a meaning.
Ophelia Example
"There's rosemary, that's for remembrance; pray you, love, remember; and there is pansies, that's for thoughts"
(act 4, scene 5, line 173- 175).

Shows her madness and her depressed nature.
Claudius confesses that Hamlet's "actions although strange, do not appear to stem from madness." [Act III, Scene i, lines 165-167]
Hamlet has control over his conscious.

Hamlet`s behavior
morphs as the play progresses.

Hamlet believes he`s sane, but text suggests otherwise.
Hamlet's selective behavior
Hamlet's selective behavior
*These are enough to drive anyone insane*
Horatio knows Hamlet will go
In Act 1, everyone saw the Ghost
In Act 3 scene 4, only Hamlet could talk to the Ghost, not his mother.
Hamlet's madness manifests only around certain Characters.
Acting insane
Rational behavior
The Players
Hamlet's confession to Gertrude
Hamlet tells his mother that he is not mad, "but mad in craft." [Act III, Scene iv, lines 188-199]
Hamlet has hold of his conscious and reveals his initial intentions.
By Fawaz, Jayant, and Elijah
The End
Full transcript