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Is Hamlet Crazy?

An analysis of Shakespeare's most famous leading man and the deterioration of his mental health

Team Hamlet

on 23 March 2011

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Transcript of Is Hamlet Crazy?

Is Hamlet Crazy? Archetypal The Forest The Habitat of Mother Nature, the
lunar force. Those who enter often
lose their rational outlook and thus
tap into their collective unconscious. The River HORATIO
"He waxes desperate with imagination." MARCELLUS
  "Look, with what courteous action
It waves you to a more removèd ground.
But do not go with it." "What I love most about rivers is:
You can't step in the same river twice
The water's always changing, always flowing." The River symbolizes crossing into new territory. It can represent human life and the passing of time. GERTRUDE:
"There is a willow grows askant the brook
That shows his hoary leaves in the glassy stream....
Which time she chanted snatches of old lauds
As one incapable of her own distress,
Or like a creature native and indued
Unto that element. But long it could not be
Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,
Pulled the poor wretch from her melodious lay
To muddy death.". This painting, however, is less a painting of the "mad Ophelia" than it is another always-inscribed-in-the-death-moment Ophelia, her most repetitively invoked profile. "The episode most frequently chosen by artists [is] the moment just before Ophelia plunges to a watery death. Ophelia is typically shown adorned with flowers...loose tresses are also typical of Ophelia iconography" Marxism
What Is It?
“An understanding of ideologies” that “helps clarify the process of social control and “contributes to our liberation” Why? Contrasting definition of Marxism and Monarchism Monarchism
Monarchism-rule by one ruler called a king or queen who has inherited the power over the country or state or has been given divine right.
Usually this is for the benefit of the country or state. However if the ruler only has self-interests, he will become a tyrant.
Marxism- human actions and institutions are economically determined and that class struggle is needed to create historical change and that capitalism will ultimately be superseded by communism “Shakespeare's play Hamlet is a portrait of the ruling class, with a likewise near complete absence of lower class characters, and the few that are given any lines in the play at all are basically expendable and have little purpose or importance in the play at all.” An understanding of ideologies, it is argued, helps clarify the process of social control and “contributes to our liberation”. -James Cunningham “Ideologies, as socially generated and historically relative ways of apprehending reality, are understood to reflect and underpin the status quo;”

“Ideologies, as socially generated and historically relative ways of apprehending reality, are understood to reflect and underpin the status quo;” -James Cunningham Hamlet does not go crazy in the forest;
the forest is where the idea is planted
that leads to future insanity. He has always
subconsciously suspected his uncle, and
this idea presents itself in the forest through
the ghost. To others, he appears to be insane. "For, despite his reticence on the point, the ghost has solemnly intimated that Hamlet's mission threatens in some sense or other to taint his mind ." There is little debate about Opehlia's insanity.
While Hamlet's troubles begin in the forest,
Ophelia's end in the river, where she
peacefully lays down to rest. Both contemplate
suicide as a way to end their troubles, but only
Ophelia chooses it in the end. Huck uses the river to escape "The elaborate comparison Hamlet has already made between suicide and revenge makes it doubly difficult to avoid following Hamlet's destiny with the same order of anxiety as we guess at Ophelia's." The Gingerbread Man
meets death in the river. New Criticism Freud's definition of insanity -- doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different outcome

Instances of this of Hamlet:
Making a joke out of a serious situation
Gets his previous friends
Rosencrantz and
Guildenstern killed new criticism: criticize the work as just as it is a literary work of art, without using prior knowledge of history, politics or other ways a criticism can be influenced. New Historicism ambiguities create uncertainty Humanism Act II Hamlet says, "what a piece of work is a man!How noble is reason, how infinite in faculty, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action like an angel, in apprehension how like a god-the beuaty of the world, the paragon of animals!" Hamlet was fighting uncertainty just as philosophers were in renaissance In Hamlet, Claudius admits that Hamlet is "lov'd by the multitude." - Marxists Internet Archive.

How are we to assume that Hamlet's father was a good ruler to the people when he is too callous to even care for his only son's welfare? To what, should Hamlet cling to? “The practical philistinism of the bourgeoisie disgusts him.” He has no faith in the masses, seeing only their instability and political immaturity; he is surrounded by a tragic emptiness. Were he an egocentric, he would have seized the crown, led a secluded life, and found epicurean consolation in the society of his friends. Hamlet, the humanist, can exist only by comprehending and accepting the world–hence the hopelessness of his plight. - Aleksandr Smirnov

According to the view which was originated by Goethe and is still the prevailing one today, Hamlet represents the type of man whose power of direct action is paralyzed by and excessive development of his intellect. - Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams

This can be attributed due to his conflict with his superego and id.
Superego didn't want to kill Claudius because of ethics, but id wanted to kill Claudius.
Superego didn't want to hurt his mother, but id wanted to kill Caudius, which would hurt mother
Superego and ego wanted to make sure that Claudius killed his father, but id wanted to kill Claudius.

The go's job is to strike a balance between the superego and the id. It was unable to because the id eventually overpowered the superego. This lack of balance destroyed the ego, which controls rational thought. Throughout the entire play Hamlet is emotionally unstable. He both hints and outwardly discusses suicide multiple times in the play. "To be, or not to be, that is the question. . ."
Act 111 Scene 1 "O, that this too too sullied flesh would melt, Thaw and resolve in a dew. . . How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable, Seem to me all the uses of this world!"
Act 1 Scene 11 Claudius: Now, Hamlet, where's Polonius?

Hamlet: At supper.

Claudius:At supper! Where?

Hamlet: Not where he eats, but where he is eaten: a certain

convocation of politic worms are e'en at him...

Hamlet: A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a

king, and eat of the fish that hath fed of that worm.

"We can imagine Hamlet's story without Ophelia, but Ophelia literally has no story without Hamlet.”-Lee Edwards Limited appearances-Ophelia only appears in 5 of the plays 20 scenes Feminism
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