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Sane or Insane That is the Question Madness vs Melancholia One of the most controversial questions surrounding William Shakespeares tragedy Hamlet is whether or not the character was in fact haunted by madness or just acting it His continuous use of melancholia leaves us as the audience to ponder upon the true madness of Hamlet Hamlet is a story about fratricide madness melancholia and a constant change of attitudes and emotions His madness and melancholia range to different heights through the use of actions movement and language But this cannot prove whether or not Hamlet was mad sane or suffering from a profound emotional depression Hamlets idea of assembling a staged play to defy the guilt set inside his uncle Claudius was an intelligent act Further more Hamlets executed madness is shown to be none the less played with lines such as I am but mad north-north-west When the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsawHamlet Prince of Denmark 22340 Madness vs Melancholia can be defined as two different emotions Madness is the quality or condition of being insane Melancholia however is diametrically opposed to that of Madness where it is characterised by severe depression which is shown through the emotion displayed at the death of Hamlets father Thus it rests upon the apprehension of the two directors to illustrate these emotions in a suitable way that best portrays Hamlet It will be your and the directors responsibility to decide the quantity and quality of personality characteristics necessary for the development of character Acting In Person and In Style Pg 162 Two examples of the different notions that can be portrayed is that of Franco Zeffirellis and Laurence Oliviers Hamlet where madness and melancholia compete against one another with one achieving much stronger dramatic meaning then the other The two interpretations from Olivier and Zeffirellis Hamlet are completely different in contrast to the emotions and the way they have portrayed
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