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Word Count: 853
A Method in Hamlet Madness In Hamlet Shakespeare brings together a theme of madness with two characters one truly mad and one only acting mad to serve a motive We can see this point through two characters namely Hamlet and Ophelia The madness of Hamlet is frequently disputed Ophelias breakdown and Hamlets brand of insanity argue for Hamlet having a method to his seeming insanity The play offers a character on each side of sanity While Shakespeare does not directly put Ophelias insanity or breakdown against Hamlets own madness there is indeed a clear accuracy in Ophelias condition and a clear uncertainty in Hamlets madness Obviously Hamlets character offers more evidences while Ophelias breakdown is quick but more conclusive in its precision Shakespeare offers clear evidence pointing to Hamlets sanity beginning with the first scene of the play Hamlet begins with guards whose main importance in the play is to give credibility to the ghost If Hamlet were to see his fathers ghost in private the argument for his madness would greatly improve Yet not one but three men together witness the ghost before even thinking to notify Hamlet As Hamlet says O that this too sullied flesh would melt 12129 we can see that he is depressed and appalled but it does not mean he is insane After the first meeting with the ghost Hamlet greets his friends cheerfully and acts as if the news is good rather than the devastation it really is This is the first glimpse of Hamlets ability and inclination to manipulate his behavior to achieve effect Clearly Hamlet is not feeling cheerful at this moment but if he lets the guards know the severity of the news they might suspect its nature Another instance of Hamlets behav ior manipulation is his meeting with Ophelia while his uncle and Polonious are hiding behind a curtain Hamlets affection for Ophelia has already been established and his complete rejection of her
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