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Word Count: 1,550
Madness Madness seems to be a common theme in William Shakespeares plays Macbeth and Hamlet The questions I ask myself are 1 What brings about madness in these plays and 2 How can one tell madness when heshe sees it in a Shakespearean play The signs of madness are visible in both of these plays by William Shakespeare After Hamlet has discovered the truth about his father he goes through a very traumatic period which is interpreted as madness by readers and characters With the death of his father and the hasty incestuous remarriage of his mother to his uncle Hamlet is thrown into a suicidal frame of mind in which the uses of this world seem to him weary stale flat and unprofitable No man in his right state contemplates suicide and would take his life due to human frailty Ophelia tells us that before the events of the play Hamlet was a model courtier soldier and scholar The glass of fashion and the mould of form The observed of all observers A modern boy scout to say the least but as the play unwinds his actions and thoughts catch him and slowly turn him insane Not to say that he was a crazed madman out of touch with reality as was Ophelia but a man driven crazy by thought Hamlets behavior throughout the play especially towards Ophelia is inconsistent He jumps into Ophelias grave and fights with Laertes in her grave He professes I loved Ophelia Forty thousand brothersCould not with all their quantity of love Make up my sum HV I250-253 during the fight with Laertes in Ophelias grave but he tells her that he never loved her when she returns his letters and gifts while she was still alive Hamlet subtly hints his awareness of his dissolving sanity as he tells Laertes that he killed Polonius in a fit of madness HV II 236-250 Once Ophelia meets Hamlet
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