The Madness Of Prince Hamlet

2023 words - 9 pages

Intro Sample...


In Hamlet, Prince of Denmark the protagonist exhibits a puzzling duplicitous nature. Hamlet contradicts himself throughout out the play. He endorses both of the virtues of acting a role and being true to oneis self. He further supports both of these conflicting endorsements with his actions. This ambiguity is demonstrated by his alleged madness, for he does behave madly, only to become perfectly calm and rational an instant later. These inconsistencies are related with the internal dilemmas he faces. He struggles with the issue of revenging his father's death, vowing to kill Claudius and then backing out, several times. Upon this point Hamlet teeters through the play. The reason for this teetering is directly related to his inability to... View More »

Body Sample...


2.251-252). Hamlet is saying that behavior shapes reality. It is puzzling that Hamlet is comfortable with playing at this point but not with the role that he said he would play earlier. If he is to play a role why not the one that his father gave him? When the players come in a short wile later his attitude changes.

Hamlet is prompted to vengeance, again, by the moving speech that is given by one of the players. About this speech he says,

Whatis Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba,

That he should weep for her? What would he do

Had he motive and cue for passion

That I have? (2.2.561-564)
In this praise of this players ability to act, Hamlet is saying that if he were such an actor he would have killed Claudius by now. This link between vengeance and acting that is present here is what Hamlet struggles with until very near the end. He is then moved to swear that he should kill Claudius when he says,

I should Èai fatted all the region kites

With this slaveis offal. Bloody, bawdy villain!

O, vengeance!

Why, what an ass am I? (2.2.581-585)
He makes this big buildup of what he should have done and how he will be revenged and he shoots it down in the next line. This passage is the model of Hamletis cognitive dissonance. After all of this swearing and support of the value of acting and words, he backs out of it again. He canit decide whether to play the role or not. Words are further condemned when he says, ÊMust, like a whore, unpack my hart with wordsË (2.2.587). So he is now condemning role playing. Being caught in the middle he decides ...

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