The Madness of Hamlet

In: English and Literature

Submitted By blakwing
Words 1427
Pages 6
Oatley 1

Josh Oaltey
3/30/12
Elliott

Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily--how calmly I can tell you the whole story.
-Edgar Allen Poe; The Tell-Tale Heart

An Analysis of Hamlet's Unraveling

The madness of Hamlet is prevalent within each page of the beloved play. Stemming from his acute paranoia, distrust of others, and melancholy outlook, there is a great unraveling of his psyche as the play rolls on. He can be observed as a victim of Psychotic Depression with paranoid tendencies. In Hamlet, the key character is characterized by his suicidal tendencies, grandeur delusions, and highly conflicted personality, therefore he can be classified as depressive, paranoid, and psychotic (Zimbargo, et al 580). While Hamlet's initial sadness itself brings little alarm to the audience, his eventual distressed nature becomes an apparent issue:
O, that this too solid flesh would melt
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!
Or that the Everlasting had not fix'd
His canon 'gainst self-slaughter! O God! God!
How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable,
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
(1.2.5)

Oatley 2 Initializing Hamlet's distressed nature and suicidal thoughts; Hamlet's spoken words brings the audience up to pace with his distress over his mother's marrying of his potentially murderous uncle. With this we pick up a certain instability in Hamlet's mental functioning and displays a rather melancholy and depressive vibe to his persona. From the beginning Hamlet is distressed and desires for his "flesh" to "melt" and become "dew". This anguish of this new development in his life is seen as a causal factor for his depression. Although one could easily dismiss this claim as dramatic anger, Hamlet's suicidal…...

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