Shakespeares Hamlet is a most enigmatic and complex character, his psyche the subject of more detailed psychoanalysis than any other character in English literature. It is only once in a great while that the reader of literature comes across a man who fakes madness, and ultimately immerses himself so deep into this feigned madness to a point of total metamorphosis into a new being. Hamlets ostensibly concocted madness ultimately catalyzes the development of his dormant, inward madness and natural inclination for pretense and dissimulation. Within Hamlet there are two types of madness: the very apparent outer madness, and a hidden madness that isnt even realized by Hamlet. The inner madness is the result of the tragedies within this play; namely, the incestuous marriage of his widowed mother to his uncle and her brother-in-law which followed the tragic and sudden murder of his father. It is this depression and anger that set the stage for the rest of the play. Afterall, had he not cared to avenge his fathers death, the words of the ghost would have been totally ignored and there would have been no reason to feign madness. But because he was hurt, depressed, and incensed, he channeled all his power and energy to gain revenge, successfully. The forged madness was a product of Hamlets attempt to confuse the people of the castle and divert any suspicion that may be targeted at him in his mission of vindication of his fathers death. But what exactly is madness? In Act I, Scene 5, Hamlet urges the ghost: Haste me to knowt, that I with wings as swift as the meditation or the thoughts of love may sweep to my revenge. (lns. 33-35) Madness is condition that results from a persons obsession with his objective. This total preoccupation with a specific mission blurs the persons reality. Its as though the victim has become inhabited by himself and some other supernatural power that tak…
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