Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Reasons for Hamlet's Mental Suffering in Shakespeare's "Hamlet"
So great is the mental suffering of Hamlet that he seems to have gone mad. Indeed, many critics are of the view that Hamlet actually goes mad. However, we know that Hamlet merely pretends to be mad and that he is not to be regarded as actually mad. At the same time there can be no doubt of the genuine and deep despondency (sadness/depression) which afflicts Hamlet throughout the play and which makes him bitter and cynical in his conversations with the various characters in the play. Apart from the obnoxious (intolerable) conduct of his mother in having got married hastily, and apart from the Ghost’s shocking disclosure that his father was actually killed by his own uncle, Claudius who now marries his mother. Besides, what grieves Hamlet is his belief that Ophelia has betrayed his love for her and his trust in her, although here Hamlet is sadly mistaken, and this mistake too is part of Hamlet’s tragedy.