Essay, Research Paper: Hamlet Story

Shakespeare: Hamlet

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Hamlet was a man that will be studied for the rest of time. The complication of
the story is enough to raise argument let alone Hamlet the man. Was Hamlet
crazy? Nobody knows and will ever know. The entire play there are signs of his
insanity but there are also signs that he was putting a big joke on to the
people around him that he so hated and distrusted. His true character is never
revealed throughout the entire play. The identities and changes he goes through
prove that. Many things happened around him and he was in the heart of them. His
attitudes throughout the play reflect his turmoil inside of him. Every new thing
that came his way he had a different way of looking at or dealing with. He was
never completely honest with himself let alone anyone around him, even his
closest peers. The killing of a harmless man showed how much pain he was in. He
may have become crazy over it. Putting trust into a ghostlike figure that could
led to his downfall in the end. All these are factors that played a role in his
insanity. The attitude as well as the identity of Hamlet was never the same
throughout the play. In the opening he seemed confused and almost apathetic. It
seemed he had given up on life to a point. Everything in his life was not worth
caring about. His father had died before the play had opened which was a life
crusher to Hamlet. Hamlet senior was someone that Hamlet loved and respected
with all his heart. What made the situation of Hamlet’s feelings worse was
when his mother marries King Hamlet’s brother Claudius. Hamlet could forgive
him for taking over the kingship and not caring about his father. He despised
his mother for marrying after just two months of his father’s death had
passed. His heart was filled with turmoil and grief that could not be expressed
or let go of. Hamlet let no one into his heart. He showed no signs of happiness
and this is obvious in act I scene II when the first thing Claudius asks him is
“How is it that the clouds still hang on you?” That line opened up the
situation with Hamlet in the play. The first topic Hamlet deals with is the
death of his father and the questioning of a stepfather. That is the first thing
revealed about Hamlet’s identity. The identity of Hamlet changed throughout
the play as well. When dealing with Ophelia, He denied his love for her but when
she died the first thing he says about her upon his return home was that he
loved her. The scene with the clown who was digging Ophelia’s grave is another
example. Hamlet acted cool around him so he could get as much information out of
him as possible. His madness almost seemed to cease in that scene. Whenever he
was around Claudius he would show him signs of being crazy in the way that he
talked and presented himself. Nobody could tell if he was really mad or if he
was just putting on an act because when he would talk to Horatio, he had honesty
in his words and told him that it was all a big game. That is why it makes it so
hard to say if Hamlet was truly crazy or not. It takes a madman not to admit he
is crazy. Polonius is slain by Hamlet in act III scene IV. He hides in the
queen’s chamber when she says she hears him coming. Hamlet enters the room
like a madman full of rage not knowing which way he wants to turn with his
decisions. In his rage, he heard a man cry out from behind the curtain. He drew
his sword and slain him without even knowing it was him. Hamlet had known it was
not the king for earlier he had saw the King praying in the chapel yet he asks
the question “Nay I not know. Is it the King?” He knew full well it was the
not the king. It was a cry for help or for attention. He wanted his mother to
finally open her eyes and see what was going on. It took the action of killing
an innocent man for Hamlet to get across his message to his mother and the rest
of the Kingdom that he was hurting. It was almost like he was crying to tell
everyone about what the ghost had told him and what not just so everybody knew.
One of Hamlet’s major downfalls is that he kept to himself the entire play. It
made situations grow worse and more complicated. In the end, the lives of six
people in the play could have been saved if Hamlet would have done things
differently including his own life. The point is that Hamlet knew it was not the
king hiding behind the curtain in the room of his mother. Nobody can prove that
he knew it was Polonius but the pressure was building up too fast for just one
man to handle. It was a huge cry for help that his own mother never got the
message of. Finally the topic of the ghost arises. He saw the as a result of a
guard seeing it in the beginning of the play and telling Horatio about it.
Horatio told Hamlet and he was intrigued by it. He wanted to see it. It was the
ghost of King Hamlet at least in Hamlet’s eyes. It told Hamlet the story of
everything. Of the King’s downfall and murder by his own brother. This angered
Hamlet even more. Now he truly had a reason to hate Claudius unlike before when
he just despised him for marrying his mother. He never hated his mother. He
loved her so much and resented her for losing her love for King Hamlet so
shortly after his death. Hamlet knew that she was innocent of any crime that had
been committed and knew that she had to do with anything. He just could not
stand her passiveness when it came to putting her trust into her son and
believing him. She was so wrapped up around the King she failed to see her son
in times of such turmoil and pain. It killed Hamlet to see his own mother do
this to him. So, was this ghost real? Yes, it was. The ghost was real. It was
seen by the guard and by Horatio in the beginning who were awestruck. Was it
King Hamlet’s ghost? Yes, it probably was. It told the story of his murder to
his son who respected and loved his father. The ghost had a tremendous amount of
influence over Hamlet especially coming to him in one of his greatest times in
need. Hamlet was hurting bad and needed to hear anything to hear the pain. The
ghost is what made Hamlet go crazy; there is no doubt about that. Hamlet’s
crazy ways arise after the experience and right away you see him to almost
devise a plot to think up for his father’s revenge. In closing, many questions
still arise around the story and the well being of Hamlet in the story. What if
Hamlet had acted earlier on revenge of his uncle? Would the sweet Ophelia have
died suicide or accident? Would Polonius have been innocently slain? Would
Laertes have been killed at the end? And one question that the answer is clearly
known is the question of weather or not Queen Gertrude would be alive. Yes, her
innocence and passiveness towards everyone in the play would not have gotten her
killed. She was caught up in the middle of something that was out her foresight
and her control. Hamlet went crazy. The death of his father and remarrying of
his mother clearly tore him. When he found out all of the information, it pushed
him over the edge and brought out his insanity. His insanity is what got six
people killed in the play including his own tragic downfall. There is no doubt
that Hamlet was crazy, not after reading that.
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