Hamlet - A Madness of Insightfulness
"Hamlet is no abstract thinker and dreamer. As his imagery betrays to us, he is rather a man gifted with greater powers of observation than the others. He is capable of scanning reality with a keener eye of penetrating... to the very core of things"
-Wolfgang Clemen (1951)
The question of Hamlet's madness or his facade of madness has been the central issue of discussion among the "Hamlet" readers throughout the ages. Yet no one ever considers the sanity of the surrounding characters under the given conditions and circumstances of the play. How credible is Claudius in proclaiming Hamlet to be mad when there seems to be a clear lack of sanity and decency in his murder of his own brother and marital union of his sister-in-law? Furthermore, if Hamlet is mad, how sane is Gertrude for she remarries nearly immediately and to the brother of her deceased husband? What about the Danish court? The countenance of indifference and the passing of consent to such an incestuous act must warrant this society the sanity and credibility to label someone mad, of course. If Hamlet is diseased by madness, it is the madness of his insightfulness. As Clemens had said, Hamlet possesses "greater powers of observation ... and a...
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