Hamlet and His Feigned Madness

Shakespeare's Hamlet has often been considered one of the most intriguing and problematic plays of the English language. Among the many questions that Hamlet raises, lies the subject of whether or not Hamlet actually becomes insane. Using extensive evidence from the text and scholarly criticism, it can be efficiently argued that Hamlet does indeed maintain his sanity throughout the entirety of the play. By analyzing the character of Hamlet, the major theme of appearance versus reality in the play, and the suspicious purposefulness of Hamlet's apparent madness, one can ultimately determine that Hamlet is sane.

In order to determine Hamlet's sanity, it is first important to look into his character. Hamlet's most noteworthy character trait is that he is enigmatic. It is impossibly difficult to establish a complete character analysis of Hamlet. There is more to him than the other characters in the play, and even the highest academics, have managed to determine. Hamlet hides much of himself, often acting on his own without input from others and tending to prefer his own company versus that of others. It can even been argued that there are times where Hamlet does not even understand himself. Professor Ian Johnston...

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