Sane or insane that is the question Assignment 1
A story of love, revenge and questionable sanity. That is the tragedy written by the ’’Bard of Avon William Shakespeare. In this essay I will analyze Prince Hamlets ideas about women aswell as his relationship with Ophelia. I will also share my thoughts on as I stated his ’’questionable sanity’’
As the play begins Prince Hamlet is noticeably distressed, mourning the loss of his beloved father King Hamlet. As if things couldn’t get any worse a ghost appears with appalling claims stating he King Hamlet was poisoned to death by his brother Claudius. During this part of the story there is no rational reason for Hamlet to pretend insane. From my perspective he’d been better off acting normal, killing the King in a quiet manner rather than drawing all this unnecessary attention to himself.
On the other hand Hamlet seems conflicted and trapped in a setting where he can’t really do anything about. Maybe if he pretends to be insane he doesn’t have to hold back his feelings. Maybe it’s a way to get rid of all the pent up frustration boiling inside him or is it all a desperate cry for help? Now you might ask yourself help from whom? His father is deceased and all that is left is a ghost interested in nothing but revenge. His uncle is a murderer and he won’t accept it from his mother Gertrude whom he’s visibly upset with. Suspicion and paranoia starts to set in and even the smallest matters take on a terrible significance. For example in the movie when his friends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern check on him at the request of the King and Queen he felt betrayed. I believe he deliberately plays up the situation in order to make them confused, further proving he is indeed insane.
Lastly there is Ophelia. At times this relationship was very confusing but as I watched certain scenes in the movie multiple times it started to make perfect sense. There are many twist and turns in this story. First the relationship between the two goes downhill as Ophelia starts to reject his letters and visits. As I said earlier, Hamlet trusted very few by now with the exception being Horatio. Even if it was her father demanding this he felt betrayed yet again by someone he loved. Hamlet had a strange way of showing love if he did indeed love her that is. Take for example the killing of her father Polonius. Yes he did do it by accident as his true target was Claudius but there was no part of the movie that lead me to believe he felt some sort of guilt or sadness over it. At Ophelias grave he screamed at the top of his lungs ‘’ I loved Ophelia! Forty thousand brothers could not, with all their quantity of love make up my sum’’ You could assume this means he no longer loves her as he uses love in past tense or you could believe he uses that tense because she passed away. I tend to lean towards the latter. I believe his love for Ophelia despite the at times harsh and almost vicious words never changed. The circumstances did. He played up certain parts to come off as insane. I also believe the rejection, suspicion and heartache played a key role in his behavior.
There is one word you could use to describe women in Hamlet. In equal. Both Laertes and Polonius warned Ophelia about Hamlet. Not because he was a bad human being but because they were worried about her ‘’honor’’ He was only interested in her for sex they said or that he was just a prince who must marry to preserve ‘’the sanity and health of the state’’ There were various scenes throughout the movie where Polonius gave direct orders to Ophelia. Telling her she must obey whereas he’d just give his son advice. Hamlet was shown shouting things like ‘’Frailty thy name is woman’’ which basically means women are weakness. You could make the case for Hamlet being upset when he said this towards his mother but there are several others such as ‘’ Or if thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool for wise...
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KällhänvisningSharmaarke Osman [2019-07-08] Hamlet Recension
Mimers Brunn [Online]. https://mimersbrunn.se/article?id=60541 [2019-07-21]
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