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Olivia MadisonProfessor Christina GreenENGL-20200-06-World Literature II11th of January 2018Malingering Madness The expression “things are not always what they seem” is one of the most relevant toward the story of Hamlet by William Shakespeare. We often put on an act and become someone else, hiding our true selves, ideally our flaws, in the process. Through the majority of the play, Prince Hamlet feigns insanity to hide his revenge plot. His uncle Claudius killed his father, King Hamlet. He appears later as a wandering spirit to tell Hamlet that his uncle Claudius poisoned him, and he demands Hamlet avenge him. Some argue Hamlet causes his own mind to unravel and truly become insane, but it is just the opposite. He is more manipulative than insane. He reveals his plans to act insane to his friends, he only displays madness around certain characters, and finally he has some semblance of logic behind most of his actions.Hamlet demonstrates his sanity when he unveils his plans to act insane. Hamlet lets his best friend Horatio know that he will fake his insanity so he wouldn’t worry. “As I perchance hereafter shall think meet to put an antic disposition on, that you as such times seeing me, never shall…” (I.V.166-180). He also brings this to his mother’s attention. ” That I essentially am not in madness, but mad in craft.” (III.v.191-192). If he were truly insane, he would have acted out without warning. Not only that, but someone as insane as he pretended to be would not necessarily be able to carry out a revenge plot.When Hamlet converses with Horatio, he reverts back to his sane state, speaking in graceful verse. We learn that when speaking in ‘Verse’, Hamlet is not feigning insanity at that moment. When he interacts with certain characters such as Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, Polonius, Ophelia, or Claudius his words change dramatically to the ‘insane act’. He can ‘turn it on and off’ at will, indicating he has complete control of his mental state. The plan is rather clever, as if Hamlet performs any criminal act or sin, they will completely blame his madness and will remain clueless to his revenge plot.Lastly, Hamlet proves his sanity because of his calculated action and logical thinking. For example, when he has the opportunity to murder Claudius while he is praying, he realizes if he kills him at the moment he has confessed, he will go to heaven. ” Now might I do it pat, now he is praying, and now I’ll do’t. A villain kills my father, and for that, I, his sole son, do this same villain send to heaven” (III.III.77-83). If Hamlet was insane he would have killed him without restraint or collected thought. Hamlet demonstrates sanity through the truths he occasionally spoke through his feigned madness. “Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t” (II.II.204-206). In this quote, Hamlet acts “crazy” to Polonius but demonstrates reason behind it. He fakes his madness too well, however, and Polonius starts catching on. In conclusion, Hamlet merely feigns insanity so that he can carry out his revenge without being caught. He proves this when he informs his friends of his plan to fake insanity, when he only acts “insane” around certain characters, and lastly, because he has logical thought supporting his actions. He used his tragic flaw of procrastination for his own benefit by thinking before acting on impulse. This ultimately leads to his revenge being relatively successful, minus the other casualties resulting from the surrounding drama, which clearly demonstrates his capability, proving he is mostly, if not completely, sane.

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