Hamlet fakes madness for Polonius's benefit.
Hamletcontrasts this with his own passiveness in both word and deed.
So far as I know, it's the first time this theme -- now so common -- appeared in world literature.Hamlet, our hero, is the son of the previous king of Denmark,also named Hamlet ("Old Hamlet", "Hamlet Senior" as we'd say),who has died less than two months ago.
Once again, Hamlet's genuineness looks like madness.
It is quite simple to see the reason why, since the play confronts us with evidence to prove the validity of the claim to Hamlet’s true madness, or, rather, a view that the actions and words arising from the apparent madness, is but an feigned "antic disposition" as proclaimed by Hamlet himself.
Themes Of Madness In Hamlet English Literature Essay
Thomas MacCary in Hamlet: A Guide to the Play maintains that the prince not only feigns insanity but also shows signs of true insanity: Hamlet feigns madness but also shows signs of true madness) after his father’s death and his mother’s overhasty remarriage; Ophelia actually does go mad after he...
Hamlet's Antic Disposition - Is Hamlet's Madness Real?
He rehearses his pretended madnesss first with Ophelia, for even if he should fail there in his act of simulation, that failure will not cause him any real harm.