The madness of Hamlet is frequently disputed.

(Shakespeare and the other characters just call him "King".)Hamlet's mother, Gertrude, married Claudius within lessthan a month.Old Hamlet died during his after-lunch napin his garden.

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.

Madness was a reoccurring theme in this play, two characters portrayed this more than others.

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.

Ophelia's madness seems complete while Hamlet's is questionable throughout the play.

Free Hamlet Madness Essays and Papers

Although while Hamlet is holding up this pretence of madness he slowly becomes drawn into a depression, which is so deep at some points it is unclear whether he is insane or deeply depressed, I would not call this depression madness in any way because the term madn...

Ophelia tells no one that she is "mad"; on the other hand, Hamlet shows everyone about his madness.

Hamlet shows everyone about his madness

Desdemona's goodness furthermore is not simply passive or weak but an act of will. Her refusal to blame Othello for his terrible treatment of her, when he suspects her of betrayal, must not be viewed as simple subservience but as a self-willed refusal to accept a bad opinion of the husband she has chosen. When he is behaving deplorably towards her she refuses to acknowledge his identity - 'My lord is not my lord,' she says 'nor should I know him / Were he in favour as in humour altered'. She stands by her acceptance of her love for him as something sacred, with a martyr-like determination: she tells Emilia 'his unkindness may defeat my life, / But never taint my love.' She thus obeys her own heart rather than patriarchal rules, extending this determination through to death, so that with her last breath - when Emilia asks 'who hath done this deed?' she can reply 'Nobody, I myself'. Othello's conviction that even upon dying she lies by claiming this self-death bears witness to the whole tragedy of the play, Othello's inability to see beneath the surface of stereotypical conceptions of femininity. By claiming this death for herself she re-affirms her self-hood. Metaphorically then she dies for her love which cannot be tainted, not from Othello's hands. In Hamlet too, Ophelia's death can perhaps be seen as an act of assertion and escape from the confining patriarchal world.

Hamlet turns his madness on and off depending on the company he keeps....

Madness and Insanity in Shakespeare's Hamlet - …

The story of the play originates in the legend of (Amleth) as recounted in the twelfth-century Danish History, a Latin text by Saxo the Grammarian. This version was later adapted into French by Francois de Belleforest in 1570. In it, the unscrupulous Feng kills his brother Horwendil and marries his brother's wife Gerutha. Horwendil's and Gerutha's son Amleth, although still young, decides to avenge his father's murder. He acts the fool in order to avoid suspicion, a strategy which succeeds in making the others think him harmless. With his mother's active support, Amleth succeeds in killing Feng. He is then proclaimed King of Denmark. This story is on the whole more straightforward than Shakespeare’s adaptation. Shakespeare was likely aware of Saxo's version, along with another play performed in 1589 in which a ghost apparently calls out, "Hamlet, revenge!" The 1589 play is lost, leading to much scholarly speculation as to who might have authored it. Most scholars attribute it to Thomas Kyd, author of of 1587. The Spanish Tragedy shares many elements with Hamlet, such as a ghost seeking revenge, a secret crime, a play-within-a-play, a tortured hero who feigns madness, and a heroine who goes mad and commits suicide.