`What is madness? Is someone mad merely because they are different, and do they in return see the same about the world? The dictionary defines madness as, 1. the state of being mad; insanity. 2. senseless folly. 3. frenzy; rage. 4. intense excitement or hilarity. Though is there a difference between madness and wrath or rage? Was Hamlet mad, or was it one big act in order to give reason for his irrational actions and to keep his vengeful motives confidential?
In Shakespeares tragedy, Hamlet, these questions are continually asked and some are answered. Hamlet, the protagonist, has lost his father by murder, and is urged to seek vengeance by his father who appears to him as a ghost. This raises the first bit of suspicion of madness. Hamlet talks with his father and is told,
Hamlet: If thou didst ever thy dear father love-
Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder.
Most would say that the fact that he saw the ghost of his dead father would be enough to warrant that he is insane. The only fact that hinders this observation is the fact that others saw the ghost as well and were even the ones who told young Hamlet of his appearance.
Many may see Hamlet being insane only by the worldly view of him being different. Though towards the end of the play in Act III, Gertrude calls her son to her chambers to discuss the reasoning of his putting on a play so closely related to the death of his father. She tells him how upset Claudius is and is weary of Hamlets recent actions. At this Hamlet explodes on his mother and threatens to kill her. Gertrude cries for help, and Pilonius answers this cry. Hamlet runs him through with his rapier without even thinking. Hamlet tells her to report to Claudius this message:
Gertrude: Mad as the sea and wind when both contend
Which is mightier. In his lawless fit,
Behind the arras hearing something stir,
Whips out his rapier, cries A rat, a rat,
And in this brainish apprehension kills
The unseen good old man.
This incident shows Hamlets wanting others to ...