Play Hamlet Essay examples

Submitted By lauraebarker
Words: 986
Pages: 4

“Imagine - if you can - not having a conscience, none at all, no feelings of guilt or remorse no matter what you do, no limiting sense of concern for the well-being of strangers, friends, or even family members. Imagine no struggles with shame, not a single one in your whole life, no matter what kind of selfish, lazy, harmful, or immoral action you had taken.”1 (Martha Stout). Hamlet proves to be mentally insane because his desire for revenge conquers his grasp on reality. Throughout the play Hamlet’s figment of imagination, lack of conscience and loss of control reinforce his unstable state of mind. Subsequently, Hamlets sanity is an argument of revenge versus reality.
Hamlet is the victim of imagination, he can hear and see figures that none of the other characters can see. After Hamlet talks to the ghost and finds out his father had been murdered, he is out to avenge on only evidence a ghost has given him. The ghost says to Hamlet “Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder” (Hamlet, 1, 5, 25). From then, Hamlet sets out to kill Claudius. Hamlet’s destructive actions from this point on are solely based on the information from a mystical figure that only he can hear. As well, Hamlet is the only one that the ghost will speak to. When Hamlet is conveying to Marcellus and Horatio about his conversation with the ghost, he can hear the ghost whispering, “Swear!” (Hamlet, 1, 5, 150), but neither Marcellus nor Horatio can hear it. Since, the others cannot hear the ghost; it justifies the possibility of Hamlet imagining it all on his own. When Hamlet is yelling at Gertrude the ghost shows up to prevent Hamlet from harming her. As Hamlet is blaming Gertrude for her sins, the ghost appears and Hamlet asks, “You heavenly guards! What would you, gracious figure?” (3, 4, 106). Gertrude simply states, “Alas! he’s mad” (3, 4, 107) because she cannot see the figure Hamlet is talking to. Hamlet can see the ghost but Gertrude is incapable of doing so, although they are in the same room. But Hamlet’s insanity cannot be based solely on his imagination.
Throughout the play, Hamlet is able to commit murder and conspiracy without developing a guilty conscience. Hamlet plans out the murders of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern and follows it through. When Hamlet finds out Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are escorting him to England to be murdered, he escapes the boat and sends them on their way to their death instead. Hamlet writes to the King of England, “He should the bearers put to sudden death/ Not shriving allow’d” (5, 2, 46-47). So, Hamlet orders their murders and denies them last rights, all along claiming he has complete control of his actions. But, the deaths of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern seem to be gutless and irrational. Horatio is someone Hamlet greatly respects and is the figure of pure sanity throughout the play. When Hamlet tells Horatio what he has done to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Horatio responds, “Why, what a King is this!” (5, 2, 63). Horatio does not agree with Hamlet’s decision and asks him what kind of King he would make. Horatio is completely sane the whole play and even he believes Hamlet has made an unnecessary and rash choice. Hamlet then admits to Horatio that he is conscience-free, that he feels no guilt or regret for his actions. Hamlet declares, “They are not near my conscience,” (5, 2, 58). This proves that Hamlet is guiltless and can perform like a machine without any emotions. Hamlet has no sense of realism, he cannot place any blame on himself for his actions, and with that notion he can create destruction without hesitation.
Hamlet’s “antic disposition” (1, 5, 173) is what commences his new vision upon Denmark and he loses all sense of reality. Hamlet gets so out of control when he is yelling at Gertrude that she honestly fears for