Describe Hamlet's confrontation with his mother.Would you describe Hamlet as insane at this point in the play?

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mliddell eNotes educator| Certified Educator

After Hamlet's spectacle at The Mousetrap play, where he has had the players insult not only his mother, but Claudius as well, Gertrude calls for Hamlet to chastise him in her bedchamber.  Her complaints quickly succumb to Hamlet's accusations of her whoreish behavior with Claudius, and Hamlet walks her through a rather uncomfortable compare/contrast of King Hamlet and King Claudius's physical characteristics.  Hearing a noise behind the tapestry he believes to be Claudius eavesdropping, a return to the "spying" motif, Hamlet kills Polonius.  At this point, Gertrude believes him to be mad.  It doesn't help that at this point, the Ghost reappears, and only Hamlet can see him. Gertrude watches as her son addresses the empty air, and the Ghost chastises Hamlet, reminding him that he is not to judge his mother, that she is to be left to heaven.  Hamlet leaves, dragging the dead Polonius behind him, having gotten his mother to swear not to share Claudius's bed with him.  Is he crazy? Well, he certainly is overdistraught, acts manical during the play, insulting the fair Ophelia as well as the royal court, then murders an innocent man.  Not sure that qualifies as "crazy" but certainly not normal behavior, and that's without the Ghost sighting to contend with!  Is the ghost real or is it in Hamlet's overburdened mind?  That is a question literary critics have wrestled with at this point in the play.  Remember, in the beginning, all the guards could see the Ghost.