Is Hamlet crazy, or is everyone else just suspicious? Give evidence from the text to prove if Hamlet is crazy, or if Hamlet is not crazy.
Madness, real and pretend, is a recurring motif in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The title character, Hamlet, tells his friends after meeting the ghost of his father and learning his father was murdered by his uncle, "I perchance hereafter shall think meet / To put an antic disposition on" (1.5.171-172). Hamlet is warning them that he plans to behave strangely. While he doesn’t say why it is assumed that he plans to act like he is crazy so that King Claudius is distracted and fails to notice he is planning revenge.
Later, Ophelia tells her father, Polonius , about Hamlet’s strange visit to her closet. She describes him as entering with his shirt undone, his socks around his ankles, his knees knocking together, and with no hat on his head. To add to the strangeness of the visit she reports Hamlet only grabbed her by the wrist, then let go and backed away,...
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