Was Hamlet crazy? if so, why? Was Hamlet crazy? if so, why?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I do not think Hamlet was crazy.  I think he was young and confused, and highly overwhelmed.  He snapped, but that does not mean he was mentally ill.  He does seem to have been having hallucinations and talked to himself, but those are signs of stress.

accessteacher eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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This is obviously a very debatable question. On the one hand, he certainly behaves as if he is mad: he acts in a deranged way in various scenes of the play, not least when he appears to Ophelia in a deranged state and then in Act III scene 1 calls her a whore. However, the major argument that is used to suggest he is not mad is that he announces his plans to adopt an "antic disposition" to Horatio and Marcellus in Act I. There therfore seems to be enough evidence to suggest both possibilities.

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booboosmoosh eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In the play, Hamlet says that he is only crazy when he wants to be. He warns Horatio that he should be prepared to see Hamlet pretend to act crazy, and not to act in an unusual way when this happens.

Hamlet shares his thoughts, allowing that if he acts...

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