What are some quotes showing Hamlet's madness in Hamlet?

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Shortly after he first sees the ghost, Hamlet tells Horatio he will pretend to be mad (crazy). He calls this seeming madness "an antic disposition":

How strange or odd some'er I bear myself
(As I perchance hereafter shall think meet
To put an antic disposition on)

He will be doing this to confuse the people around him as he investigates and determines what to do about the ghost's revelation. He also knows the shocking news will affect him emotionally, and people will notice this, so he wants them to have an explanation for his behavior. This is an instance of dramatic irony, in which the audience knows what most of the characters in the play do not.

I am but mad north-north-west: when the wind is
southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw.

Hamlet says this to "play" or deceive to fawning courtiers Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, but as Claudius will later note, there's a method to Hamlet's madness. Hamlet is telling these men he is only mad sometimes: when the wind comes from the right direction (he is around people he trusts), he knows what is going on.

What makes the play interesting, however, is the questions it raises about whether Hamlet really does have fits of madness caused by the intense stress of what he knows and his inner turmoil over what to do about it. At the moment he confronts Gertrude in her chamber, has he finally been pushed over the edge into mental breakdown? Gertrude seems to think so as she watches him address what to her is empty air. He looks crazy to her with his wild eyes and his hair standing on end. She speaks of his madness as a "distemper." We as an audience have to wonder if Hamlet is really seeing the ghost or suffering a hallucination, because in its earlier incarnations, other could see the ghost, too. She says to Hamlet,

Alas, how is't with you,
That you do bend your eye on vacancy
And with the incorporal air do hold discourse?
Forth at your eyes your spirits wildly peep,
And, as the sleeping soldiers in the alarm,
Your bedded hair...
Starts up, and stands on end. O gentle son,
Upon the heat and flame of thy distemper
Sprinkle cool patience!

In the quote below, Gertrude, explaining to Claudius how Hamlet murdered Polonius, says he is mad in a way that suggests she understands he is being ripped apart by his inner conflict. She uses a simile as she likens him to a furious wind and sea doing battle:

Mad as the sea and wind when both contend
Which is the mightier.

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In Shakespeare's Hamlet, Hamlet himself raises the issue of madness when he tells Horatio that he will "...put an antic disposition on" (I.v):  act insane.  This is part of his plan to get revenge.  His act is convincing, as seen from Claudius's famous line:  "Madness in great ones must not unwatched go."  The Queen also considers Hamlet mad.  When asked how Hamlet is she replies:

Mad as the sea and wind when both contend

Which is the mightier....(Iv.i)

Two issues confuse the question of Hamlet's madness, however.  One, is he pretending to be mad throughout the play, or does he actually cross over into madness at some point in the play?  Second, Hamlet is certainly depressed or melancholic in the play.  How does this depression relate to what the characters refer to as "madness"?

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I would say that there are a lot of quotes that can show how Hamlet appears to be mad.  The first one I can think of comes when he sees Polonius and says Polonius is a fishmonger.  He follows that up by telling Polonius not to let his daughter walk in the sun for fear she'll become pregnant.

Then, when he talks to Ophelia, he says nonsensical things at times and he contradicts himself.  He tells her in one breath that he used to love her and in the next he tells her that he did not.

My favorite quote about his madness, though, is one where he seems to be saying he is not crazy.  That is the one where he says that, when the wind is blowing from the correct direction, he can tell the difference between a "hawk and a handsaw."

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What quotes from Shakespeare's play Hamlet that support the idea that Hamlet was mad?

There are numerous incidents and quotes in Shakespeare’s Hamlet to which we can point as potential proof that Hamlet is mad. In the first act, after his father’s ghost tells Hamlet he has been murdered and asks him to avenge him, Hamlet returns to Horatio and Marcellus, who ask how things went with the ghost. Hamlet becomes defensive, claiming they will spread any news he shares, and despite the fact they say they will not, Hamlet tells them to go about their own business, and he will go pray. They respond, “These are but wild and whirling words, my lord” (1.5.127-134). They are essentially telling Hamlet he is not making sense.

Later, Ophelia, the woman Hamlet (supposedly) loves, tells Polonius that Hamlet badly frightened her when he

with his doublet all unbraced;
No hat upon his head; his stockings foul'd,
Ungarter'd, and down-gyved to his ancle;
Pale as his shirt; his knees knocking each other;
And with a look so piteous in purport
As if he had been loosed out of hell
To speak of horrors (2.1.1035-1041).

Polonius brushes it off, asking if perhaps it is madness prompted by the depth of Hamlet’s love for Ophelia that has made him appear so, but Ophelia goes on:

He took me by the wrist and held me hard; 
Then goes he to the length of all his arm, 
And, with his other hand thus o'er his brow, 
He falls to such perusal of my face 
As he would draw it. Long stay'd he so.
At last, a little shaking of mine arm, 
And thrice his head thus waving up and down, 
He rais'd a sigh so piteous and profound 
As it did seem to shatter all his bulk 
And end his being. That done, he lets me go, 
And with his head over his shoulder turn'd 
He seem'd to find his way without his eyes, 
For out o' doors he went without their help 
And to the last bended their light on me. (2.1.1046-1059)

Basically she says that Hamlet grabbed her wrist, touched her face as if he were going to paint it, then starting bobbing his head up and down like he had gone crazy, then left the room without taking his eyes from her face. Polonius determines then that Hamlet has gone crazy because he has not been able to see or be near Ophelia.

Later still, Hamlet goes to visit his mother, hears someone, who turns out to be Polonius, behind the curtains, and kills him. His father’s ghost reappears, but significantly, Hamlet is the only one who can see him. To this point, others have also always seen the ghost, but now, when Hamlet alone can see and hear him, his mother declares that he is mad (3.4.2500-2540).

Last, when facing Laertes in a duel over Polonius’s murder, Hamlet makes his own declaration, stating that he killed Polonius in a fit of madness:

Give me your pardon, sir. I have done you wrong; 
But pardon't, as you are a gentleman. 
This presence knows,
And you must needs have heard, how I am punish'd 
With sore distraction. What I have done 
That might your nature, honour, and exception 
Roughly awake, I here proclaim was madness. (5.2.3863-3869)

There are also other possible indications of Hamlet’s insanity, such as his violent mood swings, especially with his mother, and his irrational behaviors, such as boarding a pirate ship with no backup and killing his friends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern for no particular reason. The problem is, however, that Hamlet tells us at the beginning of the play that he intends to act mad:

Here, as before, never, so help you mercy, 
How strange or odd soe'er I bear myself 
(As I perchance hereafter shall think meet 
To put an antic disposition on),
That you, at such times seeing me, never shall, 
With arms encumb'red thus, or this head-shake, 
Or by pronouncing of some doubtful phrase, 
As 'Well, well, we know,' or 'We could, an if we would,' 
Or 'If we list to speak,' or 'There be, an if they might,' 
Or such ambiguous giving out, to note 
That you know aught of me- (1.5.922-932)

Then, when he sees the ghost in his mother’s chamber, and she tells him he is mad, he assures her that he “essentially [is] not in madness, [b]ut mad in craft” (3.4.2592-2593).  Hamlet also tells Guildenstern that he is faking madness:

Hamlet: [M]y uncle-father and aunt-mother are deceived

Guildenstern: In what, my dear lord.

Hamlet: I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw. (2.2.1457-1461)

So although there are quotes in this play that seem to indicate Hamlet is truly mad, there are equally as many that call into question the veracity of his madness. In the end, it is perhaps more his behaviors that allow for an analysis of his sanity.

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What are some quotes from Hamlet that indicate that he is actually mad?

After he sees the ghost and hears his revelations, Hamlet tells Horatio that he is going to pretend to be mad, but not to worry: it is all a ruse that will keep the other people in the court off kilter. However, there does seem to be one point in the play where Hamlet has gotten so frenzied that he has possibly tipped into madness. This is when he confronts his mother in her bedchamber about Claudius.

In act 3, scene 4, Hamlet, who has just refrained from killing Claudius because he believes he is praying, talks to his mother about why she married Claudius. His language is quite harsh, and she fears he will kill her, so she cries out. Polonius, who is hiding behind the tapestry, moves, and Hamlet impulsively kills him, thinking he is Claudius.

In this scene, Hamlet cries out that he sees his father's ghost. However, unlike on the ramparts at the beginning of the play, when Horatio and the guards saw the ghost as well as Hamlet, his mother sees nothing. This suggests that at this moment Hamlet may be hallucinating. Some quotes for act 3, scene 4 that indicate madness are as follows. Hamlet sees the ghost (or so he thinks) and says aloud:

"Save me and hover o'er me with your wings,
You heavenly guards!—What would your gracious figure?"
Gertrude, seeing nothing says:
"Alas, he’s mad!"
A little later, as Hamlet speaks to ghost, Gertrude tells him how mad he looks, with hair standing on end, speaking to nothing, and behaving excitedly:
"Alas, how is ’t with you,
That you do bend your eye on vacancy
And with th' incorporal air do hold discourse?
Forth at your eyes your spirits wildly peep,
And, as the sleeping soldiers in th' alarm,
Your bedded hair, like life in excrements,
Starts up and stands on end. O gentle son,
Upon the heat and flame of thy distemper
Sprinkle cool patience. Whereon do you look?"
She also says:
"This the very coinage of your brain."
By this she means he is hallucinating.
It is out of character for Hamlet to act with impulsive violence as he does when he stabs Polonius. It is also out of character for the ghost to show up inside the castle.
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What are some quotes from Hamlet that indicate that he is actually mad?

First, it is important to note that most scholars believe that Hamlet is not actually mad, and Hamlet himself explicitly says that he is ultimately in command of his actions. But many of the other characters in the play seem to believe he is mad. Polonius first raises the issue, claiming that the madness can be traced to Hamlet's unrequited love for Ophelia:

That he is mad, 'tis true: 'tis true 'tis pity; 
And pity 'tis 'tis true—a foolish figure!

Ophelia herself bemoans what she views as Hamlet's descent into madness:

O, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown! 
The courtier's, scholar's, soldier's, eye, tongue, sword, The expectancy and rose of the fair state, 
The glass of fashion and the mould of form, 
The observed of all observers, quite, quite down! ...That unmatched form and feature of blown youth Blasted with ecstasy.

Claudius is not completely convinced that Hamlet is actually mad, but fears him in any case, saying that "Madness in great ones must not unwatch'd go."

Furthermore, after her encounter with Hamlet, Gertrude tells her husband that she is convinced that he is "mad as the sea and wind when both contend which is the mightier." This is, to some extent, a ruse. Though Gertrude was very disturbed to see him speaking to the ghost of his father, which she could not see, she is also doing as Hamlet has instructed by portraying him as mad, and, perhaps, trying to shield him from culpability for the death of Polonius. It is unclear whether she actually believes him mad.


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What are some quotes about "madness" from Hamlet?

Hamlet announcing that he might pretend to be mad:

As I perchance hereafter shall think meet
To put an antic disposition on—

Later Polonius thinks:

... I have found
The very cause of Hamlet's lunacy.

He argues that it is because his daughter, Ophelia, has rejected Hamlet's advances. Hamlet, Polonius thinks, then:

Fell into a sadness, then into a fast,
Thence to a watch, thence into a weakness
Thence to a lightness, and, by this declension,
Into the madness wherein now he raves,
And all we mourn for.

Act 4, Scene 5, has an abundance of good quotes about Ophelia's madness. Lastly, here's Hamlet's Act 5, Scene 2, apology to Laertes in which he argues that his madness is responsible for most of his behaviour:

What I have done
That might your nature, honour, and exception
Roughly awake, I here proclaim was madness.
Was't Hamlet wrong'd Laertes? Never Hamlet.
If Hamlet from himself be taken away,
And when he's not himself does wrong Laertes,
Then Hamlet does it not, Hamlet denies it.
Who does it, then? His madness. If't be so,
Hamlet is of the faction that is wrong'd;
His madness is poor Hamlet's enemy.

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