The Question of Madness in Shakespeare’s Hamlet

The Question of Madness in Shakespeare’s Hamlet

You will probably think that there is hardly any other essay topic that has been more discussed than the question of madness in Hamlet written by Shakespeare. Undoubtedly, Hamlet belongs to the classics of literature, but what makes it so popular among researchers is its central theme – madness, or insanity. No matter whether you have chosen this topic for the research paper yourself or whether you have been assigned the topic by your professor, I should assure you that there is plenty of research and available materials on the Internet. So, which are the most important aspects of the literary work?

The Question of Insanity

Madness can be regarded as a central motif in the literary work. What the reader has to do is to grasp the difference between analyzing the issue of insanity in Hamlet as a hero and madness generally in the literary work.

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Arguments Regarding the Question of Insanity

There are numerous arguments that one can make while reading the play. Some of the most popularly voiced are the following:

  • Hamlet is undoubtedly mad
  • This one is not the commonest argument that might be developed in the essay, as it would not guarantee that you will write a well-developed and coherent paper with sufficient word count limit. Usually, when you take such position while writing your essay, there is not much to write and analyze.

  • Hamlet is far from being insane, but his behavior is merely affectation
  • When providing such claim in an essay, the writer needs to support his/ her argument and justify it. Besides, the writer needs to provide motivations for Hamlet’s behavior and analyze them.

  • Hamlet is not actually insane
  • On the contrary: some other person (or people) is making everything possible to picture him as a mad man.

When putting forward such argument, you will definitely demonstrate your creativity. However, supporting such opinion might be rather difficult.

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You might want to answer the following questions in your paper:

  • How exactly is Hamlet’s behavior under control? Under whose control?
  • Is he being pushed to the limits?

Is He being Poisoned?

All in all, as you see, one is free to develop any argument he/ she can support and justify. There is no definite answer to the question of madness in Hamlet. So, when writing your own paper, be as convincing as possible.