Insanity of Hamlet and Ophelia
Hamlet’s insanity comes from his passion to get revenge and grief over his fathers death, while Ophelia has true and justified insanity. Hamlet has reason behind his madness, he is saddened by his father’s death, planning on how to kill his uncle, and his mind is in a fragile place throughout the play. Ophelia is very naive, defenseless, and loyal to the men in her life. She cannot contend with difficulties that occur during the play such as, her father dying, Hamlet’s attitude towards her, and her lack of judgement. The are both insane yet have different reasons and ranging motives behind their insanity.
Hamlet is in a unique situation where he his mother has married his uncle, Claudius, and his father has been murdered by his uncle. He wants nothing but revenge for his father. Hamlet is obsessed with proving Claudius guilty. Hamlet receives a lot of pressure from the ghost of his father to achieve revenge and feels like he has some sort of responsibility to get revenge for his father. Hamlet is hasty, erratic, and does not really think about his actions. When he stabs Polonius thinking that it is Claudius hiding behind the curtains, he does not even bother to look behind the curtain he just does it.
His wild elocution and deranged actions upset other characters and set them up for other actions. When Hamlet repetitively acts nastily towards Ophelia she winds up committing suicide . When Hamlet says, “ Get thee to a nunnery! ” to Ophelia she even questions Hamlet’s sanity at that point and may have been a contribution to Ophelia’s suicide. Hamlet is also upset with his mother, Gertrude, for marrying Claudius so fast after his fathers death. Hamlet feels betrayed by his mother and is enraged with her.
In the play Hamlet tells Gertrude how much better his father was than Claudius and tries to make her promise how much better his father was than Claudius. Hamlet says to Gertrude in Act 3 Scene 4, “Mother, you have my father much offended. ” Hamlet feels like his mother has betrayed his father and is angry. Hamlet makes Gertrude feel guilty for doing this. Ophelia madness is brought upon by her love for Hamlet, her loyalty to men, the death of her father, her lover killing her father, and many other things. Hamlet and Ophelia’s relationship is not based on love, but almost around their insanity.
It seems as if Hamlet does not really love Ophelia until she passes and then he finally realizes his true love for her. Hamlet states in Act 5 Scene 1,”I loved Ophelia. Forty-thousand brothers could not with all their quantity of love make up my sum. What wilt thou do for her? ”. Ophelia truly loves Hamlet and thinks that Hamlet loves her the same way, she is traumatized by the fact that Hamlet shuns her and is rude to her. While watching the play in the castle Hamlet says to Ophelia, “That’s a fair thought to lie between maids’ legs. ” His rude comment to Ophelia causes her to become distraught.
Hamlet is a possible cause of Ophelia’s suicide. When she finds out that Hamlet has killed her father she talks in riddles, rhymes, and sings songs about death and virginity. In Act 4 Scene 5 Ophelia sings, “Larded with sweet flowers which bewept to the grave did not go with true-love showers. ” Ophelia is hysterical over the fact that Hamlet had killed her father and this is where she completely loses her sanity. She listens to all the men in her life and follows their commands. Polonius and Laertes tell Ophelia to not see Hamlet and that Hamlet does not love her.
Laertes states to Ophelia in Act 1 Scene 3, “Perhaps he loves you now, and now no soil nor cautel doth besmirch the virtue of his will but you must fear. ” Laertes is telling Ophelia that Hamlet only wants her love now and will be done with her later. She believes Laertes and does not think for herself. Ophelia is an unpredictable woman who is confused by the males in her life. Ophelia and Hamlet are both undoubtedly insane, but at times Hamlet is on the brink of sanity. Ophelia is clearly crazy throughout the play. She is wild, emotional, and is operated by others.
Hamlet’s madness has a source behind it and is at times a sham to throw off others. He is frazzled by his fathers’ death and getting revenge for his father by killing Claudius. He also is angered over the fact that Gertrude, his mother, married Claudius, his uncle, so quickly. Hamlet states in Act 1 scene 2, “ The funeral baked meats did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables. ” He is saying that his mother got married so quickly that the left overs from the funeral could cater the wedding. His relationship with Ophelia tears at his heart. He tells Ophelia that “a woman’s love is brief” during the play within a play nd makes sexual remarks to her. He is very passionate about his fathers death but not about Rosencrantz and Guildenstern’s death .
Hamlet is so enveloped in getting revenge for his father, that he does not even care about the death of his two friends. Hamlet is deep in his plot for revenge against Claudius, he makes himself “crazy” over it. Hamlet and a few others are the only ones that see the ghost, people who do not see the ghost think Hamlet and the others are mad. Hamlet’s relationship with his mother was ruined after she marries Claudius. He feels betrayed by her and his mind is filled with memories of his father.
Hamlet has crude passion and purpose behind his insane feelings. Ophelia is entirely insane. Hamlet’s insanity comes from the passion to get revenge for his father’s murder on Claudius and his mother for getting married so quickly to Claudius. Hamlet and Ophelia are both crazy, but Ophelia is absolutely insane and cannot handle the struggles of life. Hamlet could have possibly gotten over his insanity and dealt with his feelings, but his passion for revenge took him over. They are both insane and unstable people as Shakespeare indicates through their deaths.