Profesorado de Inglés.
Subject: Language and Literature
Topic: “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare: “madness”.
In this work I am going to talk about a fundamental theme in the story that should be analyzed in order to understand why some important characters died: madness.
To begin with, it is necessary to give the definition of the word“madness” so as to introduce the topic. Madness: it is the quality or condition of being insane.
While reading the play, we can notice that Shakespeare had attributed this condition to different characters that became mad because of different reasons.
First of all, we find Laertes’ madness after his father’s murder. He changed his mind because of hate to Hamlet. He was decided to kill Polonius’murderer by any mean, so he associated to Claudius and both prepared revenge against Hamlet.
Then, another character who became mad was Ophelia (Laertes’ sister). She was in love with Hamlet but her father did not accept that relationship. So, as she was an obedient person, she stopped seen him. Hamlet killed her father accidentally and she could not tolerate that. It was from that moment shestarted acting differently and she decided to drown herself without realizing what she was doing (she was completely mad).
The third character that became apparently mad was Hamlet. But his mental illness cannot be proven because it was maybe a strategy to revenge his father’s death.
I chose to develop this theme because it shows us how characters changed along the play and because it is also acentral point in Shakespeare’s most important tragedy.
The topic is going to be faced from readers’ perspectives and interpretations, explaining what happened to each character that presented this illness.
Now I am going to describe some characteristics of the people named above so as you can understand the signs of madness present in all of them.
When writing the play “Hamlet”,Shakespeare introduced a theme that is essential in the story: “madness”. This characteristic can be noticed not only in one character of the play but also in three of them: Laertes, Ophelia and Hamlet, although it was developed at different degrees.
Laertes is thought to be one unimportant character in the play, at least at the very beginning of it.
Then we can realize he started to gainprominence as he changed his mind because of hate.
Laertes, Ophelia’s brother, was a loyal and honorable person that enjoyed spending time with his family. He used to advise and warn his sister about Hamlet, somebody he disliked a lot.
He became mad as a consequence of anger that grew and grew because his father’s murder and his sister’s death. He, together with Claudius, planned revenge to killHamlet, the responsible of his father’s decease. They went into battle and he killed himself with a poisoned sword while fighting against Hamlet, although he also killed his enemy.
Ophelia, Polonius’ daughter, is one of the statics characters we may find in the plot because she does not present great changes along the play.
She was young and childlike and was loved by her father Polonius and herbrother Laertes very much.
In my opinion her naivety made Hamlet fell in love with her and he started considering this girl as a respectable woman, because before that, he used to see women just as whores.
This young lady felt something strong to Hamlet, she was blindly in love with him, and he knew that. Her father did not want her to see Hamlet or receive any letter from him because he toldher that he was not a good man for her, as he was thought to want just sex. She obeyed Polonius because she was weak, fragile and pure in heart and stopped seen him as she promised her dad.
One day Hamlet was speaking with Gertrude (his mother) while Polonius was hidden behind the curtain although Ophelia had told her lover that her father was at home. This made the main character (Hamlet)...