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Hamlet´s Antic Disposition, A Truth Or A Staging


Hamlet is a popular play about which there has been a great deal of debate. Many people wonder whether his madness and his antic disposition were real or if they were staged by Hamlet himself. There is a great deal of evidence that conforms to the latter.

There is a great deal of evidence that supports the idea that Hamlet deliberately faked his fits of madness in order to disconcert and confuse not only the king but also his attendants. In the first act he avowed any intention to act in an odd way or to put an antic disposition on. But there are other pieces of evidence as well. He states to his old friend that the aunt-mother and the uncle-father were both deceived and that he is not mad. His friend later states that the Hamlet’s madness was craft and craft alone.

In the Closest Scene Hamlet speaks to his mother and says that there is a belief in the court that he is mad and he tells her that he is only pretending to be mad in order to get his object. The idea that he made his madness appear real shows that he is quite intelligent and a great actor. In the play it seems the only ones to regard Hamlet as truly mad include the king and the king’s henchmen but even they have doubts. The first one to declare that Hamlet was mad is Polonius and even he believes the madness is only a result of Ophelia repelling his love. This poor girl has no idea what real sanity is nor can she truly judge what lunacy is. She is unable to enter into the depths of Hamlet’s mind and she cannot understand how her personal conduct is incoherent or strange. It seems to suit the king to accept Polonius’ declaration that Hamlet is mad and yet the king never seems to accept it entirely. He even instructs his henchmen to ascertain why he is faking his insanity. Soon enough the king admits that the actions of Hamlet make him melancholy but not mad.

Overall the debate about whether Hamlet’s madness was real or staged can go on forever. The same supporting arguments can be made and the same non supporting arguments can be made. In truth only conjecture is left alongside debate. But in this instance it seems that more evidence points toward it being nothing but a staging.

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