In Shakespeare’s play of “Hamlet”, Hamlet is given a difficult situation to deal with.
He is encountered with the murder and vengeance of his father, King Hamlet. Throughout the play the audiance is given the chance to decide if Hamlet is actually “mad” or “mad in craft”. I portray the situation as Hamlet acting his madness in craft and acting to gain revenge for his father’s death. Hamlet must be mad in craft because has a full awareness of the situations that go on around him. When Hamlet acts as a madman he always has the perfect response or line to say.
When he is talking to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Hamlet is smart enough to realize their true purpose to see him., Hamlet tells Rosencrantz and Guildenstern that he is not really mad. “I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw.” Hamlet uses his words very specifically to avoid questions and avoid any suspicions of his fake madness.
Later one he uses his father’s stamp to get them both killed. This is such a devious and intelligent plan. Even for a sane man this plan is very cruel but it is another example of how Hamlet is truly not mad. Hamlet, in the same conversation with Polonius, is so creative in his responses that he creates a sense of madness to Polonius and the readers.
“Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t..” Hamlet’s use of role-playing a madman combined with his intelligent comments and conversations prove that he is truly too smart to be a mad. Hamlet does not think as a person who is mad would. When Hamlet sees Claudius praying in the church he thinks very logically.
He realizes that if he kills Claudius right now, Claudius would go to heaven and Hamlet wouldnt get the full revenge he was looking for. “Now might I do it, now he is a-praying, and now I’ll do’t. And so he goes to heaven, and so am I revenged…
A villain kills my father, and for that I, his sole son, do this same villain send to heaven.” His thoughts to himself are so keen and inventive that it would almost be impossible for him to be a madman. He is putting on an act of madness and fooling everyone.. In his soliliquie he has debates with himself about his life and the others around him. For example, he realizes that his father’s ghost might be a trap so decides to write a play to find out for himself.
“I’ll have these players play something like the murder of my father before mine uncle. I’ll observe his looks; I’ll tent him to the quick…The spirit that I have seen may be a devil…
.” In his famous “to be or not to be” soliloquy Hamlet is thinking straight. He creates a list of good and bad things about his life and reflects on his situation. Hamlet comprehends situations to well to be in madness. Throughout the play we see that every decision that Hamlet makes is very thought out and he is very careful with what he does. All the other characters buy into his madness and he is able to follow through with his plan.
We can see that it is almost impossible for him to be mad. It is much easier for a sane man to act mad than for a mad man to act sane.