The Theme of Madness and its Significance in Hamlet

In the play, “Hamlet” Shakespeare uses madness as a theme that is at the center of the conflict. The theme is used in the entire play, which is shown through the actions of some characters. Madness can be defined as a mental illness or a condition of a person acting in a way that can be considered insane. Hamlet pretended to be a mad person to try and pretend spy on his uncle after he learned he was the one reason for the killing of his father. Shakespeare used the theme of madness as a way of criticizing the monarchical leadership in Denmark. Hence, the essay will describe the significance of the theme of madness in criticizing the monarchy system of rule in Denmark as used in the play “Hamlet.”

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The author uses the theme to show how long humans can go to by use of their minds. Hamlet decided to pretend to be mad after realizing it could assist him in revenge for the killing of his father. The play is essentially the making of the human mind, and that was the idea of madness. The concept of pretending to be a mad person came into the mind of Hamlet after being warned that the ghost of his father “might deprive your sovereignty of reason and draw you into madness”. Hence, he saw a perfect opportunity which no one could have thought he was pretending.

In the play, Hamlet is seen to be a critic of the monarchy leadership for the death of his father. Hamlet was realized that his mother was not concerned about the death of his father, and instead of the morning, he got seduced by Claudius and got married. As a result, Hamlet was introduced as a person who was in deep mourning. However, he used his fake madness state, and its significance can be seen by the many times Polonius labeled him mad. Polonius said to Gertrude, “your noble son is mad” Gertrude did not seem concerned about the state of Hamlet, but she cared more about the powers and leadership. Therefore, by using the theme of madness, Shakespeare was critical of the monarchical style of governance in Denmark.

The significance of the theme of madness is seen through the way Hamlet uses it to show that Claudius was the guilty person for the killing of King Hamlet to be made the king. Hamlet was aware that he needed to prove the guiltiness of Hamlet before he could kill him to avoid killing him and probably allow him to go to heaven. However, his uncle was aware that he needed to marry Hamlet’s mother. But the obsession of his mother’s remarriage to Claudius made him insane. On many occasions, he could be heard commenting about few times that it took for her mother to get into bed with Claudius, and he said sarcastically, “what should a man do but be merry? For look you cheerful my mother looks, and my father died within’s two hours”. It was evident that Hamlet was in pain for the loss of his father, but his mother’s choice to marry Claudius to become queen only worsened his condition.

The play “Hamlet” shows the huge gap that existed in the monarchy system of leadership that saw Claudius exposing it to become the king instead is of Hamlet. Claudius was aware that by killing king Hamlet when his son was not around created a perfect opportunity for him to be made the King of Denmark. As a result, he executed the heinous acts of killing his brother and married the window to create a perfect opportunity to be made a king. It was only after the ghost of King Hamlet appeared that his son Hamlet came to know the truth behind the murder of his father, and Hamlet stated that “The body is with the King, but the King is not with the body” Hamlet meant that his uncle was the king, but he had no authority since he acquired it through illegal means.

The ineffectiveness of the monarchy system of rule was exposed by Claudio managing to become a kind when the law of kingship states differently. “Kingship is usually given to a son of a deceased king” however, Claudio managed to become a king despite the existence of Hamlet, the son of the deceased king. As a result, Hamlet knew he had to come up with a new strategy to prove that his uncle acted criminally to secure the kingship. Hamlet showed he had leadership quality with “creativity to find a solution”. Hamlet faked his madness and managed to convince everyone that he was mad. His mother came to known about the lies when Hamlet told her that “make you to ravel all this matter out that I essentially am not in madness, but mad in craft”.

In conclusion, Shakespeare used the theme of madness and its significance to criticize the monarchy system of rule. Hamlet had to fake madness to prove that his uncle was guilty of killing his father to become a king. In “Hamlet,” Shakespeare showed the weaknesses in the system through Claudio becoming the king instead of Hamlet. Hamlet was not mad, but the craft got the perfect opportunity to avenge his father.

07 April 2022

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