The NO, HE WAS SANE side:
Hamlet tells Horatio that he is going to "feign madness," and that if Horatio notices any strange behaviour from Hamlet, it is because he is putting on an act. [Act i, Scene v, lines 166-180] Hamlet's madness only manifests itself when he is in the presence of certain characters. When Hamlet is around Polonius, Claudius, Gertrude, Ophelia, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, he behaves irrationally. When Hamlet is around Horatio, Bernardo,
showed first 75 words of 734 total
showed last 75 words of 734 total
play could not proceed as it does if the guards were to hear what Hamlet id. It is the ghost of Hamlet's father who tells him, "but howsomever thou pursues this act, / Taint not thy mind. (I.v.84-5)" Later, when Hamlet sees the ghost again in his mothers room, her amazement at his madness is quite convincing. Yet one must take into consideration the careful planning of the ghost's credibility earlier in the play.