Hamlet: Method in the Madness
Method in the Madness: Hamlet’s Sanity Supported Through HisRelation to Ophelia and Edgar’s Relation to Lear
In both Hamlet and King Lear, Shakespeare incorporates a theme ofmadness with two characters: one truly mad, and one only actingmad to serve a motive. The madness of Hamlet is frequentlydisputed. This paper argues that the contrapuntal character ineach play, namely Ophelia in Hamlet and Edgar in King Lear, actsas a balancing
showed first 75 words of 1698 total
showed last 75 words of 1698 total
to resolve their situations. In this way, they are sharplycontrasted with the mad Lear and Ophelia, whose insanity is notquestioned by themselves or other characters in either play.Neither after displaying madness make any rational decisions thatwould lead the reader to believe in their sanity. Thus, theargument that Hamlet is truly mad refutes his ability to actrationally and discounts the dramatic device of Ophelia (as Learis to Edgar) as a contrapuntal example of true insanity.