Friday, November 15, 2019
Was Prince Hamlet Mentally Ill?
Was Prince Hamlet Mentally Ill? Does Prince Hamlet, protagonist of the tragedy of the same name, demonstrate to have some kind of mental illness, most precisely bipolar disorder? Was he faking his madness? During the centuries, since 1601, when the Bard of Avon wrote The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, scholars and professors, and not only them, asked themselves why Hamlet was behaving like this, changing his behaviour from Act to Act, from scene to scene. Before the modern discoveries in psychiatry, he would have been said to be suffering from intellectual melancholy due to an excess of black bile. Now, not even having read Freud, a person can identify Hamlet as bipolar. What is bipolarity? Bipolarity is a mental disorder and causes mood swings, severe depression, extreme feelings and confusion. Bipolarity can be a consequence of a traumatic stressing situation, detail that correspond to Hamlets story. Before analyzing different cases, the first thing to do should be observing the character: he is a twenty-year-old college student who is not allowed to return to school, the only place where he can truly feel himself; his father was murdered not even one month before his mother remarried with his uncle, his fathers brother; overcome by grief, he shows signs of depression and to make his life worse he is in an on-and-off relationship with this girl, Ophelia, daughter of Polonius, chief counsellor to the king. All these details suggest a positive answer to the proposed question. Since Gertrudes marriage, Hamlet is continuously told not to be sad and get over King Hamlets death: How is it that the clouds still hang on you? (Act I, Scene II, 65) and Good Hamlet, cast thy knighted colour off, (Act I, Scene II, 67). His mother is speaking these words, adding also to change his clothes, too dark for days of joy. Hamlet answers (Act I, Scene II, 77-86) telling her that wearing nice clothes is not a stressful worry: he is declaring his depression, and with it the will to commit suicide forced breath (Act I, Scene II, 79) and the fact that he has no more control on his dejection. This is one of many times Hamlet thinks of killing himself; after less than fifty verses later, he prays that his flesh would melt into dew and he is angry for the fact that God is contrary to self-slaughter (Act I, Scene II, 129-133). Hamlet is hesitant of putting an end to his life because he fears that in the afterlife he could suffer more. Indecision and doubt are qualities of a bipo lar person. Throughout the play, Hamlets mood changes happen within a matter of seconds. One minute he is complaining about his mothers adulterous behavior, the next he is so happy to see his friend Horatio. His actions are no more clear headed. In Act I, Scene IV, Hamlet follows his presumed fathers ghost, thoughtless movement according to the belief in his time that the apparition of a ghost could have condemned his soul. Horatio is troubled and tries in vain to stop him: Hamlet responds, Why, what should be the fear?/ I do not set my life at a pins fee; (Act I, Scene IV, 45-47); he considers his life less worth than a pin. He doesnt care of the consequences: he shows lack of judgement and excessive self-esteem, all symptoms of a manic depression. At a one point of the play, in Act III, his bipolarity reaches its climax: if a person has read Hamlets letters to Ophelia, he or she understood that he has deep feelings for her To the celestial, and my souls idol, the most beautified Ophelia-/ But never doubt I love. (Act II, Scene II, 111,114). But after his most famous soliloquy To be or not to be, he attacks every certainty she has about him: Get thee to a nunnery. tells her Hamlet, Why, wouldst thou be a breeder of/ sinners? (Act III, Scene I, 122-123). He speaks with abnormal and extreme cruelty; his words are vicious and lewd, suggesting that Ophelia is a whore (nowadays, people would use the term brothel instead of nunnery). At this time, the skeptics, suggesting the argument that Hamlets insanity was fake and everything was a plan to avenge his father, are without evidence: Hamlets brutality against the only delicate personality in the Danish court has been useless; his plans did not advance by turning Ophelia into madness . Hamlet is mad, faking mad and going mad. His madness is devouring his soul: he is depressed, irritable, confused, excessively angry with everyone, but excessively happy for trifles, he has suicidal thoughts and he sets unreachable goals, even though at times he is brilliant. Many people could say that Hamlet is simply mad, but, having documented all this variety of symptoms, in my opinion one can conclude that Hamlet was suffering from a bipolar disorder. BIBLIOGRAPHY Antonia. Fall 2015 Shakespeare I: Team 4. Fall 2015 Shakespeare I Team 4. N.p., 7 Dec. 2015. Web. 14 Feb. 2017. . Hamlet. Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2017. . Labourin, Maddison. Investing Depression in the Character of Hamlet. Prezi.com. N.p., 27 Nov. 2014. Web. 9 Feb. 2017. . Marraccini, Christina. Hamlets Modern Day Diagnosis. Christina Marraccini, 3 July 2009. Web. 6 Feb. 2017. . McManamy, John. Hamlets BattlesWith Depression and Mania. Hamlets BattlesWith Depression and Mania Mania and Manic Episodes Bipolar. N.p., 22 Feb. 2007. Web. 14 Feb. 2017. . Mental Disorder. Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 09 Feb. 2017. .  Christina Marraccini, Hamlets Modern Day Diagnosis (Christina Marraccini), 3 July 2009  Wikimedia Foundation, Mental disorder (Wikipedia) Alfred Lord Tennyson: An Analysis Alfred Lord Tennyson: An Analysis Discuss death and immorality in the poetry of Alfred Lord Tennyson. Tennyson was a prolific poet, his poetry ranged from being relatively joyful to upon investigation and scrutiny very nihilist and pessimistic in tone, the subjects he wrote on were not lacking in variety. Prominent themes in his poetry were both death and immorality. One of his most prominent and well known poems that falls into both these categories was memorandum soul; this poem entered thought into the notion of the a meditation on the journey of one persons life, Tennyson wrote this meditation about his deceased friend Arthur Henry Hennelson. Whether it be the inspiration or a source of a caveat the death of this person leaves behind was something Tennyson chose to discover through his poetry. The poem also deals with the journey one faces upon death and how the individual chooses to deal with it. Using metaphor to represent different paths through life. Its very lengthy; lasting dozens of stanzas, each one it could be said metaphorically representing a different chapter in his f riends life alongside being a vessel of expression of the evolving times of the Victorian period of which the poem was written during. TennysonÃ¢â¬â¢s poetry can be tied into the foolÃ¢â¬â¢s gold theory when burying treasure in the past old miners used to leave a small amount of gold buried above their true treasure trove so that in the case of someone uncovering its location theyÃ¢â¬â¢ll only dig to the extent of finding the first smaller parcel of gold believing it to be the full and complete package. We can apply the same frame of thinking around TennysonÃ¢â¬â¢s modus operandi of his poetry; did he intend for only those who put in the effort of reading and contemplating his works to get the full message of them. While those who only glance over his work will receive their just reward of a foolÃ¢â¬â¢s gold, or in other words a message fit for someone who canÃ¢â¬â¢t comprehend let alone handle the truth. An example of this can be seen in his poem Ã¢â¬Å"After-ThoughtÃ¢â¬ In this poem, at first glance if we look at things as they are plainly laid out we might think Tennyson is portraying the passing o f someone and the inherent motions one goes through when someone dies I thought of Thee, my partner and my guide, As being past away. -Vain sympathies!. However when we read further into the poem we can see that Tennyson develops his poem into an investigation into a perception of the human condition, how one deals with their mortality and inherent unavoidable death To live, and act, and serve the future hour; And if, as toward the silent tomb we go, Through love, through hope, and faiths transcendent dower, We feel that we are greater than we know. Tennyson portrays that the average person deludes themselves into thinking that theyre important when he realises that in reality this harsh world wont even bat an eyelid if an individual were to die. As time passes by in Tennysons life he changes as a human being, and feels the pain of this change; the ever-present personal evolution of his mindset and persona as a poet is intensified by his inclination toward increasing darkness, immorality and depravity in his poetry, a key example of this can be seen throughout In Memorandum; the poem took many years for Tennyson to create which portrays his modus operandi and how it evolved over a long period of time, from the prologue of the poem; the quote Forgive my grief for one removed,Thy creature, whom I found so fair. I trust he lives in thee, and thereI find him worthier to be loved. while still relatively un-colourful and when contrasted to other poets of the era may be considered dark, it contrasts lightly to the progressive stanzas in Tennysons poem. For instance nearing the end of the poem the quote O life as futile, then, as frail!O for thy voice to soothe and bless!What hope of answer, or redress?Behind the veil, behind the vei l. portrays a very strong sense of hopelessness or inevitability of loss of control in life that Tennyson may have feared realising how ugly life can turn upon the death of his friend . We can see this sentiment present throughout In Memorandum Ã¢â¬Å"Who trusted God was love indeed , And love CreationÃ¢â¬â¢s final law- ThoÃ¢â¬â¢ Nature, red in tooth and claw, With ravine, shriekÃ¢â¬â¢d against his creedÃ¢â¬ . Through the examination of both religion and mourning for his dead friend the poet aims to attain a more rounded comprehension of the destruction his friends death lead to and how he through writing the lengthy poem attempts to come to terms with it. From these various points we can conclude that throughout his life and his work Tennyson never stopped developing and growing as a person and inherently as a writer, his moods and temperament may have progressed toward a more downbeat variant as time went on but his commitment to his craft of poetry never wavered and it was his unwavering commitment that has propagated Tennyson to the levels of understanding he reached while he was still writing and also to his legacy as one of the finest poetÃ¢â¬â¢s to have lived which lasts to this day. Bibliography Josef L. Altholz The Mind and Art of Victorian England. Victorian Web. Retrieved 6 November 2007. Tennysons Poetry, Alfred Tennyson,Robert W. Hill Jr. new york W. W. Norton Company1999 print Tennyson: In Memoriamby Susan Shatto; Marion ShawReview by:Edgar F. Shannon, Jr. Modern Philology, Vol. 82, No. 2 (Nov., 1984) , pp. 214-216 tennysons poetry Tennysons In Memoriam 74.By: Fontana, Ernest, Explicator, 00144940, Spring92, Vol. 50, Issue 3 this thought process a blow-away paper the rain had brought to rest. cited again as the line The news of a day Ive forgotten If I ever read it portrays.Despite contemplation we cant truly know where our choices may have led us if we chose a different road, A patch of old snow portrays this notion brooding over what could have been but also p