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Methodical Madness

POLONIUS, [aside] Though this be madness, yet there is method in 't.
~Hamlet by William Shakespeare, Act 2. Scene 2.

I think this quote pretty much sets the theme for this entire play. Most of what happens is "madness." I know in class we talked about how you can interpret Hamet's character in many different ways. The two most prominent are the black and white--he's insane or he's not insane. My own interpretation of him is that he may be slightly crazy, but at least some of his sanity is intact. As Polonius says, there is method to Hamlet's madness. He murders Polonius because he mistakenly thinks he's Claudius. It is not just some random murder like some of the characters may believe. He may very well even just act crazy in order to throw Claudius off balance. Who knows?


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Comments (3)

Diana Geleskie:

I agree with you, there is method in the madness.
However, it is really hard to think of Hamlet as entirely sane in the scene he kills Polonius. I mean he drags the corpse around afterward and doesn't seem affected by it at all!
I guess what I'm saying is that our buddy Hamlet is insane only about the single act of destroying his step-father. (Similar to how Minor is insane except in the single act of making the dictionary?)

Hamlet, at least in the beginning of the story, is acting crazy to distact the others while he verifies what he is told by the ghost. Hamlet was not "crazy": he knew at every moment, sans the Polonius incident, what he was doing. Hamlet was aloof to the other's intentions, nearly always a step ahead.

Kevin "Kelo The Great" Hinton:

Of course, Hamlet is willing to do anything and every thing to take revenge for his father. A literary critic named Knight (I forgot the first name) states that because Hamlet is seeking revenge, that make Claudius good and Hamlet down right evil. Evil or not, I think he is acting insane just for a show

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