Hamlet Motif

Sanity, Insanity, Wise foolishness

Quotes from the play

1: “ Mad as the sea and wind” (IV. i. 7). Simile. During this scene, Gertrude reveals to Claudius that Hamlet killed Polonius. She tells Claudius that Hamlet is mad and killed a “good man”. Claudius also reveals something important when he says he would be killed if he were there. Hamlet initially thought Polonius was Claudius, which is why he attacked him. Even so, this act further helps Hamlet to be seen as “mad” and makes everyone worry for him.
2:” How strange or odd so`er i bear myself (As i perchance hereafter shall think meet to put an antic disposition on)” (I.v. 187-189).
3: “O heavens, is’t possible a young maid’s wits should be as mortal as an old man’s life?” (IV. v. 171-172). Simile
4:"Madness in great ones must not unwatched go” (III. i. 197).

Article citation(s)

Ghose, Zulfikar. "Zulfikar Ghose on Ophelia." Bloom's Notes. Ed. Harold Bloom.
By Ghose. Broomall: Harold Bloom, 1996. 67-69. Print.

Article quote`s with talking points about connections to text. How do these quotes inform your understanding

“And the Queen…had to beg Hamlet to speak no more, for she had believed him to be mad and his enraged language had suddenly revealed him as both sane and in possession of truths she had not wanted to confront…”(Ghose 67). This quote helps me understand the meaning of my motif because it talks about Hamlet’s saneness and insaneness. Readers already know that Hamlet is pretending to be mad but this quote emphasizes that fact and also implies that Gertrude may know as well, “his enraged language...revealed him as both sane and in possession of truths...” Because Hamlet let his anger get the best of him, he revealed himself to Gertrude and she may know that Hamlet isn’t really mad.

Literary elements discovered ( with location in text):


Simile (IV. i. 7)
Simile ( IV. v. 171-172)