(Hamlet) Madness

  • Created by: NHow02
  • Created on: 27-05-19 11:22
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  • Madness
    • Women
      • 'Enter Ophelia distracted'/ 'distracted multitude'
        • 'sick at heart' corruption spreads and infects others
          • Period of uncertainty as Elizabeth had not named a successor
        • 'Hysteria' originates from the latin 'Hyster', which means 'womb'
          • By giving away her flowers, she is symbolically 'deflowered'
        • Elaine Showalter argues that Ophelia is 'a female counterpart to Hamlet'
      • 'a breeder of sinners'
        • Hamlet believes all women have the potential for sin
          • Biological Determinism
        • 'unweeded garden'
          • Bible teaches that women are subordinate and to blame for the fall of man
            • References the Garden of Eden (but overgrown)
    • Lack of morals
      • 'ungartered...his knees knocking'
        • Melodramatic(vibrant language) - aspect of the revenge tragedy
        • Soft alliteration emphasises comedic quality to Hamlet's acting
        • 'Though this be madness, yet there is method in't'
          • 'm' alliteration suggests the two have become muddled
            • 'may be the devil, and the devil hath power'
              • Madness was sometimes perceived as possession by the devil
          • Influenced by Thomas Kyd's 'Spanish Tragedy' (both act as if mad)
      • 'mermaid-like'
        • Mermaids seen as sinister creatures who lured sailors to their deaths
        • 'weedy trophies'
          • Suicide was seen as a sin as your life was not your own, but belonged to God
            • Oxymoron suggests as a highborn lady she is partially exempt from a suicide's funeral
              • Hyppolyte Taine: 'the story of moral poisoning'
          • Suggests her virginity is her only virtue, as flowers symbolise fertility
            • Ophelia's 'trophies' are corrupted by society and her means of survival destroyed
        • Madness associated with a lack of morals
    • Malcontent
      • Hyperbole: 'fall ten times treble on that cursed head'
        • Presents a reflection of Hamlet (play acts as a mirror for Hamlet)
        • Identifies as Malcontent (like Hamlet) - cycle of grief & revenge
        • O'Toole: 'Death is the picture, not he frame'
        • 'forty thousand could not...make up my sum'
          • 'eat a crocodile?'
            • Melodrama highlights Hamlet's inability to act (all in his mind)
              • Hamlet has been paralysed by the responsibility of revenge (driven mad)
            • Coleridge: 'a man incapable of acting because he thinks too much'


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