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Hamlett - Melendez, 1 Christopher Melendez English 12...

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Melendez, 1Christopher MelendezEnglish 12Period 86/6/14Shakespeare’s Melancholy PrinceIn William Shakespeare’s play,The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, princeHamlet is tasked by the ghost of his deceased father to avenge his death by killing the new king,his uncle Claudius. Having been given these tasks, Hamlet seems to go out of his way to behavein a way that draws attention to himself, ignoring his primary objective. Hamlet’s inability toleave others out of his problems has sparked many debates between critics of the character andthe play about his state of mind. However, it’s obvious to see that Hamlet cannot behave properlybecause of his mental illness, melancholia. Hamlet goes out of his way to worsen therelationships in his life, including his romantic and parental ones. Hamlet talking about suicide asif it were something he wanted, more than once, could easily be affiliated with a mental illness ofsome sort. Lastly, though Hamlet does finally finish what he was told to, he tends to lose focusthe entire way there. Hamlet’s behavior is a reoccurring problem throughout the whole play, and,with the proof of the text, it is clear to see that he does not make an effort to better thesesituations and problem he is causing. However, it is in these situations where the true villain ofthe play is revealed: melancholia.Hamlet’s troubled relationships are a reoccurring issue throughout the duration of theplay. His romantic relationship with Ophelia is an example of his abnormal behavior caused byhis mental illness. Ophelia noticed the young prince’s abnormal behavior, and was quitefrightened by it. Her monologue states:
Melendez, 2My lord, as I was sewing in my closet,Lord Hamlet, with his doublet all unbraced;No hat upon his head; his stockings foul'd,Ungarter'd, and down-gyved to his ankle;Pale as his shirt; his knees knocking each other;And with a look so piteous in purportAs if he had been loosed out of hellTo speak of horrors—he comes before me. (Act 2, Sc. 1; L.L. 88-94).Ophelia, having noticed Hamlet’s odd behavior, was terrified because she did not know whatwould happen. A. C. Bradley, a Shakespearean scholar, argues that the cause of Hamlet’s pain isin fact an illness of the mind. He states, “The direct cause was a state of mind quite abnormal andinduced by special circumstances -- a state of profound melancholy.”(Bradley, 108). Bradley

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