The Madness of Hamlet Essay

Published: 2021-06-29 02:08:30
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Category: Book

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Each director has a distinct interpretation of the scene of Polonius’s murder. All three interpretations show fluctuating levels of hysteria within Hamlet’s mind. Michael Almereyda portrays Hamlet as having a great level of mental instability and hysteria. This is shown through his actions throughout this scene. At the beginning of the scene Hamlet is shown being extremely violent towards Gertrude.
He throws her on the floor with great force, and then while on the ground he grabs her hair and forces her against the mirror. While against the mirror Hamlet makes Gertrude look at her herself. After this he pulls her away and wraps his arms around her neck and holds her there (Almereyda 2000). The violence expressed shows his inability to control his emotions. Further, this shows his mental instability because he lacks that ability have a normal interaction with his mother. He lets his anger overcome all other emotions he is feeling and takes it out on Gertrude.
Also, within this scene Almereyda shows Hamlet’s hysteria after he has committed the act of killing Polonius. While still holding Gertrude in a choke like hold he shoots Polonius through a closet door. After Polonius is shot he falls out of the closet and onto the floor. Hamlet stands on the bed and looks down at the body. He appears shocked and as if he doesn’t know what to do (Almereyda 2000). Hamlet’s mental instability is shown here by the emotions he shows.
He shows no remorse for what he has just done and only stays focused on the body for only a short period of time before returning to his interest in Gertrude. Rodney Benner shows hamlet as having both high and low levels of mental instability and hysteria. He is shown as having high levels during the beginning of this scene. Benner shows Hamlet being verbally abusive towards Gertrude. He yells in Gertrude’s face and speaks in a harsh tone of voice. His increasingly violent actions thus lead to Gertrude slapping Hamlet across the face.
Hamlet responds by pulling out his sword and threatening her with it (Benner 1980). These actions show Hamlet’s mental instability because he is unable to keep his emotions under control. He lets his anger take over and he takes out his rage on Gertrude. He continues to show this high level of instability during the murder of Polonius. After being threatened, Gertrude calls out for help.

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