Sie sind auf Seite 1von 1

Grande, Maria Theresa R. 2010 00933 Hamlets Madness vs.

Ophelias Madness

11 September 2013 Dr. Judy Ick

In the play, Shakespeare creates a number of foils between characters. To mention a few, Laertes foils Hamlet both are educated, they care about Ophelia, and both lose their fathers. Hamlet also foils Fortinbras both lose their fathers, and are princes of their respective lands. In this short paper, I will focus more on how Shakespeare foils Hamlet to Ophelia and how it provides contrast between the two principal characters. After King Hamlet first appears to his son in Act 1, we have already seen Hamlet decide to put on madness as a calculated ploy which he used while contemplating on how he should avenge Claudius for his dead father; this strategy goes on in the next acts. In Act 4, on the other hand, we have seen Ophelia turning into a similar mental condition as Hamlets after the death of her father, Polonius. Here, we see how Hamlet foils to Ophelia in terms of similarities. However, there are stark differences between them. For the most part, Hamlets madness is feigned. In contrast, much can be said about Ophelias madness except ingenuity. In the preceding scenes before finally losing her mind, Ophelia is being scorned by Hamlet. A little after this scene, Polonius is accidentally killed by Hamlet. Later on, Ophelia commits suicide, thus affirming true insanity as being more materialized since the act indicates mental instability. On the whole, duality of insanity in the play is employed by Shakespeare to highlight more dimensions to both characters. On one hand, Ophelias madness is the result of the tragedy of her father. On the other hand, more than tragedy, Hamlets madness is the result of a rationalizing mind to manipulate his behavior towards a certain agenda.