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Hamlet Themes

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Sexual, Moral, and Physical Corruption
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Terms in this set (5)
Hamlet's "antic disposition"-- his make believe madness-- is a pose he hides behind while he contemplates his revenge. Because of his actual unstable state of mind it is hard to know whether or not he ever actually slips over the edge into genuine madness. Ophelia's madness is indisputable. She is driven insane by the death of her father and the utter thwarting of her longing to have her love for Hamlet returned.
Overwhelmed by his own grief and the apparent triumph of good over evil in this world, Hamlet, for much of the play, feels like a victim of a random, indifferent universe ruled by the whims of fortune. He can accept the necessity of killing Claudius, finally, when he can believe he is acting as the instrument of a divine justice at work in the world, not in senseless and brutal retaliation.
A. Hamlet is kind of extended pun on the verb "to act". Hamlet's delay in killing Claudius, his failure to act on behalf of his murdered father and take revenge, has been called the central problem of the play. B. Many of the characters in Hamlet present a false front to others, hiding their true feelings and motives. C. "acting" as an art form