To Be Schizophrenic or Not Schizophrenic
“Roses are red, violets are blue, I’m schizophrenic, and so am I.”- Oscar Levant
There’s a fine line between genius and madness. In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Prince Hamlet is bent on getting revenge on his Uncle Claudius after life altering events have occurred. Hamlet’s father was murdered by his Uncle Claudius, his mother remarried Claudius, and said uncle took Hamlet’s rightful title to the throne. As the play progresses, the rapid deterioration of his mind is evident. He makes rash decisions, sees ghosts, and acts like a moody teenager. Hamlet portraying a mad man is noticeable, but what’s most obvious is that he has a disorder: schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia is a brain disorder that causes the person to hear voices other people don't hear. They may believe other people are reading their minds, controlling their thoughts, or plotting to harm them. This can terrify people with the illness and make them withdrawn or extremely agitated. People with schizophrenia may not make sense when they talk. Sometimes people with schizophrenia seem perfectly fine until they talk about what they are really thinking (WHO).
Hamlet shows signs of this disorder. One of the first signs of schizophrenia was during Act 1 Scene 2. Hamlet says,
"Within a month,
Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears
Had left the flushing in her galled eyes, she married…
But break, my heart, for I must hold my tongue!” (1.2 II. 153-159)
In this quote he’s talking about his mother Gertrude remarrying his uncle Claudius within a month of his father’s death. Hamlet feels that his mother didn’t really love his father if she was able to remarry another man so quickly. Hamlet has hardly any time to grieve over his father’s death properly with his mother because Claudius stepped into the picture.
Prior to what Hamlet said about his mother remarrying, he had a carefully composed façade while talking with the Queen and King. The Queen asked Hamlet to...