I posted a video earlier that I hadn't seen in a while but remembered being funny. I didn't watch it prior to posting it and just realized how much bad language was in it. sorry! here is a new one...

because it's only funny when we all know it's true

What is insanity and how do we know if its real? How has the right to judge who is insane?

February 12, 2012

A big question of sanity is brought to us in this scene where Ophelia is speaking to (or actually singing to) Laertes, Gertrude, and Claudius.

There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance. Pray you, love, remember. And there is pansies, that’s for thoughts.
There’s fennel for you, and columbines.—There’s rue for you, and here’s some for me. We may call it “herb of grace” o' Sundays.—Oh, you must wear your rue with a difference.—There’s a daisy. I would give you some violets, but they withered all when my father died. They say he made a good end
(sings) For bonny sweet Robin is all my joy
—OPHELIA act 4 scene 5
While Ophelia seems to be speaking nonsense here, there is actually a lot of truth. She gives Gertrude a fennel and columbines, which stand for adultery. She gave Claudias a rue which symbolizes repentance, while also giving one to herself. The rue for him was to tell him to repent after all the horrible acts he committed and for her the rue was to repent from sex and stay pure. The daisy resembled sad/unhappy love. Which is what she had with Hamlet. Violets, which were also going to be given to Claudias stand for unfaithfulness.

This scene has been argued over because it seems as if Ophelia is going crazy with the singing and dancing but the passing out of these flowers is so deliberate and intentional... not to mention well thought out. It also reveals that Ophelia knows a lot about flowers, she knows what each one means and what they symbolize. So, when we enter this scene....


There is a willow grows aslant a brook
That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream.There with fantastic garlands did she comeOf crowflowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples,That liberal shepherds give a grosser name,But our cold maids do “dead men’s fingers” call them.-GERTRUDE act 4, scene 7
it is obvious that the "dead man's flower" on her crown was intentional. So, it doesn't seem to me that drowning was an accident and she was fully aware what she was doing. Which argues the fact that she wasn't crazy, just miserable and tired of all the drama and crap. Her father's death was the last straw.

February 5, 2012

So now we have another confirmation that Hamlet's Father's Ghost has been seen. So, have a handful of people gone crazy or is this all real?
At this rate the audience can begin to determine whether Hamlet is insane or not. While he may not be "insane" for seeing his father's ghost, speaking to his father's ghost and obsessing about revenge is definitely, in my opinion, driving him insane. This is where the whole "to be or not to be", kill myself or live, what's the point of life, why even bother killing my wretched uncle/step father, drama steps in. He is slowly driving himself up the wall because is he obsessing over every little detail, his emotions are all over the place, and he in ostracizing every single person in this book.

To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune

Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them?—To die,—to sleep,—
is it better to be alive or dead, that is the question. Of course it would be the noble thing to stick through all the bad things, to deal with what has been dealt to you. But isn't still noble to fight against your problems and just solve them once and for all? Dying is just a prolonged sleep...
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to,—’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To die,—to sleep;—
To sleep: perchance to dream:—ay, there’s the rub;
It's just a sleep that ends out heart ache, the natural heart ache that the earth shocks us with. We should wish to sleep, maybe even dream. but that's just it....

For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
We don't know what will happen once we're dreaming, once we've put life's commotion behind us. That's something to consider... and it's that consideration that draws out our lives (to keep us from ending it)

Hamlet is realizing that death is not a simple answer, while also showing some kind of understanding, underlying understanding, that his state of mind is not the steadiest.

January 29, 2012
In my AP Psychology class, Dr. Kidder tried to mind screw everyone when he asked the class whether the tables were red. We all agreed that we all saw that they were obviously red tables. But then he asked if we all saw the same color red. The answer was no. Human perception is complicated, the only thing that we can determine is that each individual has their own point of view, we each perceive things in a very unique way.

So, how can we be sure insanity even exist? Who is to tell a man who suffers from schizophrenia that he isn't really seeing giant spiders wearing a clown mask? And even if those spiders aren't real, who has the right to tell him they aren't? Maybe a psychologist or a therapist is seeing it all wrong.

Sooooo.... is Hamlet truly seeing his father's ghost or is he simply mad?


Well a big scene I focused on to answer this question was multiple perceptions are stronger than one. If a single person saw a flying pig, they would much less likely be believed compared to if five people saw a flying pig. Later in the novel, we will come to the scene where Hamlet see's his fathers ghost, of coarse, he is not the first or the only one to see him. In the opening scene, Marcellus, Barnardo, and Horatio all see the ghost.

What, has this thing appeared again tonight?
I have seen nothing.
Horatio says ’tis but our fantasyAnd will not let belief take hold of himTouching this dreaded sight twice seen of us.Therefore I have entreated him alongWith us to watch the minutes of this night,That if again this apparition comeHe may approve our eyes and speak to it.

Tush, tush, ’twill not appear.
Horatio was convinced that Marcellus and Barnardo are being stupid, or silly, or even possibly delirious. Horatio obviously didn't have the right to assume any of this, as we all know the ghost later appears and Horatio sees him.
Which beckons the question, are they all mad, or does the power in numbers make something real... maybe even less insane? More logical? More believable?
I guess we'll find out.