10 Nov. 2014
Manic: affected by violent madness. When one is affected by mania it becomes the dictator of his or her actions. In the play, Hamlet is depressed to the point of mania. His entire existence is consumed in his melancholia. Hamlets words, thoughts, interactions and most tangibly his actions make his heavy-heartedness an undeniable reality. The degree of Hamlet 's depression is set by his apathy and his melancholy itself is revealed through his tenacity. Throughout the play Hamlets actions are plagued by his overbearing depression. This depression in combination with Hamlet's mania is what makes up the instability in him. Psychologically, mania is described as a mood disorder characterized by euphoric states, extreme physical activity, excessive talkativeness, distractedness, and sometimes grandiosity. During Manic periods a person becomes "high" extremely active, excessively talkative, and easily distracted. During these periods the affected person's self esteem is also often greatly inflated. These people often become aggressive and hostile to others, as they’re self confidence becomes more and more inflated and exaggerated. In extreme cases (like Hamlet's) the manic person may become consistently wild or violent until he or she reaches the point of exhaustion. Manic depressives often function on little or no sleep during their episodes. At the opening of the play Hamlet is portrayed as a stable individual. He expresses disappointment in his mother for her seeming disregard for his father's death. His feelings are justified and his actions are rational at this point, he describes himself as being genuine. As this scene progresses it is revealed that Hamlet views himself as being weak: "My father's brother, but no more like my father than I to Hercules" (1.2.157-158) The doubts that Hamlet has concerning his courage become particularly evident in his actions as the story progresses. These doubts are a major barrier to his thoughts of revenge. Hamlet wishes to avenge the murder of his father and rectify this great injustice. The conflict between his desire to seek revenge and his own thoughts of incompetence is the cause of his initial unrest. "Haste me to know’t, that I, with wings as swift As meditation or thoughts of love , may sweep to my revenge (1.5.35-37). Here Hamlet pleads to the Ghost of King Hamlet to reveal the name of his murderer. This request is emotional and impulsive at this point. Hamlet does not realize exactly what this revenge may call for. This revenge seems simple to Hamlet only because he doesn't know who the killer is yet, his connection to the killer will be a great complexity to the situation. Toward the end of act one King Hamlet's ghost tells Hamlet who his murderer is. This news is the incentive that embarks Hamlet upon his depression." The time is out of joint: O cursed spite, The ever I was born to set it right !"(1.5.210-211). These two lines particularly solidify Hamlet's dilemma. Here he knows what the task is actually calling him to do, kill his uncle. The second act includes two soliloquies, it is in these that the depth of Hamlet's depression is revealed .The soliloquy opens with a reference to disease and decay: "Oh that this sullied flesh would melt Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew," (1.2.135-136) Here Hamlet is speaking of his own flesh and makes his first reference to suicide. He expresses great dissatisfaction with the state of the world.