Insanity has been defined in many different ways, but essentially, it’s a state in the thoughts and emotions of a person restrict his or her reasoning/ proper judgement. Hamlet lets the fact that his uncle killed his father rule his actions for most of the play. He can’t think of anything else. Also seeing something like the ghost of his dead father and then having it tell him that his uncle murdered him must have thrown off his reasoning. He goes partially insane after he takes in all the information that his father has given him. Not only because he finds out that his father was murdered, but also because it comes from deceased king Hamlet himself.
Hamlet can be classified as partially insane because of his actions. He seems to be composed when he thinks up the idea of the play to show the king to try to get him to crack. But, when he talks to Horatio and Marcellus, is sporadic and disheveled. He id also a little off when he talks to Polonius in act II, scene 2 (Polonius)”do you know me my lord?” (Hamlet)”excellent well. You are a fish monger.”. he shows his sanity at some points and his madness at others.
When Hamlet says that he is “?Mad north by northwest?”, he means that he is only partially mad and he still has the control enough to see that and be able to admit it. He can see that he’s going over the edge, but he can hide it just enough to keep his father an polonius from locking him up. His mental heath is slowly deteriorating while he still tries to exact revenge on the king.
Hamlet is driven insane by a lot of things that happen to him. His father dying, his uncle marrying his mother his father coming back and telling him that Claudius murdered him, all these things sent him over the edge. He is driven to his death by his own need for revenge. Hamlet truly is a tragic hero.