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Hamlet?s insanity is caused by the internal conflict within himself. His obligation as a son is to avenge his father?s death but at the same time also ensure stability in the kingdom. To fulfill his duty Hamlet must kill a king in order to avenge his father?s death. However, fulfilling this duty would result in chaos within the kingdom, thus creating a dilemma.
So, uncle, there you are. Now to my word./ it is ?adieu, adieu, remember me.?/ I have sworn?t./ 1.5.117-119
Hamlet assures his father?s ghost that he will avenge his death and he swears to himself of it too. In order to keep his word to both himself and his father, he must kill his father?s murderer, King Claudius. But if he wrongfully kills someone, he would be seen and looked down upon by people as a murderer. To solve this conflict, Hamlet must prove Claudius? guilt before he takes any action.
Hamlet?s duty to the monarchy contradicts his duty as a son. As a prince, it is Hamlet?s responsibility to protect the king in order to ensure the stability of the kingdom and at the same time, live a noble, moral life.
Hamlet?s internal conflict created mixed emotions within Hamlet. He wants to be viewed as a noble prince, but also feels as it is his responsibility to retaliate against his father?s murderer. The fact that Claudius is not only the king, but also Hamlet?s uncle, as well as step-father, increases the turmoil felt within Hamlet.
A direct conflict will occur if Hamlet kills Claudius. He will fulfill his duties as a son but his actions will be viewed as a betrayal and murder. Killing Claudius would parallel to the death of his father because in both situations deal with the killing of a king. Although the killings are for different reasons, Hamlet still felt guilt.
Hamlet took this upon himself heavily. The conflict between his duty and his morals resulted in Hamlet?s breakdown.