Hamlet and Depression

Suicidal depression is not a modern phenomenon.  What the heck do you think Shakespeare was writing about when he wrote Hamlet?  Of course, it wasn’t called depression back then.  Ennui or melancholy were the usual terms.

Hamlet was acting insane during the course of the play to avoid being killed by his murderous stepfather, the King of Denmark.  But even in times when he confides to the audience, he shows his depression through his indecisiveness and his dwelling about death.

For those of you not familiar with Hamlet’s soliloquy (often called the “To be or not to be” speech) is basically is Hamlet wondering out loud whether he should kill himself.  By the way, a “bare bodkin” refers to the blade of a knife, not a nubile young wench.  If you have never seen Hamlet’s  soliloquy done properly, look to David Jacobi’s 1976 interpretation.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: