In his lawless fit, Behind the arras hearing something stir, Whips out his rapier, cries “A rat, a rat!” And in this brainish apprehension kills The unseen good old man.

She’s leaning hard on the insanity defense.
Sure, he killed Polonius. Yes. But he’s crazy.
You see, he was in a lawless fit
In a brainish apprehension.
He was crazy.
(subtext: Please don’t prosecute my son. He’s mad. He’s insane. It’s not his fault.)

I mean – it’s a funny moment in this play.
Hamlet isn’t mad, as far as we know.
But this is an act for which we’d prefer him to be mad. We’d like to think a rational sane Hamlet would not murder an old man in cold blood. So – it becomes a question of whether we’d rather believe he’s crazy or murderous.


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