For my last and final blog post, I cannot seem to hide my excitement about breaking my relationship with TAPoR. Our Hamlet and Ophelia type relationship is not a healthy one; it is filled with a lot of anger and resentment. It is really for the best that we part ways so we can live out our literary careers in peace and happiness. It is a good day. J
As it is my last blog, my team and I have decided to dissect Hamletâ€™s mental state. I have stated previously that Act 3 is where all the action happens and where most of the â€œis he crazy or notâ€ debate occurs. In Act 1 Hamlet says he intends to put on an â€œantic dispositionâ€ but as the play progresses, the debate I struggle with is, â€œhas he gone mad?â€
This debate is a very iconic and most studied while reading Hamlet. That being said, I put TAPoR to work to see if we can pin point his madness and is downward spiral. When I ran searches for â€œmadnessâ€ and â€œmadâ€ in my concordance tool the words that surrounded the word were mainly questions about his madness. The main point I have picked out from my searches is that not only the reader is stumped by Hamletâ€™s madness but the characters are as well.
Another point of interest for me was that â€œmadnessâ€ and â€œmadâ€ was also fallowed by the word â€œsoulâ€. This is my second step into the process, looking up â€œsoulâ€, â€œheavenâ€ and â€œdevilâ€ or any words of the like. This is search made me do a happy dance while my results were something completely unexpected. I found (or Iâ€™ll let TAPoR get the credit for this one) that madness and mad is fallowed by soul. A HUGE point of interest for me since, mental health or any type of health care, came after Shakespeareâ€™s time. Madness is linked to soul, which is linked to devil or heaven, which is linked back to madness. Yes, I knowâ€¦ a lot of links to fallow but once you are on a roll, you just, well, roll.
Since I am on a roll now I keep pulling at the treads and it is going somewhere fantastic!!! (This needs a second happy dance). From what I already know from my previously taken history classes, is that mental health was seen as a foreign entity that possessed the body. It was not commonly believed that a person had problems with his head or was sick, it was another entity disrupting ones body. The line that doesnâ€™t speak it clearer is, â€œâ€¦madness. There is something in his soulâ€¦â€
Another link between soul and madness is eyes. This word is used 7 times within the act and for me that is significant. Most of us hear the saying that the â€œeyes are the window to the soulâ€ and by my research I think Shakespeare was playing with that saying. I found it extremely fascinating that â€œeyesâ€ came up during Act 3 scene 4. This part of the act is when I actually think Hamlet breaks into real madness, and the eyes are used over and over while he is talking to Gertrude.
After weeks of work, blood, sweat and tears I can say I did learn a lot from this experience. Going into a class where computers play a main role was terrifying to say the lease but on the other hand extremely rewarding after my nerves have calmed down. My last search did show me that it is a lot easier and quicker doing these searches by a computer then by hand. That being said, I still am working on at least getting on a friends status with TAPoR. Enjoy