Yet one must take intoconsideration the careful planning of the ghost’s credibility earlier in the play.
This is the first glimpse of Hamlet’s ability and inclination to manipulate his behavior to achieve effect.
Even after the King’s guilt is proven with Horatio aswitness, Hamlet again reflects and uses his better judgement in the soliloquy at the end of He recognizes his passionate feelings, but tellshimself to “speak daggers to her, but use none,” as his father’s ghost instructed.
Again, when in the King’s chamber, Hamlet could perform the murder, but decides notto in his better judgement to ensure that he doesn’t go to heaven by dying while praying.
Indeed, Hamlet’s utter rejection of her combined with this is too much for her, and she doesn’t sing amourning song at the beginning of IV.v, but rather a happy love song.
While the Queen tells Leartes that an “envious sliver” broke and flung Ophelia into the river wearing a headdress of wild-flowers (compare the mad Lear’s crown ofweeds), the clowns in V.i.It is the ghost of Hamlet’s father who tells him, “but howsomever thou pursues this act, / Taintnot thy mind.(I.v.84-5)” Later, when Hamlet sees the ghost again in his mothers room, her amazement at his madness is quite convincing.Clearly Hamlet is not feeling cheerful at this moment, but if helets the guards know the severity of the news, they might suspect its nature.Another instance of Hamlet’s behavior manipulation is his meeting with Ophelia while hisuncle and Polonius are hiding behind a curtain.As Horatio says, being the only of theguards to play a significant role in the rest of the play, “Before my God, I might not this believe / Without the sensible and true avouch / Of mine own eyes.(I.i.56-8)”Horatio, who appears frequently throughout the play, acts as an unquestionably sane alibi to Hamlet again when framing the King with his reaction to the play.Shakespeare offers clear evidence pointing to Hamlet’s sanity beginning with the first scene of the play.Hamlet begins with guards whose main importance in the play is to give credibility to the ghost.confirm the reader’s suspicion that she did not die so accidentally: Here lies the water; good. If the man go to this water and drown himself, it is, will he, nill he, he goes, mark you that.But if the water cometo him and drown him, he drowns not himself; argal, he that is not guilty of his own death shortens not his own life.