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This is a Hamlet study guide.  The play was written by William Shakespeare. The true nature of Hamlet's madness has been an issue of debate for scholars over the centuries. Our hamlet study guide analyzes this issue.  One theory is that Hamlet's madness was for his own protection. In the time period in which Hamlet would have lived, governments functioned through the usage of intricate spying networks. In Hamlet's Denmark, no one is permitted to go unwatched. Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and Polonius are all sent to spy on Hamlet at various times. Polonius meets his death in the process. When Hamlet discovers the atrocity committed by his uncle, he wishes for revenge. In that time, it would have been quite natural to take matters into his own hands. In order to keep his plans secret; he cannot let on that he knows of the crime. Since he is constantly being spied upon and having his actions and words reported to Claudius, he must act enigmatically. Please click on the Hamlet study guide category you wish to be displayed. Back and Next buttons can guide you through all the sections as you study the play or you can choose to j