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Is Hamlet Mad?
The fact that Hamlet continues to procrastinate his revenge against Claudius even after the appearance of the ghost indicates that Hamlet himself is unsure whether or not the ghost is real.
Elizabethan society believed that people suffering from melancholy were susceptible to demonic influences often disguised as spirits. Hamlet's need to prove the ghost's tale demonstrates that he himself may believe that he is suffering from melancholy. (
Hamlet's stated reasoning for not trusting the ghost does not indicate that he is distrustful of his own madness, but rather a striking lucidity in the face of the supernatural: "The spirit that I have seen/ May be a devil, and the devil hath power/ T’assume a pleasing shape" (Act 2, Scene ii).