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Example research essay topic: Xvii Century Normal Person - 1,762 words

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Nowadays in our country we pay much attention to the mental health of the people. Psychologists and psychiatrists are considered to be the most important doctors. Today you can hardly find a person who doesnt need help in this area. It is understandable because our life is too difficult and the small nervous disorder that seems to be not essential can rise into the serious problem. Many people in our modern world are suffering from depressions, neurosis, manias and not all of them can receive the help they need so much. We are happy to live in the highly-developed state where each person can receive the help he needs.

Now even in developing countries the government tries to open more centers where people can receive help in this area, because people started to understand the importance of curing such diseases. But earlier, in the past, people didnt really realize the important of curing of such diseases and their nature. Lets prove it according to the great example from the great classic we are happy to have in English literature of XVII century, Hamlet by William Shakespeare. In XVII century the classification of mental diseases including 3 classes, 15 kinds and 14 variants was created. People tried to understand what is happening with a person, investigating and defining the differences between the diseases. But unfortunately they didnt try or simply couldnt find the ways to cure such people.

Maybe the level of medicine was too low to do that because the mental diseases are considered to be the most difficult to be cured. So in the past those who had such deceases were considered to be hopeless and the mercy of the god was only hope that our religious ancestors had. They considered these people to be possessed by devil and should pray and ask the God to cure them. Lets explain why our ancestors sometimes didnt want to understand the real nature of mental diseases.

But now lets turn to Hamlet. The question is if he was mad at all and if he was so what disease he had. Some scientists (and it is what we learn at school because it is the easiest explanation) think that Hamlet was not mad but he just pretended to be. Having met with the ghost, every person would think, that it is someone's ominous draw because phantoms do not exists and if they do it is so rare, that so small probability can be considered suspicious miracle.

The ghost demands revenge, but some questions appear at once: Who and for what played this performance? Whether it was in a friendly anonymous decided, what it is the best way to open an eye on circumstances of death of the father of Hamlet remaining in a shadow? And if it is the enemy trying to trap Hamlet? In fact if he attacks his uncle who has lawfully got a throne having believed the words of the ghost, without seen for the surrounding reasons, any court will not accept his references to so doubtful source of the information and will dauntlessly pronounce the death penalty at best will recognize him a lunatic. But if the ghost is real? What should Hamlet do?

The investigation will take time, and he is short of it. If the performance is played by enemies, they wait for Hamlet with a naked sword every minute, and the God know what is prepared for him in case of his absence! To present, that he, being in his senses and memory, saw nothing, heard nothing and knows nothing is impossible, because the messenger for certain should already have reported on success of the mission. Was Hamlet frightened? Had he become puzzled? Was afraid?

But Hamlet is not the coward that is well-known. He could not change so in one night? Besides he would have to ask questions which seemed to be strange. At the first sight the situation is desperate. But there is only one way out - to carry out the investigation that was possible only pretending to be a lunatic.

Thus, having put themselves on a place of Hamlet the scientists received precise, unequivocal, logic answers to the questions. Hamlet pretends to be a lunatic to explain the seen inactivity hiding the true purpose that is to find out the purposes and intentions of prospective enemies, to camouflage his "strange" questions and acts. But this explanation is proper if we are sure that Hamlets views on the non-natural phenomena were the same we have in our modern world. Lets analyze his attitude towards that on the base of the text: Bernard and Marcel were the first to have seen the ghost.

They were just non-educated guards and Horatio (who studied in the university together with Hamlet) laughed at them: MARCELLUS Horatio says 'tis but our fantasy, And will not let belief take hold of him Touching this dreaded sight, twice seen of us: Therefore I have entreated him along With us to watch the minutes of this night; That if again this apparition come, He may approve our eyes and speak to it. HORATIO Tush, tush, 'twill not appear. But when the ghost came and Horatio made sure that it is real he talked to it like to the man: HORATIO What art thou that usurp " st this time of night, Together with that fair and warlike form In which the majesty of buried Denmark Did sometimes march? by heaven I charge thee, speak! He shows, that pretence is revealed what it was useless to continue the game, but the ghost leaves, whether not having wished to speak to Horatio, whether being afraid of final exposure. Night, a lonely place - all these presses on mentality.

And the halberd which one of guards tried to strike the ghost, has passed through it, as through an empty place. Hamlet listens to story Horatio's and promptly starts to ask, as about not very surprising, simply "strange" affair. He is interesting interest in the details which could prove his assumptions that the ghost is somebody wished to play the role of the ghost. HAMLET Arm'd, say you? From top to toe? Then saw you not his face?

What, look'd he frowningly? Pale or red? No matter how ironically the words of Hamlet may have sound: Wherein we saw thee quietly inurn'd, Hath oped his ponderous and marble jaws, To cast thee up again. What may this mean, That thou, dead corse, again in complete steel Revisit " st thus the glimpses of the moon, Making night hideous; and we fools of nature So horridly to shake our disposition With thoughts beyond the reaches of our souls? Say, why is this? wherefore?

what should we do? they reflect a true state of affairs - confusion of Hamlet in front of the events. But, having counted all the possible variants, he immediately makes a decision to pretend a lunatic in view of what makes guards and Horatio swear: As 'Well, well, we know, ' or 'We could, an if we would, ' Or 'If we list to speak, ' or 'There be, an if they might, ' Or such ambiguous giving out, to note That you know aught of me: this not to do, So grace and mercy at your most need help you, Swear. But nevertheless the question remains if the Hamlet were mad or not.

Do not forget that he killed the father of the girl that he loved. Normal person would never do so. Some people also think that Hamlet got mad because of uncertainty. In the theory of the information and statistics it is possible to measure uncertainty in bats. Physics call it entropy and philosophers monotony. The fundamental difference of alive systems from lifeless is that in isolated lifeless systems entropy, or uncertainty cannot decrease, and monotonous does not become various.

And all alive exists only in constant struggle with entropy, i. e. due to its reduction. If to express in language of the theory of the information in alive isolated system the increase in the information is possible.

It can be observed in an incubator: the chicken contains much more information, than an egg out of which it was developed. Ophelia describes the state of Hamlet in the following way: My lord, as I was sewing in my closet, Lord Hamlet, with his doublet all unbraced; No hat upon his head; his stockings foul'd, Un garter'd, and down-gyved to his able; Pale as his shirt; his knees knocking each other; And with a look so piteous in purport As if he had been loosed out of hell To speak of horrors, -- he comes before me. And later: He took me by the wrist and held me hard; Then goes he to the length of all his arm; And, with his other hand thus o'er his brow, He falls to such perusal of my face As he would draw it. Long stay'd he so; At last, a little shaking of mine arm And thrice his head thus waving up and down, He raised a sigh so piteous and profound But when Hamlets suspicions were proved he again became normal person and says that he was sorry about some actions.

I think that Hamlet was not mad at all but he had a form of mental disorder first because of his fathers death, second because of meeting the ghost (imagine you seeing the ghost), thirdly because he was really uncertain about what he should do. Moreover I think that Hamlet had the inclination to the mental disorders: just remember his first monologue (before finding out about the ghost). So I think that because of the stress Hamlet has got a mania that had different fazes: normal and aggressive. Concerning Ophelia, it is also clear that the poor girl got mad because Hamlet, the man she loved killed her father.

And lets come back to the question why our ancestors could not find the reasons of the mental diseases even having created the classification of them? The answer is simple: they live in such conditions where every person who just was walking down the street could be killed (remember the death of Ophelias father) and no one could be punished for that. Such atmosphere was considered to be normal and nobody guessed that it could destroy peoples mentality. Growing up in such atmosphere people obtained the susceptibility to madness like Hamlet and Ophelia. Bibliography: Shakespeare Hamlet John A. Hobson, Web design (London: 1995) Patricia Maycrot, The mental disease of Hamlet New York, 1998


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