"In What Particular Thought to Work": Hamlet and Manic-Depression

Lewis Pickett, Western Kentucky University


By means of contemporary diagnostic criteria, Prince Hamlet may be demonstrated to be a Bi-Polar I Manic Depressive. Because current genetic research suggests that this disease is inherited, it is logical to ask if Claudius also suffers from this disorder. It can be demonstrated that he does. We may conclude that Claudius murdered the late King of Denmark during a manic episode similar to the one in which Hamlet kills Polonius.