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Death And Corruption In Hamlet Essay

Throughout ‘Hamlet we have the images of death, decay, rottenness, and corruption embedded in the story. The imagery that Shakespeare uses in hamlet relates directly with the plots of the play perfectly. The corruptions images are illuminated in the beginning with Claudius own actions. The characters use metaphors of disease in the connection to sickness and rottenness. Within “Hamlet”, Shakespeare makes a number of references to Denmark’s tainted state due to the deceitfulness that lies within.

Shakespeare uses death and decay to exemplify the death of the characters, and the decay of these characters hat comes with those deaths, as well as the decay and death of morals and the death and decay that comes of political corruption of the government of Denmark. Denmark is repeatedly defined as a physical body made ill by the moral corruption of Claudius. They don’t know that Claudius isn’t legitimate throughout the play; characters draw clear links between the moral lawfulness of a ruler and the health of the nation.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern state their beliefs that health of a country is tied to the legitimacy of the King. Because death and decay are so prevalent throughout Hamlet, it could e said that Shakespeare intended for them to be a major theme. This is further relevant then in the graveyard scene; the first scene, of the last act is unexpectedly takes place in a graveyard, where a gravedigger and his assistant are discovered at work.

From their conversation it appears that a grave is being prepared for one who has taken her own life, and this leads to various comic and witty observations. The first gravedigger does his best to appear an able theorist and displays much wisdom, asking his companion comical questions in the form of riddles, and trying altogether to give himself the perception of superior nowledge. But with the comical words come a problem with Christianity, in the cemetery the two gravediggers argue whether the body to be put in the grave they’re digging should receive a Christian funeral.

By implying that wealthy persons receive altered handling from organized religion than poor people do, the gravedigger’s expression of religion is biased and unfair by appearance and wealth rather than the actuality of someone’s soul. Religion is that foundation of a mortal life, and can’t be trusted, and all of Hamlet’s earlier reasoning about religion and death, all his distress, were pointless. The priest efuses to provide further religious services because Ophelia’s death seemed like suicide.

Laertes says his sister will be an angel while the priest howls in hell; doesn’t seem as Laertes has this back-wards? Hamlet’s ongoing attraction with death here comes in connection with the man who knows the most about it, a grave digger. Hamlet had a fixation with the physicality of death, though many of his thoughts about death apprehension the spiritual consequences of dying for instance, plague in the spirit world he is nearly as absorbed by the physical decomposition of the body.

This is nowhere more evident than n his fixation with Yorick’s skull, when he imagines fleshly features such as lips and skin that have decomposed from the bone. Recall that Hamlet previously commented to Claudius that Polonius’s body was at supper, because it was being eaten by worms. Hamlet’s sarcasm and his choice of word begin to focus on death. He describes how life consumes itself in order to live, and openly links this idea to the image of worms consuming a king.

In doing so, Hamlet is indirectly threatening Claudius. He is also captivated by the effect of death and decomposition, great men and beggars both end as dust. In this scene, ictures dust from the decomposed corpse of Julius Caesar being used to patch a wall; earlier, in Act IV, he noted, “A man may fish with the worm that have eat of a king, and eat of the fish that hath fed of that worm,” (act V scene I) a metaphor by which he illustrates “how a king may go a progress through the guts of a beggar”(act IV scene III).

In the aftermath of his father’s assassination, Hamlet is preoccupied with the idea of death, and over the course of the play he considers death from a countless many views. He considers both the spiritual aftermath of death, embodied in the ghost, and the physical remainders of the ead, such as by Yorick’s skull and the decaying corpses in the cemetery. Hamlet makes reference to Alexander the great which was a ruler and was believed to be poisoned, this makes a direct connection with hamlets father the king, both were rulers and both assumed to be poisoned.

According to the historical accounts, Alexander’s body failed to show any signs of decay for six days after death, even though it was kept in a hot, sultry place. One explanation is a lethal dose of a toxic substance that pervaded the corpse and slowed the rate of decomposition. This suggests that Alexander the Great was poisoned. This is why hamlet asked the gravedigger how long it takes for a body to decompose. Young hamlet ask hartio if he thought that alexander looked and smelled like the skull of yorick, perhaps hamlet was wonder if his father was like this too.

This has hamlet think of life and mortality that we all must be returned to the ground and become dirt and that with death comes decay and rot, he realizes this when he says “But to follow him thither with modesty enough, and likelihood to lead it, as thus; Alexander died, Alexander was buried, Alexander returneth to dust, the dust is earth, of earth we make loam and hy of that loam, whereto he was converted, might they not stop a beer barrel? Imperious Caesar, dead and turned to clay, Might stop a hole to keep the wind away.

Oh, that that earth, which kept the world in awe, Should patch a wall t’ expel the winter’s flaw! But soft, but soft a while” (act V scene I). Hamlet also references to one of the skulls as Cain, this links the story in the bible were brothers Cain and able, where Cain commits murder by killing his own brother because of jealous much like Claudius and king hamlet. Claudius was envious of the king and want what he had, he saw that the king was married to the ueen and had a son and most of all he had the kingdom of Denmark and all power and wealth that comes with being a ruler.

There is one truth that looms over all men, which one day death and decomposition will come to us, no matter whether you’re Caesar or a beggar, which is your fate as mortal humans. While Horatio expresses that he is still thinking too much, Hamlet appears to find the notion as liberation. Hamlet realizes that we all must die one day; perhaps this gives him the courage to go forward with his plans of revenge of his father’s killer.

How does one take the obligation of revenge given onto him by the host as a true moral duty or obligation, as recognized as such by the prince himself and to be accepted as such by the reader or as a temptation to wrongdoing? Only a very powerful conviction of duty would persuade a man like this to embark on a path of action and violence; he was all the more to be revered for forcing himself to do it. Hamlet is shown in a situation where he is forced to act, and where, if the act could be accomplished simply in accordance with the moral laws of nature, of nations, and of the church it would be an act of justice, not a deed of sin.

All through, the idea of death is carefully knotted to the subjects f spirituality, truth, and uncertainty in that death may bring the answers to Hamlet’s questions, ending once and for all the problem of trying to determine truth in an unclear world. And, since death is both the cause and the result of revenge, it is closely tied to the theme of revenge and justice of Claudius’s murder of King Hamlet initiates Hamlet’s pursuit for revenge, and Claudius’s death is the end of that pursuit. Also Decomposition and decay is a concept, article or figure is a feature to the ghosts scene spoken to Hamlet.

This dramatic monologue is filled with words linking to decay. An example of w the Ghost mentions decay is when he speaks of the leprous. In itself, the idea of a leprous gives the sickening idea of something infectious and corrupting. When referring to a scab that looks like a leprous skin disease, melting away and decomposing at his skin, or causing his skin to scab and fade. The subject of death and decay is very obvious in the Ghosts scene, and demonstrates the image of decease and rot in its most essential context.

When the ghost of king hamlet and young hamlet are speaking, the ghost claims to be the spirit of king hamlet, and claim to have been murdered by Claudius. Shakespeare xplains the story is that king hamlet was napping in his garden and was stung by a serpent, in actuality Claudius poured poison into the sleeping kings ear, murdering the king and sending him to purgatory since he was not given a opportunity to confess his sins before his death. This scene of deceit also correlated to and biblical story of Adam and eve where the serpent enter the garden and corrupts them both.

The ghost reveals truth. Also note that the way Claudius murdered king hamlet, by pouring poison into king hamlet’s ear, is actually a perfect metaphor for lying, for using language to hide reality. Poison is illustration of etaphors that Shakespeare commonly uses. It is mentioned a numerous amounts of times in referring to Claudius but it is also used when referring to Denmark’s state, “Who this had seen, with tongue in venom steeped against Gainst Fortune’s state would treason have pronounced”(act II scene II).

The use of poison is such an irony and even avenging justice in the play becomes apparent when Claudius uses poison to kill King Hamlet and in the end, this identical poison kills him, as well as his hamlets mother, Laertes and Hamlet, It is the use of poison that wraps up the story and unravels the ending. Claudius is in o deep that he can’t confess reality even to save his queen Gertrude; Claudius lies right up until the end. But death is a reality that king Claudius can no long hide or dodge from, we all must pay for our sins, and met our maker.

Here, thou incestuous, murd’rous, damned Dane, drink off this potion. Is thy union here? Follow my mother”(act V scene II). With the way that Shakespeare wrote the play of hamlet the theme of rottenness, decay, death and poisoning directly and indirectly are intertwined within the play. One may imply that this is the only theme that would work well and make such a profound effect on the overall storyline. The storyline of death and decay in Hamlet bonds and fuses the whole of the play together.

Hamlet was one of Shakespeare most brilliant, but darkest stories. It has looking at morality and mortality. Without death and decay occurring, there would be no Hamlet, since every other theme and idea from the play directs to the two. According to Walter Benjamin in the task of a translator, it would seem to explain adequately the fact that the translation and the original have very different standing in the realm of art; also whether the work is translatable has a dual meaning.

Images of corruption, like puns and riddles, relate to Hamlets perception of his world and it is proper to emphasize them because his voice and interpretation of events are so prominent in the plav has more in it than the prince: the imagery of in the play has more in corruption, like much else in the play’s language, needs to be seen as closely related to, and in some sense a part of it, a larger structure concerned with seeming and being, with shows and the truths that they conceal, with fair appearance and ugly realities, and with difficulties of interpreting what is seen.

For hamlet the puns and riddles are means by which he consciously seeks to expose the truth of others or to conceal his own truth.

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