Shakespeares Corrupt Society

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Shakespeare presents Denmark as a corrupt society in a variety of ways in Act One of Hamlet. Claudius is the main example and source of corruption as he is the head of Denmark and the main role model for the country to look up to. This is a worrying factor as what we learn of Claudius actions does not reflect well for the overall ruling of the Country. In Act One scene two the audience is introduced to the new king Claudius and his queen Gertrude. During his speech we learn that he has married his sister-in-law Gertrude. “Our sometime sister now our queen” this already displays a corrupt society as the heads of state are involved in incestuous activity. The hast of their marriage, “the memory be green” also shows that there may have been plans before the loss of King Hamlet which then leads to the doubt of queen Gertrude’s intentions . The audience can chose how to interpret queen Gertrude , either as a confused and easily influenced women who is a victim of the society she lives in, or they can view her as a manipulative women who is power hungry and strives to hold her position in society , so she has married her brother-in-law to maintain the title of Queen. Claudius’s attack on Hamlets grieving process for his father is vicious, as he comments that it is “impious stubbornness, ‘tis unmanly grief” but this is unfair to Hamlet as he is unable to accept a new father figure whilst dealing with the loss of his father, where as his mother’s betrayal has affected Hamlet by inflicting damage to his respect and trust of her. In scene 5 when the apparition describes King Claudius as “incestuous, that adulterate beast” the audiences’ suspicions are confirmed and the description of Claudius’s part in King Hamlets death the opinion of his character completely deteriorates. The ghost’s importance of revealing corrupt society in Macbeth is great as he reveals to Hamlet that he was murdered in a treasonous act by his brother Claudius. He explains how he was resting in his...
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