Something Is Rotten in the State of Denmark

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Introduction:
William Shakespeare's Hamlet has been considered the greatest tragedy to ever be written. Shakespeare develops the theme of both physical and psychological decay and corruption through the actions, dialogues, and figurative language of the characters.  “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.” –Marcellus (Act 1, Scene 4) The following quote was taken from Act 1, Scene 4 and was said by Marcellus. Interestingly, it foreshadows one of the main themes in the play Hamlet- That is corruption and decay, an element Shakespeare always uses in his plays, such as Othello and Macbeth. As Hamlet returns home he discovers his father’s death, his mother married to her brother-in-law and the return of his father through a ghost. All of these dreadful events happening at once can show us that everything is not as it seems in Denmark. There is a connection between the state of the kingdom and the reoccurring events that take place throughout the play. Because the King was believed to be appointed by God, the Divine Right of Kings, Claudius killing Hamlet Senior was not only a crime against King Hamlet, but by association, God as well. This is a reason for which all the horrible events have occurred throughout the play, because Claudius is being punished, and since he is King, leader of the state, his punishment reflects on the state of the kingdom of Denmark. Marriage between Gertrude and Claudius

One idea of the rottenness is the marriage between Hamlet's uncle Claudius and his mother Gertrude. Many consider the marriage almost incestuous, and Claudius feels he must justify it by stating that he had the approval of the courtiers and that the marriage was in the best interest of Denmark. The marriage is also suspiciously corrupt because it took place only two months after the death of King Hamlet. Those circumstances cause Hamlet to become extremely upset at his mother for her apparent lack of mourning and helps support the idea of foul play in King Hamlet's...
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