top-rated free essay

Hamlet on The Great Chain of Being being disturbed and leading to a bad ending

By yuyu_sy Mar 21, 2004 777 Words
"The time is out of joint; O cursed spite, That ever was I born to set it right!"# This quote is from the play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, spoken by Hamlet. He knows that the Great Chain of Being is disturbed and he is the one that has to set it back to normal. The Great Chain of Being is a scale where everything is put in its place, from Heaven to Hell. Disturbing the Great Chain of Being will result in a bad ending. In Hamlet, Shakespeare shows that disturbing the Great Chain of Being can lead to bad ending. The characters Hamlet and Claudius can prove this, since they both disturb the chain in the play.

In the play, Hamlet is the son of the former king. When King Hamlet dies, Claudius inherits the throne because Hamlet is too young to be King. Afterward, Hamlet finds out that it was Claudius that killed his father, so he devotes himself in avenging his father's death. Although he is trying to set the chain back to normal, but also disturbing it, since Claudius is King. While Hamlet finds a way to kill Claudius, he acts mad in front of people he does not trust. Polonius, being nosy and ambitious, volunteers to spy on Hamlet while he speaks to his mother. When Polonius thought Gertrude was in danger, he screams for help. Hamlet mistakes him as Claudius and kills him without even thinking. Polonius' death and Hamlet neglecting Ophelia causes her to feel lost, and go insane. "We know what we are, but know not what we may be"# This quote foreshadows how she feels lost in this world, and do not now what she is going to do in the future. She feels there are no place in the world for her anymore, so she chooses to leave it and drowns herself. Hamlet disturbing the chain has caused Polonius and Ophelia's death. This is also how it leads to how Laertes and Hamlet dies.

Hamlet killing Polonius is also disturbing the Great Chain of Being. Thus, causes the death of Laertes and himself. Killing Polonius causes Laertes to want to kill him to avenge for his father. Claudius knows that Hamlet wants to kill him, so he persuades Laertes that Polonius' death is all Hamlets fault. Claudius send Hamlet to England, thinking that he would never return after that. When he finds out that Hamlet did not die, he creates a plan with Laertes to kill Hamlet. The plan is have Laertes ad Hamlet has a duelling match, then have Laertes wound Hamlet with a poisoned sword. When Laertes and Hamlet fights in the match, Laertes wounds Hamlet with the sword, but then they switch swords and Hamlets wounds Laertes. In the end, they both die from the poisoned sword. Hamlet wanting to kill Claudius at the beginning already breaks the chain, and then he kills Polonius, causing different kinds of trouble and then death at the end.

Another character that disturbs the Great Chain of Being is Claudius. He kills his brother King Hamlet so he can be the king, and then marries his brother's wife. This causes the deaths of Polonius, Gertrude and himself. Claudius caused the death of Polonius is because if Hamlet did not want to get revenge for his father, then he would not have mistaken Polonius for Claudius and kills Polonius. "How now? a rat? Dead for a ducat, dead!"# This quote proves that Hamlet wanted to kill Claudius, instead of Polonius. Thus Polonius died for Claudius in a way. After Polonius dies, Claudius comes up with the plan of duelling match, and the poison drink in case Hamlet does not get wounded. When Hamlet wins the match, Claudius congratulates Hamlet with the poison drink, but Gertrude takes it and drinks it for her son, and dies. Then when Hamlet finds out that the plan is all Claudius' idea; he kills Claudius with the poisoned sword and makes him drink the poison drink. Claudius breaking the Great Chain of Being caused the death of himself and of other people around him. This includes how Claudius killing people or him causing their deaths.

In conclusion, the above arguments proves that in Hamlet, Shakespeare shows that disturbing the Great Chain of Being cab result a disastrous ending for anyone that is involved. In the play, Hamlet and Claudius both disturbs the chain, causing themselves and their family and friends to die. Claudius breaks the chain by killing is brother and marrying his brother's wife. Hamlet breaks it by wanting to restore the chain, since Claudius broke it, but while restoring the chain, he also breaks the chain.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Great Chain of Being

    ...Great Chain of Being Paper By: Brian Zwolinski The Great Chain of Being is the concept that the order of the entire universe is under a very strict hierarchical system. The chain goes from god which represents perfection to the bottom level which are the minerals of the earth. Perhaps the most important thing to understand about this c...

    Read More
  • Elizabethan England - The Great Chain of Being

    ...The great chain of being was a Christian concept whose major premise was that every existing object in the universe had its place in a planned hierarchical order. Such an object’s place depended on its relative proportion of ‘spirit’ and ‘matter’. If an object contained less spirit and more matter, the lower on the order it stood. ...

    Read More
  • Being There

    ...flowers. When the President came to pay Mr. Rand a visit, Chance made a statement about the garden when the President asked him for his opinion. Chance said that “as long as the roots are not severed, all is well and all will be well” (Kosinski, 54). The President interpreted Chance’s statement as hope for the US economy. Chance became...

    Read More
  • The great chain of being

    ...(10)___________ all my bones intact. The only minor injury I sustained (11)__________ a twisted ankle. I dragged (12)_______ to a field and buried the parachute. Then, I limped to the road. It was deserted and the village was quiet in the moonlight. I saw an old oak tree and rested my back (13)____...

    Read More
  • The Great Gatsby vs. Hamlet

    ...Throughout history, the media has shown many different sides of love. Weather it be peaceful, violent, dangerous, beautiful, almost all forms of the media have shown love in some way. In the novel The Great Gatsby, love is shown between many different characters in different ways. The reader experiences love at its best and worst. We see relatio...

    Read More
  • BEING DIFFERENT, BEING UNPOPULAR

    ...BEING DIFFERENT, BEING UNPOPULAR In the world there are a lot of people, but nobody is the same. Every person looks different, maybe he has a black skin, green hair, is blind or deaf, but all humans have positive and negative characteristics. In small social groups, such as a normal class in school, differences are very clearly visible. Som...

    Read More
  • King James and the Great Chain of Being in Macbeth

    ...James and the Great Chain of Being in Macbeth Upon the death of beloved Queen Elizabeth in England, her cousin James I was announced the new king of England. As a Catholic from the rival nation Scotland, King James I was inherently distrusted by his Anglican subjects, and his guarded, haughty personality only further decreased his popularity...

    Read More
  • Cell Phones Being Bad

    ...Cell Phones Being Bad As time passed and society grew larger and larger, so did the way we communicate to each other. We went from face to face interaction, to handwritten letters, to typed letters, to phone calls, to email. Now in the twenty-first century most of society has cell phones. With cell phones they have two different functions. One ...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.