Top-Rated Free Essay

Hamlet

Better Essays
“No nation will run away from corruption when the devil is the kingmaker” (Onyejnduakg, E.O.). Pastor Chukwuemeka examines a wide variety of wise sayings about life and temptations in his self-entitled book. He tries to warn, instruct, and advice mankind on what is right. Chukwuemeka explores the idea that when a person in a position of power is treacherous and tainted, all of his followers will be equally as corrupted. A society cannot function properly when their king is evil. The only way to reinstate balance and peace in their land is to send the devil back to hell. Comparatively, in Shakespeare’s brilliant play Hamlet, he illustrates how corruption will spread like an incurable disease when the king is full of falsehood and evil. In Hamlet, corruption spreads like a disease that can only be cured by killing the cancer. Claudius is the source of the evil. He triggers the growth of the cancerous corruption when he embarks on his deceitful path to becoming king. Hamlet cannot help but be polluted with the disease as well, infecting his mind and causing the poor prince to turn mad. Finally, Laertes also falls victim to the corruption, losing his honor and ethics.

Corruption is a spiritual or moral state of mind that is not ideal, driving the host to commit awful deeds to themselves or others. Similar to a pandemic, corruption must be isolated at the source before it can spread through the deeds that are committed. A single person’s actions have an effect on others, thus allowing the spread to occur to their victim(s). After murdering his brother, Claudius ignites the spreading of corruption. Unknowingly to Claudius, the ghost of late King Hamlet returns to inform his son that while “sleeping in mine orchard,/A serpent stung me; so the whole ear of Denmark/… /The serpent that did sting thy father’s life/Now wears his crown” (1.5.34-40), thus King Claudius is the cause for his brother’s death, Hamlet’s depression, and is the root of Denmark’s problems. Claudius says manipulative lies that spread corruption throughout the country. As the setting of Old Hamlet’s death serves as imagery for the Garden of Eden as well as allegorically referring to the concept of Cain’s murder of his brother Abel and the association of evil sins with serpents. King Claudius’ current state of mind affects him spiritually as he feels his “...offence is rank, it smells to heaven; It hath the/primal eldest curse upon’t” (3.3.37-38). King Claudius, himself, uses the Garden of Eden imagery, connecting his sin with the oldest sin. Claudius acknowledges the fact that he is guilty and living in sin since he possess what is not rightfully his, the crown and the queen. However, Claudius knows he will not be forgiven as he will not give up his kingship or marriage, thus allowing for the corruption to spread.

Victims of a sinful crime do not always possess the ability to forgive, relying instead on avenging the dead, known otherwise as the revenge cycle. Revenge plays with the beholders mind as they are stuck between their moral and spirituals beliefs, causing the first stage of their corruption. Hamlet, once “...a noble mind...” is “...o’ethrown...” by the harshness of his situation that he appears “like sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh” (3.1.152-160). Hamlet was the ideal Renaissance man, who was “the expectancy and rose of the fair state,/The glass of fashion and the mould of form,/The observed of all observers...” (3.1.153-155). His corruption of his original morals and beliefs takes him to a state of mind that allows him to play god and damn his uncle to hell: “Then trip him, that his heels may kick at heaven/And that his soul may be as damn’d and black/As hell, whereto it goes” (3.3.94-96). Hamlet also reveals not only his plans to kill King Claudius but that he also, in revenge,killed Rosencrantz and Guildenstern because “...they did make love to this employment./They are not near my conscience, their defeat/Does by their own insinuation grow.” (5.2. 61-63). Hamlet’s corruption is clear since he is no longer attempting to avenge his father’s death to reinstate honor and order in Denmark; instead, he is after Claudius for his own selfish and evil reasons.

When mourning the loss of a loved one, it becomes very difficult to stay on a moral and ethical path. Grief is overwhelming and can sometimes force a suffering individual to commit acts that they normally would look down upon and consider wrong. Getting involved in underhanded and deceitful affairs will only result in the impairment and pollution of one’s judgement and mind. Formerly known for his honorable nature, Laertes is unable to stop the corruption from poisoning him, just like it did the others. Laertes is out to avenge his father’s death, ready to do whatever it takes to receive justice, even if it means he’ll have “to cut [Hamlet’s] throat i’ the church” (4.7.128). By fighting for his late father’s respect and honor, Laertes is seen as noble and dignified. He wishes to confront Hamlet openly and tell him, he “thus diddest thou!” (4.7.58). However, Claudius manipulatesand convinces Laertes to be a part of his deceitful plan to secretly murder Hamlet, resulting in Laertes’ corruption. The fact that Laertes wants to kill Hamlet is no longer about honor or what is right; it is strictly based on revenge and hate. Laertes ensures Hamlet that he is “satisfied in nature” and though he is still obliged to defend his honor, Laertes will “receive [Hamlet’s] offer’d love like love/ And will not wrong it” (5.2.235-243). This is a drastic change in Laertes’ nature. Instead of possessing the strength and courage to affront Hamlet for his sins, he allows the evil to convince him to take a darker path to do the deed underhandedly. Under the advisement of Claudius, Laertes is no longer honorable and is only full of lies, hostility, and corruption.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Better Essays

    Prince Hamlet struggles with the inexplicable death of his father, the betrayal by his uncle, and the inadvertent murder of a seemingly innocent man. Laertes likewise suffers through the accidental death of his father, the betrayal by a man close to the family, and the snide and sneaky murder of that same man. The difference between Hamlet and Laertes, however, clearly lies in how these men handle the difficult situations they face. Hamlet, the intelligent thinker, calmly overanalyzes each detail…

    • 1481 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Hamlet Annotated Hamlet

    • 59682 Words
    • 239 Pages

    Smith's Hyper Hamlet Annotated Hamlet with Hypertext Links to Related Lines, Plot Summary, Themes, Motifs & Symbolism & Word-Play, Character Analysis, Historical Context, and Essays Complete Text of Hamlet Annotated with Hypertext Links (This is useful for searching within the play without bumping into my notes, which are discreetly linked via hypertext.) Complete Text of Hamlet Annotated with Interleaved Notes and Links Hamlet Plot Summary Hamlet Themes Hamlet Motifs & Symbolism…

    • 59682 Words
    • 239 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    productions of Hamlet Act 1 Scene 4-5 from the ghost’s entry to Hamlet’s reaction: the 2009 version directed by Gregory Doran starring David Tennant and the 1990 version by Glenn Close starring Mel Gibson. The 2009 version scene has a contemporary feel with its use of modern dressing and settings. The 1990 version stays more traditional in its style, but lefts out many (more) lines of words and rather focuses on conveying the emotions of the characters. The two main characters, ghost and Hamlet, take on…

    • 1476 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Hamlet: Coward Many people proclaim Hamlet a hero, but I believe he stands as a coward who questions himself. Hamlet’s intellectual ability is superior to others, but there lies his weakness. His thinking in certain situations and personal needs characterize Hamlet as a coward of mind, not action. Hamlet is a coward because he is unable to make decisions. To begin with, Hamlet’s first instance of showing a cowardly mindset is when he questions himself in his “Oh what a peasant slave am I” soliloquy…

    • 619 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Hamlet

    • 1159 Words
    • 5 Pages

    perspectives, composers collaborate with one another in order to attain a heightened understanding of the context. The enduring quality of Hamlet arises from its textual integrity, and its exploration of universal themes relating to the human condition. As such, the cohesive nature of Shakespeare’s Hamlet (1601) is enhanced through Gregory Doran’s’ film interpretation Hamlet BBC (2009). An analysis of this contemporary production elucidates the concepts from the original play, exploring the deceptive facades…

    • 1159 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Hamlet

    • 719 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Hamlet Timed Writing In Hamlet, Gertrude is portrayed to be not as loyal to Hamlet as a mother should be. Hamlet is a scholar and a philosopher, searching for life's most elusive answers. Gertrude is shallow, and thinks only about her body and external pleasures. Like a child she wants to be delighted. Gertrude is also a very sexual being, and it is her sexuality that turns Hamlet so violently against her. The Ghost gives Hamlet, who is already disgusted with his mother for marrying his uncle…

    • 719 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Hamlet

    • 625 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Hamlets True Intensions In the play Hamlet it is obvious that there is a story about a boy who lost his father, but the main climax comes from how he takes his revenge. Hamlet theoretically could have received evidence of his father’s death by different means but did so by revealing his madness to others. Hamlet sees more benefit by pretending he is mad as he can take revenge and there are less suspicions of the killing. Hamlet is only feigning madness at this point of the play for simple and successful…

    • 625 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    hamlet

    • 800 Words
    • 3 Pages

    and in particular Hamlet and the period of time in which the play was written? In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the theme of revenge is central to understanding the values and beliefs in society at the time the play was written. It is the characters, and in particular Hamlet that reflect the ideas from different periods of time such as the renaissance and the medieval era. This is shown through one’s ability to take action versus the inability to take action when seeking revenge. Hamlet is a character that…

    • 800 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Hamlet

    • 1013 Words
    • 3 Pages

    yet he is in fact sane. Shakespeare achieves this by using imagery throughout the play. In the beginning of the play, Shakespeare demonstrates that in the play Hamlet, he plugs in the idea of existentialism quit often in Act 1. He uses existentialism because it conveys a certain image in those scenes. When Hamlet’s father dies Hamlet is convinced that he shouldn’t live without his father. During the first two months of his father’s death he becomes suicidal and thinks to himself that “Oh, that…

    • 1013 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    Hamlet

    • 964 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Shakespeare’s Hamlet has and intricate plot formed by the characters and themes throughout it. One major idea is Hamlet’s changing sanity, which fluctuates through the play as a performance and as a true madness. The other main theme which develops the play is the act of vengeance, with the delay and doubt that accompanies it. These themes, along with dramatic devices and the characters in the plot, add to the textual integrity of the play. There is a duality to the character of Hamlet, as his madness…

    • 964 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Better Essays