Essay, Research Paper: Hamlet

Shakespeare: Hamlet

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In the play ‘Hamlet’ by Shakespeare, the integrity of some characters are
all challenged with honesty and deceit. The King of Denmark is deteriorating and
rotting the state and its people. Many images of corruption, spying, and decay
compound as the play moves on, because Claudius is trying to find out what his
nephew, Hamlet, is planning. A description of some of the points of defilement
in detail and what they mean follows. As the scene opens, there is a party, and
a party-pooper. The party is somewhat of a classy type, where all the people are
dressed in fancy dresses and nice suits and one person in black. That person is
Hamlet. Claudius, the late kings’ brother, is marrying his widow, Gertrude,
less than 2 months of his brother’s death. This is a sign of corruption.
Claudius tries to make it seem like nothing big has happened. He describes that
he is sad, everyone should be sad, but it is best to think of the dead king with
“wisest sorrow”. That is, life goes on and doesn’t stop for a single
person’s death. Claudius also adds “With mirth (gladness) in funeral and
dirge (grief) in marriage”. This is one of many paradoxes in this paradoxical
play, but the king doesn’t mean it as a paradox. The second sign of decay is
that Hamlet wants to avenge is fathers death, and bring justice to the murderer.
Marcallus, Horatio, and Barnardo notify Hamlet of a ghost that appears before
them, one who looks like King Hamlet. Horatio adds that the appearance of the
Ghost reminds him of what he has read in portents in Rome, just before the
assassination of Julius Caesar, when “The graves stood tenantless and the
sheeted dead / Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets.” Hamlet listens to
his loyal friends, and decides to see what this is about. The ghost speaks to
Hamlet, and tells him he is “thy father’s spirit,” and must soon return to
the prison of purgatory and its flames. Ghost: “Revenge his foul and most
unnatural murder… “Murder most foul, as in the best it is; But this most
foul, strange and unnatural… “A serpent stung me; so the whole ear of
Denmark Is by a forged process of my death Rankly abused: but you know, thou
noble youth, The serpent that did sting thy father’s life Now wears his
crown.” Hamlet: “O my prophetic soul! My uncle!” Yes indeed Claudius
killed Hamlets father. This is a great sign of corruption. Hamlet must have
revenge on Claudius and avenge is fathers ‘most unnatural murder’. Claudius
becomes suspicious of Hamlet and sends for Rosentcrantz and Guildenstern. He
immediately greets them and gets down to business right away. He wants to find
out why Hamlet is acting weird, and needs to be assured that it is only because
of his fathers passing away. Claudius: “Welcome, dear Rosencrantz and
Guildenstern! Moreover that we much did long to see you, The need we have to use
you did provoke Our hasty sending. Something have you heard Of Hamlet's
transformation; so call it, Sith nor the exterior nor the inward man Resembles
that it was. What it should be, More than his father's death, that thus hath put
him So much from the understanding of himself, I cannot dream of: I entreat you
both, That, being of so young days brought up with him, And sith so neighbour'd
to his youth and havior, That you vouchsafe your rest here in our court Some
little time: so by your companies To draw him on to pleasures, and to gather, So
much as from occasion you may glean, Whether aught, to us unknown, afflicts him
thus, That, open'd, lies within our remedy.” Claudius asks the two men to hang
out with Hamlet and see what is wrong with him. He says, “I cannot dream of”
what might be wrong. We suspect is that what the King really wants to know is
what Hamlet knows or suspects, or what he may do. He has the whole state in his
hand. The king not only uses some of Hamlets best friends as bait, but also uses
his last love. The King, Gertrude, and Polonius influence Ophelia to help them
find out what is wrong with Hamlet. They hope her “virtues” (sweet, kind,
loving) will help figure out what Hamlet knows and planning. From out of the
blue when Hamlet and Ophelia are talking, he asks the same question as he did
with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, if they were “sent for”. Hamlet notices
Polonius behind the curtain and explodes in rage. “I say, we will have no more
marriages: those who are married already, all but one, shall live; the rest
shall keep as they are.” Now the King knows of Hamlets odd behavior. The
corruption has not stopped yet. Polonius suggests that: Polonius: Let his queen
mother all alone entreat him To show his grief: let her be round with him; And
I'll be placed, so please you, in the ear Of all their conference. If she find
him not, To England send him, or confine him where Your wisdom best shall think.
Now they are dragging Hamlets mother into this. She probably has been in it from
the start, the murder of King Hamlet, because why would she marry again so
quickly after his death? Polonius gives the queen directions to talk to Hamlet
and chew him out, and even threaten him. Polonius says, “He will come
straight. Look you lay home to him: Tell him his pranks have been too broad to
bear with”. She starts off offending Hamlet: Queen: Hamlet, thou hast thy
father much offended. Hamlet: Mother, you have my father much offended. Queen:
Come, come, you answer with an idle tongue. Hamlet: Go, go, you question with a
wicked tongue. Hamlet cannot trust anyone, except the Ghost and Horatio. Hamlet
knows that everyone is spying on him, and he must end what is rotting in the
state of Denmark. If I were Hamlet I would trust no one, avenge my fathers’
death, and bring peace to Denmark. The integrity of some characters is all
challenged with honesty and deceit. Claudius starts the deteriorating of
Denmark, and it slowly seeps down the chain.

BibliographyMeyer, Michael. "The Bedford Introduction to LIterature." Boston.
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