William Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay

1242 words - 5 pages

The human condition can be a breeding ground for beauty or it can fester into nefarious situations. In the dramatic production of Hamlet, Shakespeare presented the theme of rot to illustrate a corrupt state of Denmark. Shakespeare created a tragedy to arouse fear and pity in the audience so they can relate to terror in their life and feel sympathy for the victims of injustice. The tragic play is set in the Kingdom of Denmark, and explores the revenge Prince Hamlet wants on his uncle Claudius for murdering King Hamlet, his father and former King. Claudius then succeeds to the throne and married Gertrude, the previous King's widow and Prince Hamlet's mother. William Shakespeare developed Hamlet as a character who procrastinates a key decision to seek revenge on his uncle. Hamlet disrespects the women closest to him and manipulates them along with his friends to achieve his desire for revenge. The play portrays fear, madness, and uncontrolled rage and explores the depths of incest, revenge, and corruption. It is evident that Hamlet's disrespect towards women, manipulative action, and lack of decisive action causes an even more rotten and corrupt Denmark.

Women and love play a strong and important role in the play Hamlet. Shakespeare created the main character, Hamlet, to hide his true emotions by directing them toward the women in his life. Hamlet lies and manipulates Ophelia into thinking that she has broken his heart by not loving him back and leads the other characters in the play to think the same. Hamlets writes a letter to Ophelia, “O dear Ophelia, I am ill at these numbers. I have not art/ to reckon my groans. But I love thee best, O most/ believe it. Adieu” (II.ii.119-121). Hamlet writes about his love for Ophelia and how he is in distress about his broken love, but his true desires are somewhere else. Hamlet is using broken love as a scapegoat to hide his real feelings for the mourning of his father and the anger towards his murderous uncle. Shakespeare used flowers to symbolize Ophelia's innocence and weeds to illustrate the corrupt people in Denmark. Hamlet’s lies and manipulation eventually ends up in the loss of sanity and later self inflicted death of his love Ophelia. Hamlet shows his lack of affection and respect for women not to just Ophelia, but to his own mother Gertrude. Hamlet’s mother was unfaithful to her husband King Hamlet and rejected love towards Hamlet giving him a reason to dishonor her. Hamlet believes that all women are all like his mother giving reason to his disregard for the opposite sex. “Gertrude is seen as a kindly, slow witted, rather self-indulgent woman, in no way the emotional or intellectual equal of her son” (par 3). This quote from Frailty, Thy Name is Woman expresses Shakespeare's characterization of Gertrude and gives reason to why Hamlet had little respect for her. The consequences for Hamlet’s disrespect for his mother and manipulation of Ophelia festers hate and mistrust leading to a more rotten...

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