Over the course of the play Hamlet considers death from many perspectives. He ponders with both the spiritual aftermath of death and the physical reminders of it. Death is tied closely to themes of spirituality, truth and uncertainty. The murder of The King by Claudius initiates Hamlets revenge and justice and the death of Laertes, Hamlet, Claudius and hamlets mother is also the consequence of Hamlets revenge.
Hamlet - Corruption is an incurable disease Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole With juice of cursed hebona in a vial, And in the porches of my ears did pour The leperous distilment [The Ghost of Hamlet's father] An incidental comment from a minor character lays down, in the opening moments of Shakespeare's Hamlet, the theme which is to pin together all its aspects.
Francisco the guard says, 'I am sick at heart. Francisco's sick melancholy is in keeping with the atmosphere of corruption and decay which permeates the play; unexplained, difficult to define, but with a clear component of dread. And, typically, his expression of misgivings is misinterpreted, perhaps even underestimated.
Barnardo, seeking palpable reasons for Francisco's distraction, asks whether Francisco has had a quiet watch. Perhaps he wonders if the ghost has disturbed Francisco, but whatever is ailing Franciso remains secret, simply becoming a part of the anxious atmosphere.
We are constantly reminded of the pervading atmosphere of decay through the imagery used in the play. It is a significant point that the ghost, the only character that could arguably be termed an outside observer, and who is certainly qualified to make some form of prophetic judgement, should be one of the prime sources of imagery of decay, poison and rotting.
Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole With juice of cursed hebona in a vial, And in the porches of my ears did pour The leperous distilment. And curd, like eager droppings into milk, the thin and wholesome blood. So did it mine. And a most instant tetter barked about, Most lazar-like, with vile and loathsome crust All my smooth body [Act I, Sc.
Throughout the play we can trace a progression of corruption, that leads to death, through 'disease' in the characters of Polonius, Claudius and Hamlet.
Polonius is perhaps the most obviously corrupt character in Hamlet. His corruption has occurred long before the play begins; the progression is in the extent to which it is revealed to us.
From this courteous, almost comically long-winded member of the court, emerges a personality that is first dominating as he instructs Laertes: You speak like a green girl, Unsifted in such perilous circumstance, Do you believe his tenders, as you call them? I would not, in plain terms, from this time forth, have you so slander and moment leisure As to give works or talk with the Lord Hamlet.
Look to't, I charge you. His death - physical corruption - is a precursor, signifying to the audience the ultimate fate of all those characters exhibiting signs of corruption. Polonius may be the most obviously corrupt character, but the centre of evil of the play's plot and of the kingdom is Claudius.
When Marcellus states, 'Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. His evil deeds carry him to the throne and pollute the people around him causing chaos, sorrow and death.
The image of rotting along with the released odour permeating far and wide symbolizes the infectious quality of sin. The suggested transformation of a beautiful human into a disgusting, purposeless mass symbolizes the effect of sin on the human soul.
Hamlet himself strives to separate his noble qualities, which we have seen throughout the play, from the circumstance and treachery against which he has struggled, and in which he has been entangled. As a prince Hamlet cannot not rule, but he too has become corrupted, not in mind, but by history, by becoming the focus of the ancient revenger's dilemma.
Any action he takes will be morally dubious. Not taking revenge will reduce him and make him unfit for rule by his own standards, and taking revenge will do the same.
Though Hamlet retains our sympathy at the end of the play, he has murdered five people and caused the suicide of one.And, since death is both the cause and the consequence of revenge, it is intimately tied to the theme of revenge and justice—Claudius’s murder of King Hamlet initiates Hamlet’s quest for revenge, and Claudius’s death is the end of that quest.
Fear of Death in Hamlet and more importantly its role as the crucial theme in the play is underestimated. Not only an eloquent and memorable phrase, “To be, or not to be, that is the question” presents the deepest insight into the mind of Hamlet.
In his essay on Hamlet, C. S. Lewis argues that “The subject of Hamlet is death” (p. ). Shakespeare's play Hamlet is a well known and has been overly discussed about throughout the world. Finding out just one theme of Hamlet has been an argument for a long time and many agree with me in saying that there isn't just one theme but many sub-themes that go on throughout the whole story.4/5(4).
The concept and theme of death whether it be its inevitability, power to bring one into the realization of truth, or ability to provide justice is a major and prevailing theme in the works of Hamlet, Dante's Inferno, and The Death of Ivan Ilych.
The death of Polonius has given great difficulty, and even offense; its object should be fully comprehended, for it not only illustrates the character of Hamlet, but . And, since death is both the cause and the consequence of revenge, it is intimately tied to the theme of revenge and justice—Claudius’s murder of King Hamlet initiates Hamlet’s quest for revenge, and Claudius’s death is the end of that quest.