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Alienation in Hamlet Essay

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Alienation in Hamlet


In Hamlet, Shakespeare depicts alienation among the younger characters. Trusting no one, Claudius, the new king, and Polonius send out spies to obtain information from others to assure Claudius's rule of Denmark runs smoothly. Claudius killed Old Hamlet for the rule of Denmark and he fears that Hamlet might know of the murder. Both Claudius and Polonius spy on Hamlet to find out if he knows of the murder. Polonius sends his daughter, Ophelia, out to also gain information. Hamlet begins going mad and people claim that the cause is from the death of his father. Truly, though, Hamlet knows of the murder. But Claudius and Polonius are not the only ones, Gertrude, the queen, blames Ophelia for Hamlet's madness. Polonius's lack of trust in Laertes forces him to send Reynoldo to follow Laertes to France and spy on him. Shakespeare presents alienation of Hamlet, Ophelia, and Laertes resulting from a lack of trust from elders and the deception present in the royal family.

While Claudius and Polonius spy on Hamlet, Hamlet loses all of his hopes and happiness. The problems began with the Claudius murdering Old Hamlet and taking over the rightful throne of Hamlet. Procrastination prevents Hamlet from avenging Old Hamlet's death and only causes more problems for the entire family in the end. With the kind of problems he possesses, he has no one to turn to for help. Even his friends, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, are sent to spy on him. Hamlet cannot speak of the murder because of its confidentiality and spies he might not know of. With no one to turn to, the thought of suicide crosses his mind as a solution on several occasions: "I am myself indifferent honest, but yet I could accuse me of such things that it wer...


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...ing and spying, Ophelia suffers alienation throughout Hamlet.

Polonius' distrust in Laertes results in Polonius' sending Reynoldo to France to spy on Laertes. Reynoldo reports information back to Polonius about Laertes and what he is doing. By stating: "...your bait of falsehood takes this carp of truth... by indirections find directions out. So by my former lecture and advice we shall you my son" (Shakespeare 90), Polonius reveals the lack of trust he has in Laertes. Therefore, by spying, Polonius alienates Laertes.

Hamlet, Ophelia, and Laertes all suffer character alienation throughout Shakespeare's play, Hamlet. Claudius and Polonius spy on Hamlet and Laertes to maintain a safe rule of Denmark for Claudius. The queen also blames Ophelia for Hamlet's mental instability. As a result of the alienation of each, Hamlet, Ophelia, and Laertes, meet a tragic end.


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