Corruption In Hamlet Analysis

1581 Words7 Pages
Corruption and Decay in Hamlet
Hamlet is a play about revenge, madness and moral corruption. Out of these main ideas, William Shakespeare used imagery of disease, illness, and decay to suggest physical and political corruption within the play. Corruption was a growing theme in Hamlet, which was evident through the actions and dialogues of the characters. The theme of corruption and decay was portrayed through Ophelia’s frail character, the decaying state of the country and the actions of Claudius.
Throughout the play, Shakespeare illustrated the physical and moral decay of Ophelia through Hamlet and Polonius’ mistreatment of women. Ophelia’s emotional decay is evident during Polonius’ conversation with her. He said, “I would not, in plain terms, from this time forth have you so slander any moment leisure as to give words or talk with the Lord Hamlet.” (1.3.137-139) This illustrated that Ophelia had no control over her life. She clearly had no rights of her own as her opinions were overruled by her father’s. She got pushed around by the men and was mistreated for their own benefits, thus making her nothing more than an object of desire. Her
…show more content…
When Hamlet killed Polonius he said, “But if indeed you find him not within this month, you shall nose him as you go up the stairs into the lobby.” (4.5.36-38) This is an example of moral corruption in that Claudius sanctioned Polonius to go spy on Hamlet. The decaying of Polonius’ body showed the impact corruption has onto other characters, as he was accidently killed by Hamlet, thinking it was the King. The rotting of the body is an example of the decay portrayed within the play. During the gravedigger scene, Hamlet also said, “Alexander died, Alexander was buried, Alexander returneth to dust.”(5.1.192-193) This quote reinforces the theme of death because it suggests that everyone is going to die one day and decompose into the

More about Corruption In Hamlet Analysis

Open Document