It is primal instinct for humans to say they understand what something means, even if they have never heard of it before. Take the word mortality, for example, news reporters and journalists are constantly saying it, but ask a viewer what it means and they will stumble. William Shakespeare however, understood mortality very well and was quite fond of using the word as a motif in many of his plays, especially so in Hamlet. By using direct references to disease and illness, an unweeded garden, and rotting and decay, Shakespeare’s Hamlet illustrates how death and corruption run rampant in the helpless state of Denmark while under the rule of Claudius. Allusions to illness and disease weave into every scene of the play, and can be found referenced …show more content…
The lesser known character of Marcellus coins an important quote that alludes to the play’s overall theme of corruption and death without explicitly stating it. While talking to Horatio, Marcellus says, “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.” (1.4.90) This line symbolizes the overall idea of a decaying Denmark, as it correlates to the rottenness of Claudius and Gertrude’s marriage, and the corrupt assassination of King Hamlet. Marcellus is commenting to Horatio about the impending trouble in the near future of Denmark, as he has a premonition that a rotten force is leading the nation to its demise. Discreetly Claudius has already begun the sequence of mayhem in Denmark by murdering King Hamlet, however his malicious actions also lead to the decay of Hamlet’s psychological stability and able …show more content…
Through references to disease and illness found in Ophelia’s heartbreak and Hamlet’s madness, to the metaphor that under Claudius’ rule Denmark is like an unweeded garden, and finally in the rotting and decay of royal court, Mortality is a dominant motif. Understanding what influences mortality is an important aspect of Shakespeare’s play and is most definitely something to consider in the real world. Perhaps if society considered all the factors contributing to the final demise of something, like if there is a form of diseases or rottenness present, maybe there would be fewer ends and more
In the play, Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, poison, decay, and rotting are motifs that can be related to the theme breaking down of society, or the downfall of the state of Denmark, during this time in Hamlet’s life. Considering Claudius’s malicious acts to gain the throne, one can say he is being punished by God, and since he is the king, the punishment reflects the state of the kingdom of Denmark as well. As the play progresses, references to rotten things, repellent animals, and vile circumstances are mentioned numerous times, and one can make a connection to these allusions as the truth about Claudius is revealed, and other corrupt events unravel.
The play, The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, written by William Shakespeare in the early 1600s, uses deaths to emphasize the idea of mortality throughout the play. The deaths that occur so frequently in the play are used to atone for wrongs done by the characters earlier in the play. Two major deaths that occur are the deaths of King Claudius and Ophelia. All of these characters did a wrong to one or more persons and in the end of the play they all paid for their wrongs by being murdered or committing suicide.
At the end of act one scene four, as the ghost and Hamlet exit, officer Marcellus states that "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark (1.4.90)." They are starting to realize that things aren't right with the world they live in, and that more is on the way.
Hamlet’s death is assured from his own obsession with death in the early part of the play. It seems as though Hamlet has gone mad and no longer values life, not even his own. His madness stems from Old Hamlet’s ghost exacting revenge; finding out his uncle murdered his father, and his mother’s cluelessness. All of these things combine to turn Hamlet into a heartless killer. One of h...
"To be or not to be? That is the question." (Shakespeare 57) Hamlet opens his famous soliloquy with the question whether it is harder to live and endure the many vicissitudes of life or to die and face the unknown territory of death. He wondered what happens after one dies, and what awaits each of us. The uncertainty in knowing what is to come of us after death, led Hamlet to believe that fear is generated by the unknown, for it makes people fear the things they cannot see and control. He reasoned that if our certitude of what happens after death is absolute, then people would willingly bear the grief that life so kindly offers. Hamlet raises the following philosophical question, is it harder
The preeminence of woe has the potential to devour the vivacity of oneself. This faring of one’s internal afflictions is embedded in Shakespeare’s illustrious tragedy of Hamlet, most notably through the ceaseless complexity of the protagonist. Through his timeless mastery over the intricacy of detail, Shakespeare propels Hamlet, inconsolably stricken with the matter of demise, through interminable depression thereby initiating his fabricated, subsequently candid, lunacy ultimately contributing to his utter ignorance and culmination of life in order to reveal the calamity bestowed in the excessive contemplation of decease.
King Hamlet, also known as the ghost, definitely sees Claudius through his facade after Claudius mercilessly murders him when he is sleeping. He refers to Claudius as “that incestuous, that adulterate beast, with witchcraft of his wit, with traitorous gifts--O wicked wit and gifts, that have the power so to seduce!--won to his shameful lust the will of my most seeming-virtuous queen” (I.v.49-53). By calling Claudius “traitorous”, the ghost implies that Claudius murders the late king Hamlet partly because of his greed for power and fame, which also explains Claudius’s need to control the young Hamlet and eventually creating a plan to exterminate Hamlet as a threat. The ghost also denounces Claudius’s character as “incestuous” and “adulterate” in reference to his marriage with Gertrude. He claims that Claudius seduces Gertrude into the marriage by corrupting and convincing her that marrying her brother-in-law shortly after her husband’s death is an acceptable behavior. Using corruption as a tool, Claudius manipulates people around him to achieve certain goals, such as killing Hamlet. When Laertes is struggling with anger, hate and the need to revenge for his family, Claudius advises, “now must your conscience my acquaintance seal, and you must put me in your heart for a
Death and decay often convey corruption within a story. The use of this particular imagery allows one to make a connection between the natural world and the nature of people. Throughout Hamlet, a play, set in Denmark, which was written in the early seventeenth century by William Shakespeare, there are several instances where one sees decay depicting corruption. Though this play is filled with massive images of decaying nature, it is also filled with images of nature in its beautiful state. Because Hamlet portrays decaying and developing nature, it shows one that it is possible to maintain a sense of self in a world that strives on corruption.
After a death, we find ways of overcoming grief in this painful world. Some people binge eat their way out while others find the easy way out, which is suicide.In the play Hamlet, Shakespeare portrays mortality in the image of death and suicide.Shakespeare develops hamlet as a man who is sensitive and uncontrolled by his actions. Hamlet faces challenges that mess with his subconscious making him feel vulnerable to making decisions that will affect his life.We can say that Hamlet was very indecisive of living or not. He showed many signs of suicidal thoughts. Many can argue and say that Hamlet was depressed. Coming back home from school to attend his father's funeral in Denmark made him discover many things, such as, his mother Gertrude remarried to Hamlet's uncle Claudius who is the dead king's brother. To Hamlet he finds it loathsome for his
The motif of a seemingly healthy exterior concealing inward sickness establishes meaning through foreshadowing and irony by demonstrating that it spreads throughout and ultimately rids itself of everything that conceals inward sickness. Corrupted thoughts throughout William Shakespeare’s Hamlet are based on greediness and the act of avenging a family member’s death.
The basis of one 's mortality and the complications of life and death are talked about from the opening of Hamlet. In the mist of his father 's death, Hamlet is having a hard time not thinking about and considering the meaning of life and how life ends. Many questions emerge as the story progresses. There was so many question that Hamlet contemplated. He was constantly worrying that is he revenged on his fathers’ death then what would happen. He would ask himself questions like, what happens when and how you die? Do kings go to heaven? If I kill, will I go to heaven?
“So shall you hear of carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts, of accidental judgements, casual slaughters, of deaths put on by cunning and forced cause”, (Hamlet, Act V, Scene 2, Lines 381-384). Horatio, best friend of Prince Hamlet, says this in the final lines of the play. He says this after Gertrude, Queen of Denmark, Hamlet, Claudius, King of Denmark, and Laertes, son of Polonius all die in the battle between Hamlet and Laertes. Hamlet, King of Denmark, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, former friends of Hamlet, Polonius, councillor to the King, and Ophelia, daughter of Polonius are also dead. Death is a very important theme in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
In his tragedy Hamlet, William Shakespeare explores and analyzes the concept of mortality and the inevitability of death through the development of Hamlet’s understanding and ideology regarding the purpose for living. Through Hamlet’s obsessive fascination in understanding the purpose for living and whether death is the answer, Shakespeare analyzes and interprets the meaning of different elements of mortality and death: The pain death causes to others, the fading of evidence of existence through death, and the reason for living. While due to the inevitable and unsolvable mystery of the uncertainty of death, as no being will ever empirically experience death and be able to tell the tale, Shakespeare offers an answer to the reason for living through an analysis of Hamlet’s development in understanding death.
Hamlet is one of the most often-performed and studied plays in the English language. The story might have been merely a melodramatic play about murder and revenge, butWilliam Shakespeare imbued his drama with a sensitivity and reflectivity that still fascinates audiences four hundred years after it was first performed. Hamlet is no ordinary young man, raging at the death of his father and the hasty marriage of his mother and his uncle. Hamlet is cursed with an introspective nature; he cannot decide whether to turn his anger outward or in on himself. The audience sees a young man who would be happiest back at his university, contemplating remote philosophical matters of life and death. Instead, Hamlet is forced to engage death on a visceral level, as an unwelcome and unfathomable figure in his life. He cannot ignore thoughts of death, nor can he grieve and get on with his life, as most people do. He is a melancholy man, and he can see only darkness in his future—if, indeed, he is to have a future at all. Throughout the play, and particularly in his two most famous soliloquies, Hamlet struggles with the competing compulsions to avenge his father’s death or to embrace his own. Hamlet is a man caught in a moral dilemma, and his inability to reach a resolution condemns himself and nearly everyone close to him.