The Poison Metaphor in Hamlet by William Shakespeare

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In Hamlet, a play written by William Shakespeare, poison is often used as a metaphor. Poison is seen throughout the play in many different ways. Characters throughout may not even be physically affected by poison, but in some way or another it's almost as they have been poisoned in the mind. The best way to describe it is, it's like a chain reaction all the way through the play. Beginning with Claudius, who not only murders Hamlet's father but at the same time he basically murders Hamlet as just more in a mental state. Then from there it's like the poison seeps through and moves on to affect Polonius and Gertrude. Polonius again is just another victim of the poison in the mind, but Gertrude is affected physically when she drank the poison all because she thought she should, since she is royalty. Finally, Ophelia is the final poisoned victim. This one poison really seems to do a lot of damage all the way through the play, and it shows because once the King was murdered, everyone begins to die from there. The poison, metaphoric or not, both ways it is a brutal killer in the play. Firstly, the new King of Denmark, Claudius displays the sympathy for the dead King of Denmark, his brother’s death. Thought yet of Hamlet our dear brother’s death The memory be green, and that it us befitted To bear our hearts in grief, and our whole kingdom (1.2.1-3) When Claudius spoke this astounding speech, as the new king, he made it quite clear that he was sympathetic for this horrific tragedy. He seems to use this speech to address his marriage with Queen Gertrude. “With mirth in funeral and with dirge in marriage,” (1.2.12) One second he is talking about the Queen’s former husband, his own brother, and not even two seconds after the fa... ... middle of paper ... ... but that is a questionable topic. Claudius, the wise man, is not so wise anymore. His short amount of time being King, 9 people died, including King Hamlet, Hamlet, Queen Gertrude, Laertes, Ophelia, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, Polonius, and Claudius, him self, all because of his selfish ways. First he wanted to become King, and have a gorgeous wife, because he was envious of his brother. He wanted it all, but no one gets it that easy. As soon as anyone got in his way of his brilliant plan, he wanted to destroy them. Claudius did everything in his power to save his ass. Although poison was a metaphor in this play it is also clear that poison was literally being used as well. Unfortunately for Claudius though, saving his own ass killed everyone around him, including the ones he loved, therefore left him with nothing and now he is the one who is truly dead.
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