From the very beginning of the play, it is very obvious that there is some sort of social disarrangement occurring in Denmark. The most consequential state of confusion in Hamlet is the death of Old Hamlet. The king falls almost directly underneath God in the Great Chain of Being. With the original king removed from the hierarchy, God and other angelic beings are disconnected from their control over the people, thus ensuing chaos. At the beginning, when Claudius says, “Though 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 To be contracted in one brow of woe” (Shakespeare 1.2.1-4), and “Now follows, that you know, young Fortinbras, Holding a weak supposal of our worth, Or thinking by our late...
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...ith a dead body count of eight characters by the end of the play, the Great Chain of Being is finally linked together again, with Fortinbras as the leader. It is pretty clear what was “rotting the state of Denmark”, and apparently a bunch of the main characters had to die to get it back to the hierarchical order it was in with Old Hamlet. What a marvelous ending, with one big happy family – of death.
Tiffany, Grace. "Hamlet, Reconciliation, and the Just State." Shakespearean Criticism 102.58.2 (2005): 111-33. Print.
Wilds, Lillian. "Hamlet." Shakespearean Criticism 92 (2005): 139-87. Print.
Wilson, John Dover. What Happens in Hamlet. Cambridge: Cambridge U P, 1956.
States, Bert O. Hamlet and the Concept of Character. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins U P, 1992.
Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Clayton: Prestwick House Literary Touchstone Classics, 2005. Print.
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