The contagiousness of evil in hamlet essay

Explore the different themes within William Shakespeare 's tragic play, Hamlet.

The contagiousness of evil in hamlet essay

The obvious but simple answer is that if he did not take his time, we would have 'Hamlet: The Short Story' instead of 'Hamlet: There are, however, valid reasons for Hamlet's slow behaviour. Among them are his public role in the monarchy of Denmark, his education, and the environment of Elsinore.

Hamlet is first and foremost the Prince of Denmark. There are no brothers or sisters, and he is the popular, well-liked son of an equally popular and well-liked King and Queen. Not unlike the royal families of today, the royals of Elsinore have two lives—a public one and a private one, both of which are very much interlinked.

Their lives as a whole are really not their own, yet their privacy is apparently a sacrifice they are willing to make to render service to Denmark. Hamlet's father, King Hamlet, had done much to ensure that Denmark was well protected.

The contagiousness of evil in hamlet essay

His untimely death was marked by intense mourning at the court, as well it should have been for a man of his position. However, Gertrude's marriage to Claudius before a month of mourning had passed could be interpreted as a breach of protocol. This is why in the opening scenes, Claudius goes to such lengths to calm and soothe the concerns of the court.

When Hamlet returns to the court from school in Wittenburg, Germany, it is impossible that he can escape what awaits him. The tenants of this castle include the King's minister, Polonius, and his family, Laertes and Ophelia, as well as a coterie of government officials Cornelius and Voltemandguards Marcellus and Bernardo and their companiesand courtiers Osric, for example.

In this environment, to have even a small amount of privacy is almost impossible since there is always someone somewhere. Such a transgression as the apparently unprovoked murder of a royal minister would open all sorts of questions for Claudius that he may be able to answer.

Even Hamlet's private life is of public concern, especially when it comes to his selection of a wife. Laertes tells Ophelia in no uncertain terms that her relationship with Hamlet is fruitless: Perhaps he loves you now, And no soil nor cautel doth besmirch The virtue of his will; but you must fear, His greatness being weighed, his will is not his own.

For he himself is subject to his birth. He may not, as unvalued persons do, Carve for himself, for on his choice depends The safety and health of this whole state, And therefore must his choice be circumscribed Unto the voice and yielding of that body Whereof he is the head.

On the political side, it was common practice to cement peace treaties with a marriage between two ruling houses.

Hamlet's Delay

A wife's main function as queen was to produce a male heir for the King. In a kingdom like Denmark, which had an elected monarchy, it was doubly important that a future king be suitably matched for the peace and stability of the country.

Gertrude has produced Hamlet; however, the possibility of a direct heir for Claudius is remote, if not impossible, as Hamlet says: The pressure on Hamlet to continue the line and Claudius' desire to keep the Prince off the throne come into direct conflict.

The contagiousness of evil in hamlet essay

Ophelia, as the daughter of a minister, cannot bring either wealth or security to a marriage with Hamlet. Although Hamlet's profession of love at her funeral is moving and sincere, it is unlikely that they would have been allowed to marry had she lived. Gertrude's comment that she thought Ophelia would have been Hamlet's wife is easy to say now that the girl is dead, but implies that Gertrude recognises a worth in Ophelia that sets her apart from the other women in Elsinore.

However, we only see two women, Gertrude and Ophelia. The reality of the situation is that Ophelia was unable to handle the trauma of losing her father.

A future queen would have to come to terms privately with grief, and show a cool, sophisticated demeanour in public. Ophelia, then, was ill-equipped for the duality of monarchy, regardless of what Gertrude says.

Furthermore, in consideration of Hamlet's public responsibilities, she would have been found lacking in queenly qualities. Aside from these aspects of his current role, Hamlet's education at Wittenberg has its implications in his move back to Elsinore. In school, Hamlet would, presumably, have to act like a future king.

As with any prince, Hamlet is aware that he can only be king on the death of the King, one of the frustrating and potentially depressing aspects of being a king-in-waiting. Queen Victoria's son, Albert, waited almost sixty years to succeed his mother, and today, Prince Charles has almost waited just as long.

For Hamlet, however, there is a slight twist. Denmark had an elected monarchy so that not only did his father have to die first, but Hamlet also needed to win the election. Claudius, King Hamlet's brother, was in Denmark when Hamlet was not.

Therefore Hamlet did not get the job for which he had been groomed his whole life, nor did he get the opportunity to oppose his uncle's selection. When considering the effect of such an action, he would probably have decided against contesting the election so as to avoid alienating public opinion.In many of Shakespeare's plays, the nature of evil is a main theme.

In Hamlet, William Shakespeare show through almost every character, including Claudius, Laertes, and Hamlet, that evil will cause evil. Shakespeare also shows quite beautifully through Ophelia and the entirety of the Act V Scene ii, that evil ultimately leads to ruin.

Apr 14,  · So the ghost may not be Hamlet's father at all, but the devil, urging Hamlet on to some evil task. Hamlet says, when he first sees the ghost, "Be thou a spirit of health or goblin damned,/ Bring.

Gertrude: The Root of Evil in Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay - In Hamlet, a play by William Shakespeare, the driving forces seem, at first glance, to be greed and revenge. But if one delves more deeply, one will find motives other than these. If one asks oneself what is the main reason for revenge in the play they will find that there is a woman at.

Polonius's assertion is ironic because he is right and wrong. Polonius falsely believes Hamlet's madness stems from Hamlet's love of Ophelia.

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To notice a method behind the crazy talk was impressive of Polonius. But as the play progresses, Hamlet's behavior become more erratic. His acting mad seems to cause Hamlet to lose his grip on reality. The Nature of Evil in William Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay Words Nov 22nd, 7 Pages Society has been preoccupied by the concept of good and evil since the emergence of civilization and, just as humankind has evolved over time, so has the definition of evil.

Hamlet’s transforms from good to evil in the play Hamlet by Shakespeare. Hamlet experiences a lot of pain and becomes very anger because of his father’s death, his mother’s bad remarriage, and the loss of his only love, Ophelia.

The Nature of Evil in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet | Free Essays - nationwidesecretarial.com