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The Corruption of Denmark in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet


No country is completely devoid of corruption. Nonetheless, if corruption is strong enough, it can hinder the excellent governance and decay the fabric of society. It is a challenge to sustainable development, and leaves little room for justice to prevail.

Throughout the play, Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, a corrupting disease afflicts Denmark and individuals within it.The incestuous marriage in between Gertrude and Claudius, in addition to killing King Hamlet, is the main example of deceit, corruption and evil. Throughout the play we can sketch a development of this corruption, through disease, in the characters of Polonius, Claudius, Ophelia and Hamlet.

This directly causes the failure of the castle and Denmark. At the end of the play, the castle and the land are taken control of by Fortinbras, the final even that signifies the fall of the country. In Hamlet, Shakespeare depicts Claudius as the source of corruption in Denmark, which gradually spreads through Elsinore and causes the downfall of Denmark.In the start of the play, the ghost of King Hamlet arrives to caution Prince Hamlet about the corruption in Elsinore. The ghost tells him that he was killed by poison inserted into his ear by Claudius. Claudius is the very first to fall ill with the illness of corruption. King Hamlet was a powerful ruler, who kept his nation strong, undamaged and clean.

At the time of his rule Denmark might have been referred to as an “unweeded garden”(I. ii. 135), comparable to the Garden of Eden. Claudius’ sin creates a filthy and infectious weed in this garden. This leads Marcellus to state that “there is something rotten in the state ofDenmark”(I. iv. 90).

This declaration refers straight to Claudius’ corruption, as he is the driver of the rot and death of the nation. His malicious actions, which bring him to power, plague the people around him. The ghost informs Hamlet: “If thou didst ever thy dear daddy love–/ … [to]/ Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder” (I. v. 23-25). The images of rotting and foulness in smell entering the castle represent the infectious residential or commercial property of sin. Furthermore, if a ghost appears, it suggests that something dramatically bad or devastating has or will happen.

This demonstrates how terrible Claudius’ actions are and the level power it needs to corrupt everybody else in the castle. Prince Hamlet is portrayed by Shakespeare as a noble prince who is trying to eliminate the evil and corruption of the world. After the ghost’s go to, he understands his goal is to bring back order in Elsinore. Regrettably, this corruption affects him himself which causes him to go psychologically insane and results in his death. The very first indication of this insanity is when he contemplates suicide, which is wicked in Catholisism. To be, or not to be: that is the question: Whether’t is nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms versus a sea of problems, And by opposing end them? (III. i.

58-62) He thinks twice whether it would be much easier to pass away instead of to eliminate versus the corruption and all his troubles. The murder of his dad, the incestuous marital relationship of his mother and uncle, and Ophelia’s expected rejection of him is just excessive for him to endure. Hamlet has actually simply come home from university in Wittenberg, where he was taught to think and use perfects and is now having trouble residing in a world that is so rotten.The power of Claudius’ sly deeds has the ability to gradually damage a character as worthy as Hamlet. He comes to the conclusion that no one would voluntarily bear the discomforts of his life if they were not afraid of what follows it. It is this fear that causes Hamlet’s inability for action. The indecision to kill Claudius prolongs the development of the madness in himself.

His initial intentions of the antic disposition are good however are quickly damaged by the Danish court. He is torn in between the corruption in Denmark and his Noble self. Throughout the remainder of the play, Prince Hamlet places on an antic disposition.He pretends to go mad in order to shake off Claudius. Nevertheless, Hamlet gradually starts to become really insane as he acts foolishly without thinking about repercussions, and frequently injures individuals he appreciates. Polonius is among the most corrupt characters of the play. However, we can see that his corruption remains in his nature and not caused only by the murder of King Hamlet.

In his speech to his son, Leartes (I. iii), he opposes the virtue of being close-mouthed and discrete. Polonius later advises his servant Renyaldo to spy on Laetes in Paris. This is really hypocritical of him as he is doing precisely what he condemned earlier.He also meddles into the relationship of Ophelia and Hamlet, without considering their feelings, and is just ready to satisfy his own goals. He does not wish to offend the king or make it seem like he is pressing his child to wed Hamlet. Hamlet views Ophelia as somebody pure, cares deeply about her and does not consider their distinction in stature.

Unfortunately, Polonius manages to corrupt their innocent relationship. After Polonius spies on Hamlet, to show his insanity to the king, Hamlet suspects Ophelia of being associated with the spying and plotting that has been occurring.He tells her that “God has actually offered [her] one face, and [she] make [herself] another”(III. i. 144-145). He tells her that she is an inconsistent and unpredictable individual and believes that she betrayed him. Hamlet’s mind is damaged by the basic evil in Elsinore.

Ophelia represents the worths of youth, pureness and innocence that are corrupted, like Hamlet, by the Danish Court. Her down spiral into madness begins after the nunnery scene(III. i). She is controlled by her father and cruelly abused by Hamlet. Before the scene, Ophelia relied on Hamlet’s nobility and Polonius’ wisdom.However, at the end, after her feelings and mind are harmed, she loses trust and faith in both men. Ophelia tells her brother: “”I would provide you some violets, however they withered all when my father passed away”(IV.

iii. 180-1). As violets represent faith, she had provided all of her faith to her father, and lost it when he died. She refuses to acknowledge the corruption in Elsinore and guards herself from it by childish chatter. Ophelia commits suicide by drowning herself. Suicide is an incredibly wicked method to die, and is typically just done or contemplated if someone was truly mad.Ophelia’s spiral downfall that ends in death depicts how Elsinore has actually deteriorated to the point that it can corrupt even the purest form of innocence.

Horatio and Fortinbras are the only characters in the play that are not impacted by the disease of corruption. Fortinbras does not get impacted given that he is not part of the Danish court or Denmark itself. Horatio is among the most intelligent and brave characters of the play. He is a learned scholar at Wittenberg, who knows how to handle circumstances in a reasonable and smart manner.When the ghost appears for the first time, he does not fear it like the other characters whom he explained ending up being “practically to Jelly with the act of fear”(I. ii. 205).

He goes to report precisely what he saw to Hamlet straight. He is extremely devoted to Hamlet and stays sincere and sincere during the whole play. He seems to be the only person who knows exactly what is occurring and can properly predict the future. He knows that the ghost will result in Prince Hamlet’s suicide or insanity and he attempts to avoid Hamlet from meeting with him. Horatio does not have any strong or dependant relationships within Elsinore.He is an extremely singular male, with little or no personal goals, making him immune to the illness of corruption. Although he dies at the end of the play, it is not due to the fact that of the corruption of Elsinore, however since he used to pass away alongside his good friend.

With the fall of every character in the Kronborg castle, the fall of Denmark is inevitable. After the fencing match during Leartes and Hamlet, every primary character, besides Horatio and Fortinbras is presumed dead. Fortibras sees this as the ideal time to take control of the throne and states: “I have some rights of memory in this kingdom,/ Which now to declare my vantage doth invite me”(V. i. 390-391). He, like Prince Hamlet was seeking to retaliate on behalf of his dead dad. Alternatively, he did not postpone his actions and he knew exactly the right time to take what he desired.

Considering that Fortinbras is initially connected with Norway, it is as if Denmark no longer exists as its own entity and can be thought about the fall of the nation. Claudius, as the begetter of the corruption in Denmark, is certainly the most evil, deceitful and corrupt character of the play. After murdering his wn brother to take power of the tossed, he weds Cost Hamlet’s mom. This can be thought about to be incestuous and morally remiss. Due to the fact that of this union, Gertrude is now inevitably corrupt. She, like all other characters who have actually been impacted, need to die. In his speech revealing his marriage, he attempts to show remorse of the death of King Hamlet by stating: “Though yet of Hamlet our dear sibling’s death […] To bear our hearts in sorrow and our entire kingdom/To be contracted in one brow and trouble”(I.

ii. 1-4). His true intent is not taking care of his kingdom or its people, however power and control, through the control of others. Claudius is corrupt enough that he is willing to do anything to validate his place on the throne. Most of his actions in the play are to get rid of threats and protect his power. He consistently attempts to kill Hamlet by, for example, sending him with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to be eliminated, setting up a fixed fencing match, and poisoning his drink. All of these backfire and end up harming him in some method.

Claudius can clearly be viewed as the begetter of corruption of all the characters. Hamlet is damaged mainly because of the murder of his dad and marriage of his mom, which was dedicated by Claudius. Ophelia is corrupted due to Hamlet rejecting her and eliminating her daddy. However, considering that Hamlet’s mind suffers the corruption of Claudius’ criminal activities, Claudius can be named accountable for Ophelia’s fall. The murder of King Hamlet can effectively parallel the death of the state of Denmark by Claudius. In the asking of the play, the ghost of King Hamlet describes his death to his son.Upon my safe and secure hour thy uncle took With juice of cursed hebona in a vial, And in the decks of my ears did put The leperous distilment.

… doth posset And curd, like excited droppings into milk, the thin and wholesome blood. So did it my own.

And a most instantaneous tetter barked about, Many lazar-like, with repellent and loathsome crust All my smooth body (I. v. 61-73) He describes his body passing away and rotting utilizing images such as curdy milk, toxin, rotting and leprosy. These images can be, in the same method utilized to describe the fall of Denmark.King Hamlet has actually fallen, and his land should fall with him. Claudius is accountable for both the murder of his brother, and the murder of Denmark. It can be clearly seen that Claudius is the pioneer of the corruption in Denmark.

His wicked deeds cause disasters in the Kronborg Castle, which lead to the fall of every character and Denmark. His wicked affects even the purest and noblest of characters such as Ophelia and Hamlet. Today’s society can learn a lot from Hamlet. Corruption has actually gone international; Scores of civilizations have actually perished due to greed and corruption.It appears it is ingrain in humanity to succumb to the traps and deceit as illustrated in Hamlet. There seems to be no solution for corruption. In today’s global economy everyone wants to go on at the expense of someone else’ die and would not stop at anything to accomplish their goals.

As seen by Horatio, education and reason is the only solution by which one can be made to understand the repercussions of suffering of society due to corruption and malice.Works Cited Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Cambridge: Cambridge School Shakespeare, 2007.

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