Theme Of Decay In Hamlet

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“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark” (1.5.100). The entirety of William Shakespeare 's play, The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, could very well be explained through the rottenness of the court. Denmark and the people decay from the inside out. The decay is caused by poison. King Claudius initiated the use of poison which evidently led to Denmark 's demise. Hamlet, being the prince of Denmark feels as though it is his duty to find what caused the decay. The ghost of his father comes to him with a message about his death, “The serpent that did sting thy father’s life now wears his crown” (1. 5. 46-47). Relaying this information to Hamlet created more decay throughout the court because King Claudius killed Hamlet 's father.…show more content…
Being Hamlet 's girlfriend, Ophelia was on the receiving end of most of his deluded hatred after she was told to spy on him by her father and the king, “I shall obey my lord” (1.3.145). Ophelia had no choice but to do what she was told considering it was an order from the king. But believing that Hamlet loved her, Ophelia thought she was doing what was best for him. Hamlet chooses to retaliate by calling Ophelia a whore, “Get thee to a nunnery: why wouldst thou be a breeder of sinners?” (3.1.121-122). Adding to Ophelia 's decay, there is the question of if Ophelia is still a virgin, beginning Ophelia 's downfall. If she did lose her virginity, there is the possibility of it adding to her decay because now Hamlet is using it against her.The decay within Ophelia reaches its peak when Hamlet kills her father mistaking him for the king behind the arras, “How now! A rat? Dead, for a ducat, dead!” (3.4.24). The readers could wonder if Hamlet knew all along who was behind the curtain and choose to kill him anyway to get his own type of justice against Ophelia. With these turn of events, Ophelia becomes crazy and not being able to bear her father 's death takes her own life.Ophelia 's own type of decay begins to seep its way…show more content…
Learning about the death of his father,”Let come what comes, only I’ll be revenged most thoroughly for my father,” (4.5.153-154), Laertes returns home for revenge against Hamlet. Laertes being away at school and still being affected by the corruption and decay throughout Denmark shows how far it has spread. In order to get his revenge, Laertes storms the castle by force, making the people of Denmark see that they need a take action king. The death of Ophelia spreads the decay more.There is not much the priest can do about where Ophelia is buried but Laertes does not believe that sister 's memory deserves that, “And from her fair and unpolluted flesh may violets spring! I tell thee, churlish priest,” (5.1.249.250). Laertes could be the exact opposite of Hamlet in regards to their revenge. Hamlet, not being happy with just killing the king wants him to go to hell but doesn’t want to go to hell himself. Laertes doesn’t care about his fate as long as he gets his revenge. King Claudius provokes Laertes into challenging Hamlet to a duel that will insure his death, “ A chalice for the nonce, whereon but sipping, if he by chance escape your venom’d stuck, our purpose may hold there” (4.7.160-162). The decay reaches its peak when the court of
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