Unweeded Garden In Hamlet

1389 Words6 Pages
Throughout the tragedy of Hamlet, Shakespeare borrows metaphors of the Garden of Eden to in order to parallel the fall of Denmark and the disintegration of Hamlet’s family with the expulsion from Paradise. Hamlet’s father, the late king, talks about his villainous brother as a hateful snake, who killed him to get his power and wife and how weeds are growing over the kingdom. Next, Hamlet speaks about how the country of Denmark used to resemble Paradise, but now is lost to sin and corruption; but unlike the story of Genesis, this time the people haven’t been kicked out of Eden, it just appears to be lost. Lastly, in act five of the play, Hamlet never brings up the garden, but only dirt suggesting that he believes that Denmark is beyond saving…show more content…
Hamlet reminds the audience how bad a state Denmark is in and that he believes that it is his destiny to cure it. Hamlet describes the current chemistry of Denmark as “an unweeded garden/ That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature/ Possess it merely.” (1.2.139-141). Hamlet is most upset about what his kingdom has become, “an unweeded garden,” but the word “unweeded” implies that it is possible to save the garden because weeds can be uprooted. The uprooting that Hamlet is referring to is unclear to him at this time, since he has not spoken to his father, but he does know that his uncle and his friends are evil and want all the power to themselves. Hamlet remembers his father and mother as being happy with one another and cannot fathom how things turned out the way they did. The sickness in the garden are growing with “seed” and Hamlet describes it as “rank and gross in nature.” The garden that Hamlet remembers did not have sickness and was beautiful, but now it has become ill with weeds, “rank,” “gross,” and swamp-like. Later, in Act three, Hamlet has discovered what his uncle has done and plots revenge. He talks to his mother and tells her to, “Repent what’s past, avoid what is to come, / And do not spread the compost on the weeds /To make them ranker” (3.4, 171-173). Hamlet is essentially calling his…show more content…
Denmark goes from being infected by weeds and the serpent, Claudius, to being considered a fresh plate of dirt where the Garden can be replanted and pure once again. Denmark will be able to return to its former glory, a pure and powerful state. To both Hamlet and his dad, Denmark is an equivalent to Paradise, which in turn causes them to speak like Denmark
Open Document