Corruption In Denmark Dave Dunphy Integrity in Hamlet Hamlet Drama Assignment Due: April 26, 2000 Passed In: April 26, 2000 Corruption in Denmark In the play Hamlet by Shakespeare, the integrity of some characters are all challenged with honesty and deceit. The King of Denmark is deteriorating and rotting the state and its people. Many images of corruption, spying, and decay compound as the play moves on, because Claudius is trying to find out what his nephew, Hamlet, is planning. A description of some of the points of defilement in detail and what they mean follows. As the scene opens, there is a party, and a party-pooper.
The party is somewhat of a classy type, where all the people are dressed in fancy dresses and nice suits and one person in black. That person is Hamlet. Claudius, the late kings brother, is marrying his widow, Gertrude, less than 2 months of his brothers death. This is a sign of corruption. Claudius tries to make it seem like nothing big has happened. He describes that he is sad, everyone should be sad, but it is best to think of the dead king with wisest sorrow. That is, life goes on and doesnt stop for a single persons death.
Claudius also adds With mirth (gladness) in funeral and dirge (grief) in marriage. This is one of many paradoxes in this paradoxical play, but the king doesnt mean it as a paradox. The second sign of decay is that Hamlet wants to avenge is fathers death, and bring justice to the murderer. Marcallus, Horatio, and Barnardo notify Hamlet of a ghost that appears before them, one who looks like King Hamlet. Horatio adds that the appearance of the Ghost reminds him of what he has read in portents in Rome, just before the assassination of Julius Caesar, when The graves stood tenantless and the sheeted dead / Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets. Hamlet listens to his loyal friends, and decides to see what this is about. The ghost speaks to Hamlet, and tells him he is thy fathers spirit, and must soon return to the prison of purgatory and its flames.
Ghost: Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder Murder most foul, as in the best it is; But this most foul, strange and unnatural A serpent stung me; so the whole ear of Denmark Is by a forged process of my death Rankly abused: but you know, thou noble youth, The serpent that did sting thy fathers life Now wears his crown. Hamlet: O my prophetic soul! My uncle! Yes indeed Claudius killed Hamlets father. This is a great sign of corruption. Hamlet must have revenge on Claudius and avenge is fathers most unnatural murder. Claudius becomes suspicious of Hamlet and sends for Rosentcrantz and Guildenstern.
He immediately greets them and gets down to business right away. He wants to find out why Hamlet is acting weird, and needs to be assured that it is only because of his fathers passing away. Claudius: Welcome, dear Rosencrantz and Guildenstern! Moreover that we much did long to see you, The need we have to use you did provoke Our hasty sending. Something have you heard Of Hamlet’s transformation; so call it, Sith nor the exterior nor the inward man Resembles that it was. What it should be, More than his father’s death, that thus hath put him So much from the understanding of himself, I cannot dream of: I entreat you both, That, being of so young days brought up with him, And sith so neighbour’d to his youth and havior, That you vouchsafe your rest here in our court Some little time: so by your companies To draw him on to pleasures, and to gather, So much as from occasion you may glean, Whether aught, to us unknown, afflicts him thus, That, open’d, lies within our remedy.
Claudius asks the two men to hang out with Hamlet and see what is wrong with him. He says, I cannot dream of what might be wrong. We suspect is that what the King really wants to know is what Hamlet knows or suspects, or what he may do. He has the whole state in his hand. The king not only uses some of Hamlets best friends as bait, but also uses his last love.
The King, Gertrude, and Polonius influence Ophelia to help them find out what is wrong with Hamlet. They hope her virtues (sweet, kind, loving) will help figure out what Hamlet knows and planning. From out of the blue when Hamlet and Ophelia are talking, he asks the same question as he did with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, if they were sent for. Hamlet notices Polonius behind the curtain and explodes in rage. I say, we will have no more marriages: those who are married already, all but one, shall live; the rest shall keep as they are.
Now the King knows of Hamlets odd behavior. The corruption has not stopped yet. Polonius suggests that: Polonius: Let his queen mother all alone entreat him To show his grief: let her be round with him; And I’ll be placed, so please you, in the ear Of all their conference. If she find him not, To England send him, or confine him where Your wisdom best shall think. Now they are dragging Hamlets mother into this.
She probably has been in it from the start, the murder of King Hamlet, because why would she marry again so quickly after his death? Polonius gives the queen directions to talk to Hamlet and chew him out, and even threaten him. Polonius says, He will come straight. Look you lay home to him: Tell him his pranks have been too broad to bear with. She starts off offending Hamlet: Queen: Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offended. Hamlet: Mother, you have my father much offended. Queen: Come, come, you answer with an idle tongue.
Hamlet: Go, go, you question with a wicked tongue. Hamlet cannot trust anyone, except the Ghost and Horatio. Hamlet knows that everyone is spying on him, and he must end what is rotting in the state of Denmark. If I were Hamlet I would trust no one, avenge my fathers death, and bring peace to Denmark. The integrity of some characters is all challenged with honesty and deceit. Claudius starts the deteriorating of Denmark, and it slowly seeps down the chain.
Bibliography Meyer, Michael. The Bedford Introduction to LIterature. Boston. 1999. Shakespeare.