Hamlet Essay Holly Silm

Words: 1485
Pages: 6

Hamlet Essay
Holly Silm

‘Explore how time and place are used in Shakespeare’s Hamlet to shape the audience’s understanding of corruption’

The attribution of universality to a particular text is a prerogative of literary criticism that is fraught with the responsibility of contriving reconciliatory persuasions in preservation of the fundamental textual integrity of that text. William Shakespeare’s Hamlet has inspired diverse interpretations regarding its authorial preoccupations, structure and language choices, peculiar to the ideological, historical and cultural lenses of its commentators. The consequent reception and significance assigned to this text over the centuries simultaneously betrays the polyspersectivity of critical
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Where Freudian readings identify Hamlet’s cowardly admiration for his father as misplaced guilt for his Oedipal attraction to Gertrude, it can be contended that Hamlet had in fact, defied his father as a symbol of righteous order in a morally and politically corrupt state – ‘see what a grace was seated on this brow… where every god did seem to set his seal… to give the world assurance of a man.’ Hamlet’s chaste filial love is borne out of his desperation to fulfill an ideal of masculine leadership. Let it be noted that Hamlet’s hope for Claudius’ damnation is a tactic of procrastination, as throughout the whole play, Hamlet is unwilling to become force of fraudulence like Claudius. This reluctance impedes his last obvious opportunity to kill Claudius until the play’s final scene. Laertes, a foil for Hamlet, contrastingly epitomizes the fraudulent medieval values as a Machiavellian avenger of his context, which Hamlet presents through the misconduct in Denmark. Laertes forcefully juxtaposes revered Christian values with the mention of the ‘profoundest pit’ of hell, thus reinforcing his embodiment of medieval values. His plosive alteration aurally emphasises Laertes’ abandonment of virtue, and in this his very willingness to become a man of action as a force of fraudulence (which Hamlet lacks), impeding his swift act of