Handout: Hamlet and Personal Gain Essay

Submitted By farzaan34
Words: 512
Pages: 3

Group # 4
Imagery: Disease and Corruption
Within Hamlet, Shakespeare makes a number of references to Denmark's degraded state due to the dishonesty that lies within. Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a suitable example on how corruption rapidly can be spread and result in many horrible actions. Corruption is an essential theme in Hamlet. In the beginning the corruption is rather small and isolated, but later on it is spread and cost the lives of nine people in the story. Shakespeare also interlaces the dominant theme of disease into every scene to illustrate the corrupt state of Denmark and Hamlet's all-consuming suspicion. Images of actual disease, whether it be physical or mental they show a parallel of sins such as drunkenness, espionage, war, adultery, and murder, to reinforce the central idea that Denmark is dying.
Main Question: Is corruption a form of disease?
Thesis: Shakespeare uses the concept of disease throughout Hamlet, to illustrate the corruption of structures within Denmark. This is shown when Claudius kills his brother, when Claudius plans for Hamlet’s assassination, and when Polonius repeatedly uses his daughter for personal gain
Main Arguments with quotes:
Point 1- Claudius killing King Hamlet
“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark” (I, iiii, 90)
“Yet what can it, when one cannot repent? O wretched state! O bosom black as death! O limed soul!” (III, iii, 68).
Point 2- Claudius planning Hamlet’s assassination
“By letters congruing to that effect, the present death of Hamlet. Do it, England, for like the hectic in my blood he rages, and thou must cure me” (III, iiii, 66).
“He, being remiss, Most generous and free from all contriving, Will not peruse the foils; so that, with ease, Or with a little shuffling, you may choose A sword unbated, and in a pass of practice Requite him for your father” (IIII, vi, 153-158).
“And that he calls for drink, I’ll have prepared him a