Analysis Of "Hamlet"

2131 words - 9 pages

In Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, the author demonstrates a lot of corruption and rottenness in Denmark. He does this a few different ways; one way is by showing the corruption of the parents in the play and showing the effect they have on their children and the society that surrounds them. There are a few main adult characters in the play, each one with their own secrets and their own character defects that affect almost everyone around them. One main thing that the author explains is that the older generation has no respect for the younger generation, Hamlet, Ophelia, and Laertes. Shakespeare illustrates that almost all the adult characters in the play are defined by their self-centeredness. The characters are also described as being semi-childish in their actions in the play. The actions of the older generation also have a big effect on the people that are living "under" them, the peasants. Their corruption plays a big part in what is corrupting Denmark and contributing to the decay of the country. Shakespeare explains the older generations self-centeredness and manipulative nature throughout the play and how it contributes to the corruption of Denmark. The older generation tries to control their children, and they really don't care about anyone but themselves. Their actions have a very negative effect on their children and the effect of corruption on the people of Denmark.

Throughout the play the older generation continue to tell their children how to act and what to do. Claudius does not want Hamlet to go to school; he would rather have him stay back home to keep watch over him. Claudius says that "[m] adness in great ones" must be carefully watched (III.i.187). Gertrude, the Queen and Hamlet's mother, echoes her husband's wishes immediately and says she too wants Hamlet to stay, only because she too wants to watch over him. Her reason is a better one though; because she wants to see what is happening with her "too much changed" son (II.ii.36). In act I.ii, as Hamlet grieves his father's death, Claudius disrespects him; essentially he tells Hamlet to get over it and that all fathers die some time. The author shows here how the parent's actions can have a negative effect on their children. If Hamlet is to take how Claudius acts as normal, then he could act the same way towards his children; showing almost no compassion and only wanting what is best for himself. None of the characteristics are something that a good father should portray. Claudius describes Hamlet's grief as; "Tis unmanly grief" referring to the fact that Hamlet has been grieving too long (I.ii.94). Hamlet needs time to mourn and Claudius feels that he can dictate how long Hamlet can mourn for.

Polonius is also very disrespectful of his children. He is always telling Ophelia, his daughter, how to act and that she cannot talk to Hamlet or see him. Polonius tells Ophelia "I would not...As to give words or talk with Lord Hamlet"(I.iii.133-135). ...

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