“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark” (1.4.98) but there are a variety of different infections that all contribute to one main conflict. Each character within the play has not only his or her own inner trials to fight against but also each of these issues form together to create the corruption in Denmark. Throughout the course of the play each character learns to deal with his or her internal battles and each conflict combines with others to create one singular, complex problem. It seems as though every issue ties together to form a tangled web leading ultimately to the demise of seven key characters.
There isn’t a single character within the play that understands the big picture or the consequences of their actions. Because of the social standing Hamlet’s family holds they never have to face the law. Michael Macrone criticizes Hamlet in that, Elsinore is a fish that is becoming rotten from the head, the peak of social hierarchy. People second guess murder today because of the threat that justice poses against that action, whereas in Hamlet those involved are the law, so there is no one to fear.
Hamlet shows how each character flaw builds up against one another, and that though the characters are fighting for a common goal, their differences make it impossible to be successful. Starting with Rosencratz and Guildenstern who are oblivious to the entire conflict; they are only able to see Claudius’ side of the equation. These two men follow direction without question and don’t use their own agency during the play. Their care free attitude leads to their ultimate demise.
Rosencratz and Guildenstern were used as tools by Claudius to reveal Hamlet’s secrets; Claudius proves to be the villain of the play with his many crimes. He never had a grip on the problems that would arouse from murdering his brother and marrying his sister-in-law. Claudius’ perception was skewed when he thought life would return to normal after these acts. Although he is a murderer, he feels guilt for what he did and is scared of what could happen to him because of it. In Act 3 scene 3, he begins to repent for the sins he has committed, which makes Hamlet feel guilty if he were to kill him. This shows that he is not a cold blood murderer but a normal person. His character flaw would be his guilt; if he wouldn’t have let it fester within him he would have killed Hamlet and moved on to lead Denmark without even the slightest stumble.
Along with Claudius’ schemes we find Hamlet’s mother Gertrude who unknowingly becomes a securing thread in the King’s plan. She, like Rosencratz and Guildenstern, is oblivious to the larger conflict but her good nature and love towards her son allows her to be a chess piece in Claudius’ game because of her concern for Hamlet.
Gertrude had wanted the best for the family for the length of the play, and her actions proved that she was never trying to hurt anyone; but rather fell into the hands of a dark plot though her...