This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Nature Of Evil In William Shakespeare's Hamlet

3005 words - 12 pages

The Nature of Evil in William Shakespeare's Hamlet
Works Cited Missing
'Hamlet' is a Shakespearean revenge tragedy, which was a strong, and
entertaining form of drama popular in the Elizabethan era during which
Shakespeare (1562-1616) lived. 'Hamlet', like many of Shakespeare's
plays has been inspired by another famous tragedy, in this case, 'The
Spanish Tragedy', a revenge play written by Thomas Kyd. The great
political turbulence that was taking place in England with
conspiracies against the Queen and those in power could also have
prompted Shakespeare to write a play like 'Hamlet'. Though the play is
made up of the stock conventions of a typical revenge tragedy - a
murder, with the ghost of the murdered returning to a loved one, the
delay in vengeance, mental disturbance of the avenger and finally, the
avenger's death, Shakespeare has made 'Hamlet' original by focusing on
the psychology and tragedy of the characters and the situations.

The characters in the play are like real people, and even though the
play was written centuries ago, readers can still relate to their
mentality, sensitivity and reactions to situations. The main character
around whom the play revolves is Hamlet. He is the young Prince of
Denmark, son of Gertrude and the nephew of the present King, Claudius.
Hamlet finds himself in a difficult situation when his dead father's
ghost pays him a visit, calls Claudius a murderer and demands revenge.
The complete court of King Claudius was corrupt and Claudius himself
was the source of all evil in the play, which is why Shakespeare has
chosen a name like 'Claudius' as it would automatically remind the
Elizabethan audience of the Roman emperor, Tiberius Claudius Drusus
Nero Germanicus, who had indulged in an incestuous marriage with his
sister and who, according to them was the epitome of evil.

In 'Hamlet', Shakespeare has portrayed evil as something that corrupts
and deceives and upon analysis, one finds images which give the
feeling of disgust and sickness, as in the Ghost's speech in Act 1,
Scene 5, where he describes the effect of the poison Claudius had
poured in his ears by saying, "And curd, like eager droppings into the
milk/The thin and wholesome blood. So did it mine/And a most instant
tetter bark'd about/Most lazar-like with vile and loathsome crust".
Such graphic imagery is found again in Act 5, Scene 4 where Hamlet
asks his mother to accept her mistake and not to use Hamlet's madness
as an excuse for his words - "Lay not that madness upon your soul/That
not your trespass but my madness speaks/It will but skin and film the
ulcerous place/Whiles rank corruption, mining all within/Infects
unseen." The continuous use of this sort of vivid and revolting
...

Find Another Essay On The Nature of Evil in William Shakespeare's Hamlet

The Role of Duty In William Shakespeare's Hamlet

767 words - 3 pages The Role of Duty In William Shakespeare's Hamlet   Killing a person is not something that anyone can take lightly.  In the story of Hamlet, the uncle of the play's focus character, Prince Hamlet of Denmark, has murdered the prince's father, stolen the crown, and weds his mother.  The ghost of king Hamlet comes to the prince and tells him that he must avenge his murder.  The play follows Hamlet's quest of revenge

The Deceptive Character of Polonius in William Shakespeare's Hamlet

1323 words - 5 pages The Deceptive Character of Polonius in William Shakespeare's Hamlet "Oh, what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive!". This quote by Sir Walter Scott has been heard around the world, translated into many languages, and repeated to us by parents, teachers, and our peers. What does it truly mean? Humans create major and possibly chaotic problems when trying to beguile others. This quote not only applies to one

The Use of Pawns in William Shakespeare's Hamlet

1378 words - 6 pages In Shakespeare's Hamlet, the power of the king, the hierarchy of control, and the use of spies and pawns are the factors that lead to the deaths of Claudius, Gertrude, Hamlet, Laertes, Polonius, and Ophelia. Those who wield power are concerned about how they are seen, therefore, they use indirect action by recruiting a pawn regardless of whether there is honor in the process. These pawns then use direct action. Claudius, the center of power

Procrastination of Revenge in William Shakespeare's Hamlet

586 words - 2 pages Procrastination of Revenge in William Shakespeare's Hamlet In the play “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare, the protagonist Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark, is deceived by many of his former allies, including his mother, Gertrude, and his lover, Ophelia. Perhaps the most deceptive of these former allies is Hamlet’s uncle, Claudius. Not only does Claudius kill Hamlet’s father, the King, but he also proceeds to marry Hamlet’s mother, Gertrude

The Dramatic Significance in William Shakespeare's Hamlet

2935 words - 12 pages The Dramatic Significance in William Shakespeare's Hamlet Ans. Hamlet is the most complex but also the most entertaining of all Shakespeare's plays. It deals with the central character Hamlet a young man who is of an intellectual thoughtful and philosophical nature. The play is about how this young man is asked to do an action that is beyond him. The ghost of his beloved father appears to him and enjoins him the

Perception of Women in William Shakespeare's Hamlet

1919 words - 8 pages Perception of Women in William Shakespeare's Hamlet In Hamlet, Shakespeare carefully represents Getrude and Ophelia. Individually, Gertrude is essentially seen as weak and immoral whilst Ophelia is seen as meek and a victim of society. Collectively, they are seen to fulfil a conventional 16th century role, and it is as our beliefs and views of women change that we are able to perceive the characters in a different angle

Role of Evil in Hamlet's Delay and Downfall. Hamlet by William Shakespeare. Discusses how Hamlet resists, falters and eventually succumbs to evil, heavily focuses on nature of ghost

2899 words - 12 pages Role of Evil in Hamlet's Delay and DownfallScholarly critics have long regarded William Shakespeare's seventeenth-century tragedy, Hamlet, as perhaps the single greatest piece of English literature ever produced. In his Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human, Harold Bloom calls the phenomenon of Hamlet's character "unsurpassed in the West's imaginative literature" (384), and the play itself "the Mona Lisa of literature" (391). Written almost

The Tragedy of William Shakespeare's Hamlet

563 words - 2 pages The Tragedy of William Shakespeare's Hamlet It seems that in this merciless mourning, I have opened a tomb. And though my sight be of seeing, it is not as it once was. For what I see is not with thine own eyes. It is as death appears to those awake. A coldness, an emptiness, that I cannot forsake. Hope Saphos DeVenuto A melody in literature is a language that Shakespeare uses freely in Hamlet with infinite variety. The imagery

Evil in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

1629 words - 7 pages Evil in William Shakespeare's Macbeth MacBeth is a play preoccupied with evil. There is a potential for evil in people in the natural and the supernatural world. It documents the evil brought out by a tormented king. The word evil in the question means something or someone is bad or harmful. The word supernatural means something or someone from another world. The play was written in 1906 as a tribute to King

Evil in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

1743 words - 7 pages Evil in William Shakespeare's Macbeth In this essay I shall look at ho evil is portrayed in Shakespeare's Macbeth. I believe evil is the first step on Macbeth's road to destruction and turns him into the bloody tyrant he becomes. The main evil wrong doing in the play is the murder of the innocent king Duncan. Evil is also presented in the form of the witches who influence Macbeth to stray from all goodness. Macbeth

Claudius in William Shakespeare's Hamlet

3222 words - 13 pages Claudius in William Shakespeare's Hamlet Ans. 'Hamlet, Prince of Denmark' is perhaps Shakespeare's best tragedy. It was written between the years, 1600-1601. Hamlet's character in the play is one of introspection and reflection. He is a person who thinks too much before he acts and also expresses a lot of his feelings before actually doing something. All of Shakespeare's tragedies concerned people in high positions in a

Similar Essays

The Role Of Women In Hamlet In William Shakespeare's Play

2427 words - 10 pages The Role of Women in Hamlet in William Shakespeare's Play Gertrude and Ophelia, the only two women in Hamlet, reflect the general status of women in Elizabethan Times. Women were suppressed by the males in their lives (brothers, fathers, and partners) and were always inferior. Ophelia and Gertrude have little or no power due to restricted legal, social and economic rights that were found in Elizabethan society. The male

The Presentation Of Hamlet In William Shakespeare's Play

1870 words - 7 pages The Presentation of Hamlet in William Shakespeare's Play “Hamlet”, the story of a Danish prince whose uncle murders the prince’s father, marries his mother, and claims the throne but the prince manages to kill his uncle in revenge, is open to many forms of interpretation since the play’s plot explores difficult themes of the impossibility of certainty, the complexity of taking action, the mystery of death and the

The Theme Of Death In William Shakespeare's Hamlet

1053 words - 4 pages The Theme of Death in William Shakespeare's Hamlet In the play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, the protagonist, Hamlet is obsessed with the idea of death, and during the course of the play he contemplates death from numerous perspectives. He ponders the physical aspects of death, as seen with Yoricks's skull, his father's ghost, as well as the dead bodies in the cemetery. Hamlet also contemplates the spiritual aspects of the afterlife

Hamlet And The Issue Of Revenge In William Shakespeare's Play

2309 words - 9 pages Hamlet and the Issue of Revenge in William Shakespeare's Play The question of why Hamlet does not immediately avenge his father's death is perhaps one of the most perplexing problems faced by an audience. Each generation of viewers has come up with it's own explanation, and it has now become the most widely known critical problem in Shakespearean studies. A rather simplistic, yet valid standpoint to take on this