The Theme Of Hamlet;Death And Decay

1482 words - 6 pages

Shakespeare's play Hamlet is a well known and has been overly discussed about throughout the world. Finding out just one theme of Hamlet has been an argument for a long time and many agree with me in saying that there isn't just one theme but many sub-themes that go on throughout the whole story. As I read the play, Hamlet, I was filled with many images that sparked my imagination and was mostly dark and dreadful. The imagery of disease, corruption, and decay contributes to the theme of death, and decay. The aura of tragedy is present from the beginning to the end of the play; the only slight reprieve of the dark mood comes in the Gravediggers' scene, but even the comedy of this scene is morbid. The play immediately starts out with this evil dark imagery and is clear throughout the play and not limited to the last act when majority of the cast is struck by death.From the beginning of the play the reader/viewer can tell that this play is not going to be about bunny rabbits and fields of flowers. In the first scene, an atmosphere of darkness and uneasiness is immediately established. The gloom of the castle, the eerie midnight darkness, and the "bitter cold" all create a sense of dread as the change of guard takes place and the soldiers talk in fearful tones about the ghostly figure that they have seen. The soldier on duty, Francisco, feels "sick at heart" and eagerly welcomes Bernardo, even though he admits that his has been a "quiet guard." Francisco's sickness cannot be merely caused by the coldness of the winter night. It gives imaginative expression to the rottenness in the state of Denmark. Shakespeare marvelously establishes the place and mood within the first twenty lines of the play.The ghost mysterious silence and quick departure further darkens the atmosphere of the opening scene of the play. Shakespeare immediately writes about death with the presence of ghost. In order for there to be a ghost in a story someone has to have died. The late king is dead and now walks the grounds in purgatory. The presence of a ghost scares the guards they are struck with fear and wonder.More imagery is used by Shakespeare to enforce the theme of death and decay in Hamlet's first soliloquy. " O that this too too sullied flesh would melt, thaw, and resolve itself into a dew (I, II, 130)" and "seems to me all the uses of this world... tis an unweeded garden that grows to seed. Things rank gross in nature posses it merely (I, II, 136). The imagery of the unweeded garden in his soliloquy symbolizes the fall from a state of perfection and order. Hamlet explains that his dark clothes and other external signs of mourning are nothing in comparison with what he feels in his heart. He is disgusted with life, and the world appears to him "weary, stale, flat, and, unprofitable," a place fit for only those who are gross and ill of nature. Hamlet longs to die and wishes that suicide were not a sin. He is outraged by his mother's hasty marriage to his Uncle.When the play...

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