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Corruption in Hamlet

The topic of corruption is perceived today as a serious evil. This topic is particularly clearly shown in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Shakespeare uses the images of corruption and degradation of human personality to demonstrate how easily and quickly the virus of corruption can spread from one source to another. One damaged character of a person becomes a contagious disease that infects the whole kingdom. In the same way the character of a corrupt king infects the whole kingdom. Shakespeare in his work tries to show that the sun, just as King Claudius, may contribute to the spread of corruption. The sun, which is the source of all life on Earth, becomes a powerful factor of corruption. Quite often kings are associates with the god of the sky, and with the omnipotence of the sun. Thus, the sun becomes the king. Corruption of the King indirectly achieved Hamlet, as well as other characters in the beginning of the tragedy. Infection was spread from one source, King Claudius. Images used by Shakespeare provide us with a clear picture of infectious sin.

In the Act I we can see a progression of corruption through one character, King Claudius, which infects the entire kingdom of Denmark. In the character’s speeches we can hear the theme of decay and through these speeches the characters show social, moral, and political corruption in their society.

In Act I, the moral corruption is represented through the fact that King Claudius marries his deceased brother’s wife. It is not considered morally correct now as it was not considered in the times of Shakespeare. Hamlet is very upset with his mother marrying his uncle and he speaks about it with the repulsion in his speech. Hamlet talks about the incest between Claudius and his mother and how inappropriate their marriage is, especially when Claudius being the King of Denmark and holding superiority over everyone else, should set a positive example for people living in Denmark. His marriage to his brother’s wife proves his incapacity to set a positive example as a leader and shows him as a man who doesn’t have moral competence.

The repeated motif of moral corruption is also present in the next passage. Due to the all evil internal activities in Denmark, Hamlet says that the whole state is soiled, which in turn negatively impacts the grand universal picture of things. Images of deformed and distasteful plants, in place of the traditional beautiful flowers in a garden, also serve as a reinforcement of the degeneration theme.

The topic of corruption is perceived today as a serious evil. This topic is particularly clearly shown in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Shakespeare uses the images of corruption and degradation of human personality to demonstrate how easily and quickly the virus of corruption can spread from one source to another.

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Assignment ID
100001334
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CREATED ON
August 28, 2016
COMPLETED ON
August 29, 2016
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$19
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