Corruption in "Hamlet"
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This paper studies Shakespeare's play "Hamlet". The paper focuses on the theme of corruption and how the desire for power ruins the lives of all concerned. The paper evaluates each of the play's major characters, beginning with Polonius, the most obviously corrupt character and including Claudius, Gertrude, Ophelia and Laertes. The paper concludes with the author's assessment that the central theme of "Hamlet" is not indecision -- as some maintain -- but the way in which power corrupts and kills.
From the Paper:"Polonius may be the most obviously corrupt character, but the center of evil of the play's plot and of the kingdom is Claudius. When Marcellus states, 'Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.' [Act I, Sc. iv, 90], it could be interpreted that he is speaking of a threat of war, but when looked at as symbolic, nothing could better sum up Claudius' corrupting effect on the kingdom which is brought on by his unpunished crime. His evil deeds carry him to the throne and pollute the people around him causing chaos, sorrow and death" (Moriarty 4). There could be no doubt that Claudius is what today we would call "power mad." There is no real explanation why he murdered his brother. Did he feel cheated at not being offered the throne in the first place? It is doubtful that he was so in love with Gertrude that this caused the murder. No, it is simply that Claudius wanted to rule. He wanted the power, and his brother- who one feels was far too benevolent a ruler- stood in the way."
Cite this Essay:
Corruption in "Hamlet" (2006, June 22) Retrieved May 21, 2022, from https://www.academon.com/essay/corruption-in-hamlet-66923/
"Corruption in "Hamlet"" 22 June 2006. Web. 21 May. 2022. <https://www.academon.com/essay/corruption-in-hamlet-66923/>