Death, Decay and Disease in Hamlet

Length: 2 Pages 602 Words

Within ‘Hamlet’, Shakespeare makes a number of references to Denmark's degraded state due to the deceit that lies within. These references are made by Hamlet, Horatio as well as the apparition, thus enforcing the strong theme of death, decay and disease. As aforementioned Hamlets makes a number of references to Denmark. Preceding the death of his father and the marriage of his mother, his mental state begins to fall into demise . Although he appears to not have much courage at first, his focus remains on avenging his father whose murder is described as being "most foul." As noted in one of Hamlet's first soliloquies, his downward spiral has already began and already he is contemplating suicide; "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... Things rank and gross in nature posses it m Continue...


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Furthermore Shakespeare encourages us to empathize with these emotions by using such rich descriptions. Although sometimes harsh, almost all the actors refer to one of these themes at one point or another and Shakespeare makes the imagery so descriptive that we can visualize the imagery right in front of us. " To be degrading to be thinking of imagery including flesh melting shows that Hamlet is not in the state that he ought to be in. " Poison is the third example of imagery that Shakespeare frequently uses. " Although Polonius' appears not to notice this, we can see the constant references to death being made by Shakespeare"tms tools, i. Moreover associated with Shakespeare's use of decay and disease imagery is his use of horror, "Roasted in wrath and fire thus o'ersized with coagulate gore (II, II, 431)," is a perfect example of this. " The notion of festering carrion being a metaphor for King Hamlets death epitomizes this notion. Another unpleasant quotation with reference to disease is this harsh yet ironic statement stated to Ophelia by Hamlet; "If thou dost marry, I'll give thee this plague for thy dowry (III, I, 133). " This attempts the elucidate on the feeling of death almost like becoming like a leper before death finally takes its toll. Decay also becomes a strong theme weighing heavily on Hamlet's mind. Is thy union here Follow my mother (V, 11, 302-304).

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