FEAR AND LOATHING IN THE SHAKESPAERAIN AGE;
AN ESSAY THAT REQUIRES DRUGS TO UNDERSTAND
When you hear the excuse, ' My environment made me do it.' You expect to hear it from
A former gang member on an early morning talk show. But to hear it from Hamlet requires a
double take. I think that Prince Hamlet was a victim of the people around him. I.E. Rosencrantz,
Guildenstern, Polonius, Laertes, Gertrude, and Claudius.
I will start off by telling you why Claudius is involved in Hamlet's destruction. The first
time is in Act I, scene 2, line's 109-117. ' You are the most immediate to the throne/ We beseech
you, bend you to remain here [In Denmark]...' Claudius says this as a test for Hamlets wisdom.
If Hamlet agrees with the king, he becomes a sitting duck for the King to kill him. But if he
leaves, then he can raise an army and overthrow Claudius.
The latter doesn't appeal to Claudius
that much. Gertrude persuades Hamlet to stay in Denmark, not for the king, but for the queen.
The queen is not an innocent bystander as well. She shows her dark side when she is
talking to Ophelia about their (Hamlet & Ophelia's) relationship, ' To my sick soul (As sins true
nature is) each toy seems prologue to some great amiss' (IV,v,17-18). She is referring towards
how she disapproves of it, for one, Ophelia's social standing. And two, if Hamlet would become
King of Denmark, he would name Ophelia Queen, thus sending Gertrude out into the street to
find a new profession.
Polonius' work is more behind the scenes than anything, he is the cheering section for the
King, and play's homewrecker with Ophelia & Hamlet, at one point Polonius says to Ophelia, '