Corruption in Hamlet

Essay by viva_la_bennieHigh School, 12th gradeB+, July 2007

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In the play 'Hamlet', corruption is conveyed within many of the key characters; Prince Hamlet is not corrupt, but merely fools the people around him into believing that he is, in order to help him carry out his orders. Prince Hamlet learns at the beginning of the play of his father's murder. He then is ordered by his father ghost to seek revenge on his father's murderer, Claudius. It is the flaws within the state of Denmark, which have led to the previous kings murder. Hamlet persuades the new king, Claudius, into believing that he is a madman, convincing the people around him as well, in order to take revenge.

Prince Hamlet is portrayed as a madman throughout the play, however Prince Hamlet only pretends to be mad. Within the first scene of the play, Hamlet encounters his father's ghost. This is not a symbol of his madness, as the ghost is also scene by Horatio, Barnardo and Marcellus.

It is shortly after this incident when Hamlet warns his friends that he might pretend to be mad "To put on an antic position" in order to carry out his fathers ghosts orders. Soon after this we hear King Claudius "nor th'exterior nor the inward man" which makes us assume that Hamlet is dressed differently than he was in previous scenes and is also acting differently then the scenes before. This proves Hamlets change in character after his recent discovery of his father's murder.

Prince Hamlet is perceived by the other characters in the play as being mad, when actually the corruption lies within the other characters in the play. The first sign of corruption within the other characters of the play is in Polonius. Polonius hires a man to spy on his son Laertes, as he has no trust...