Hamlet, Prince Of Denmark, By William Shakespeare

941 WordsOct 18, 20154 Pages
The famous tragedy entitled Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, often abbreviated to Hamlet and written at the turn of the seventeenth century, was the playwright William Shakespeare’s longest play and among the most influential works to exist in English literature. The play dramatizes the poisonous intents of the demonically brilliant king of Denmark, Claudius, a man so driven by greed and lust for his brother’s, King Hamlet’s, throne, wife and supremacy that he commits the ultimate act of fratricide, consequently inheriting the “primal eldest curse” of Cain and Abel. His toxic act affected his relationships with numerous other characters, and eventually led to several of their demises. Prince Hamlet, son of the late King Hamlet and Claudius’ nephew and step-son, was one such example of a character directly affected by Claudius’ venomous ways; he became suicidal after his father’s unnatural death. This essay will examine the poisonous nature of King Claudius, the inadvertent penalties of his deeds and Hamlet’s extensive use of the trope of poison. “In the complex web of human destinies, where so many lives are meshed intricately together, the freely chosen actions of one individual may breed damaging, entirely unforeseeable effects in the lives of countless anonymous others.” (On Evil, Terry Eagleton, p. 33). Eagleton, a prominent British literary theorist and critic, is essentially saying here that one’s actions can have a profound effect on many people and situations and can
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