Hamlet Theme Family Essay

886 Words4 Pages
Grace 1

Kayla Grace
October 29, 2012
Unit 2: Family
797 words
Hamlet: Family Relationships The theme, family, in The Tragedy of Hamlet is major theme with lots of major points. This play is notorious for how it dwells on the issue of incest. In Shakespeare’s time, incest was a sin against God and the state. Queen Elizabeth I asked the Church of England to come up with a list of rules about marriage, basically a list of relatives who couldn’t marry, including in-laws. Also another focus is how politics can impact the dynamics of family. The values brought on by a parent are vital in developing a characters values and sense of purpose. Although Hamlet shows all distress about his mother’s marriage is Claudius, his relationship
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(III.iv.57-60) In contrast to “a mildewed ear / blasting his wholesome brother” (III.iv.65-66) comparing King Hamlet to Claudius. Polonius’s relationship with his children is far worse that Hamlets relationship with his biological parents. In the first act, Laertes warns Ophelia not to fall for Hamlet because he simply cannot marry outside of royalty. Polonius overheard their conversation and chipped in, “Tender yourself more dearly, / or you’ll tender me a fool”. (I.iii.107-109) As an unmarried daughter, Ophelia has no choice but to be obedient to her father. This means that Polonius is free to force Ophelia to break up with Hamlet. He’s also free to use his daughter as bait to spy on
Grace 3
Prince Hamlet. His over controlling self eventually drives her mad and ends her life in suicide. This just shows that father’s often use their daughters to negotiate strategic political alliances. Polonius’s relationship with Laertes is worse than his relationship with Ophelia. His desire to dominate over his son is just the start of a line of examples. He asks Reynaldo to defame his son. He is more obsessed with his image and fame than his son’s. Once Polonius was murdered, Laertes still wanted to avenge his fathers death, which shows this relationship was only one-sided. To top off all of these

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