The Death Of Hamlet By William Shakespeare

906 Words4 Pages
Imagery is an integral part of literature. The protagonist, Hamlet, his mother Queen Gertrude and her husband King Claudius, along with Hamlet’s love interest Ophelia are all affected by human sin through the evocation of sickness and rot. Sin, the driving force of the play, impacts each character, decaying his or her mind, resulting in the emotional and physical demise of each character and the decay of the state of Denmark, which has become “rotten” after Claudius poisons his own brother and weds his sister-in-law. William Shakespeare’s tragic play Hamlet has explicit imagery evoking sickness, death, and decay. The use of death, rot, and sickness as images illustrate the sinful human nature of the characters and the corruption of Denmark. Death as an image in Hamlet is used to present both the effects of sinning on Hamlet and Denmark’s corruption. In the opening act, Hamlet speaks to Claudius and Gertrude regarding his melancholy attitude due to his father’s murder (which was committed by Claudius); when the King and Queen leave, Hamlet says in an aside that he wishes that God had not made suicide a sin. During his speech, Hamlet says that he wishes his “too sullied flesh would melt” meaning he wishes he could kill himself to get rid of his depression (1.2.133-134). This imagery of melting flesh is a representation of death that shows Hamlet’s pain. In addition, death imagery is seen during Laertes’s speech to Ophelia regarding his concerns about Hamlet’s intentions.
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