Upsetting the Social Order during Hamlet Created Disruption Essay

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During the Elizabethan era, the philosophy that established social order was known as the “Concept of Order”, stating that everything had its own place and contributed to a certain position. Elizabethans believed that establishing order was the only way for a civilization to function and progress. This philosophy that governed the minds of many individuals seems to have been a prevalent thought in Shakespeare’s mind, the evidence being the recurring theme of the disorganization in social order. The disruption of social order, as described by the Great Chain of Being, was to be avoided, because the consequences would be destructive. The conflicts that arise throughout “Hamlet” are due to a disturbance in the Concept of Order, resulting…show more content…
As a result of such events, God is severed from human beings, and disarray emanates. Elizabethans believed that an “individual who coveted or strived for a place in the social hierarchy which he was not born into was a criminal” Distinct Classes). Claudius disturbed the Concept of Order by coveting the position King Hamlet had as King of Denmark, and further disrupted the Order by killing his brother. After the death of King Hamlet, Prince Hamlet was supposed to be the next king of Denmark. According to the Law of Primogeniture, “the eldest son of each family would inherit… his father’s title” (Distinct Classes). However, Prince Hamlet was robbed of that rite by his murdering uncle, Claudius. Claudius is therefore pronounced King of Denmark, which is an absolute disregard of the Concept of Order. Furthermore, “Hamlet” portrays how the upset of order causes the gradual deterioration of a family. The causes of this familial disorder are King Hamlet’s murder, Gertrude’s brief mourning of her deceased husband and Claudius and Gertrude’s “o’erhasty marriage” (II.ii.57). Hamlet mourns the death of his father in a “conventional Elizabethan form”, whereas, Claudius and Gertrude celebrate their marriage (Kirsch). King Hamlet, the patriarch and the figure head of the family, is murdered creating an unstable family. Hamlet disapproves of how his mother was so quick to mourn the death of his father, and feels that her grief is marred by her sudden marriage to

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