The Theme Of Death And Decay Hamlet English Literature Essay

September 19, 2017 English Literature

Death and Decay: two words that give the image of something decomposition, smelling foul and traveling to blow. In Shakespeare ‘s drama Hamlet, these two words symbolize the bulk of the plot line and the entireness of the action happening in the drama. Whether the focal point is on the decease of the bulk of the characters, or the decay that comes along with those deceases every bit good as the decay of “ the province of Denmark ” ( 1.4, 100 ) , the subject is reoccurring. Because decease and decay are so prevailing throughout Hamlet, it could be said that Shakespeare intended for them to be a major subject.

Decay, a decomposition of an thought, object or organic structure is a major property to the Ghosts monologue spoken to Hamlet. The hebona toxicant is a deathly constituent that in itself leads to the decay of a organic structure. This monologue is filled with words associating to disintegrate ; some could state Shakespeare ‘s point was to give the audience this image. An illustration of how the Ghost references decay is when he speaks of the “ leprous distilment ” ( 1.5. 71 ) , and “ a most instant tetter barked about, /most lazar-like, with vile and nauseating crustaˆ¦ ” ( 78-80 ) . In itself, the thought of a leprous distilment gives the gross outing thought of something infective and perverting. When he speaks of the “ tetter [ that ] bark [ s ] about, [ which is ] lazar-like.. ” he is mentioning to a strikebreaker that looks like a leprous tegument disease, runing off and disintegrating at his tegument, or doing his tegument to scab and deteriorate. The subject of decease and decay is really obvious in the Ghosts monologue, and illustrates the image of death and putrefaction in its most of import context. The passing of King Hamlet is a strong influence on the drama itself.

Throughout the drama, decease and decay is brought up several times. Since this subject drives the drama through, it is of import of Shakespeare to touch to it several times so that the drama maintains a kind of solemn feeling. Many characters throughout the drama usage slaying or self-destruction as a solution to their jobs, and the decay that follows this decease is frequently mentioned. A valid illustration of this subject is illustrated when Hamlet and the King are talking of the location of Polonius after Hamlet has killed him. Hamlet tells the King he is “ non where he eats, but where he is eaten. ” ( 4.3, 22 ) . This sentence in itself exemplifies decay: it illustrates the thought of a dead organic structure being eaten as it rots, and Hamlet intimations to the King that his organic structure “ is non where he eats, ” ( possibly some kind of dining hall ) , “ but where he is eaten, ” ( where his organic structure is being devoured. ) As he continues, he speaks of a “ convocation of politic worms, ” or the Diet of Worms called upon by the metropolis of Worms. Although Hamlet could be stating this in a actual manner, in another sense a Diet of Worms illustrates that a individual feeds off of worms, that they are on a worm diet. He subsequently speaks of the thought that after a King dies worms will feed from his flesh and so that same worm will be used as come-on to angle with. After this, the fish will hold eaten the worm and a hapless mendicant will eat that fish, intending he has besides fed on the worm inside the fish. Because of this, the provincial now has the Kings flesh in his organic structure, organizing slightly of a full circle. What Hamlet has said relates to the subject of decease and decay because non merely must a organic structure be dead in order for it to die, but worms and maggots assistance in the procedure of decomposing every bit good as feed off from it.

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What is being suggested by Hamlets conversation with the King about worms and maggots and the location of Polonius and his dead organic structure suggests and shows many similar and different thoughts with the Ghosts soliloquy. One analogue among them is that the Ghost of King Hamlets organic structure is stating Hamlet to seek retaliation on his decease, which in bend will ensue in the decease of another individual, this being Claudius. The thought that one decease will take to another, whom caused the decease of the first individual relates to the full circle facet of what Hamlet said to Claudius. In both state of affairss, one event is caused by another, which causes another, and so on and so forth. Besides, a really obvious similarity is that in each state of affairs decease occurs, and because of this decease there is decay. A difference between the two is that there are different grounds for the violent deaths in both state of affairss, King Hamlet is killed for Claudius ‘ benefit and Polonius is killed either by accident or because of lunacy. This is demoing that although decease causes assorted events, the events that occur depend extremely on the logical thinking for the violent death.

The subject of decease and decay in Hamlet ties the entireness of the drama together. Not merely does the play get down off with the decease of King Hamlet, but because of this the whole drama is filled with ideas and actions of self-destruction, slaying and decease. Shakespeare uses the images of decease and decay on a regular basis throughout the drama in many different ways, and each passing of a character relates to another decease before it. Decay is used in many ways throughout Hamlet, whether it be the decay of Denmark, the decay of moral or emotions, but the bulk of it associating to the decay of a dead organic structure. Because the decay of a organic structure is non possible unless the organic structure is deceased, one time a character dies in the drama decomposition or the feeding of flesh is normally mentioned thenceforth. Without decease and decay occurring, there would be no Hamlet, since every other subject and thought from the drama directs to the two.


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