In the tale of murder and betrayal Hamlet, penned by William Shakespeare, displays an entirely different angle of perception from this famous author. This is obviously more of a satirical and dark play, while other works are more obvious in their feelings. The main character, Hamlet, is depicted as a sarcastic and depressed young man who is struggling with his father’s untimely death and his mother’s marriage to his uncle. Typical talk show material set in the Middle Ages. And in Hamlet, Shakespeare weaves cynical and morose tones within the character’s lines.
Within each act is a gruesome foreshadowing the sense that horrible events have yet to occur. In Act one, the imagery set forth within the character’s minds breeds the thought of corruption. In their usual conversation, numerous characters such as Marcellus and Horatio use the word “dead” to emphasize their descriptions of the night and certain times of the day. This is an obvious show on Shakespeare’s part to unveil some sort of diction that is indeed cryptic but does of course have a certain link to the conversation’s tones.
Also, later in the Act, Hamlet’s friend Horatio speaks of Julius Caesar and his premature death. This is somewhat being compared to the murder of Hamlet’s father, being killed by someone who was close to him. He states, “The graves stood tenantless and the sheeted dead did squeak and gibber in the Roman sheets; As stars with trains of fire and dews of blood, Disasters in the sun; and the moist star Upon whose influence Neptune’s empire stands Was sick almost to doomsday with eclipse. I: i: 119-25)
Horatio makes numerous references in this monologue when he speaks of tragedies and bible verses. He ties all of this in to the assassination of the king, who is also his friend’s father. In Hamlet’s remarks there is often a sense of anguish and suffering. He comments to his mother that, “Together, with all forms, moods, and shapes of grief, That can denote me truly” (I : ii :82-3) Here he tells his mother of the sorrow that fills his life, and that as much as they can say for him to get over it, he cannot.
This is totally opposite from the other imagery Shakespeare uses to illustrate such a story of crime and demise. Then back to a more dark expression, Hamlet expresses this anger after his mother and uncle leave him. He cries out, “O, that this too too sullied flesh would melt, Thaw and resolve itself into a dew (I : ii: 129-30) “Things rank and gross in nature possess it merely. ” (I :ii: 136-7) Here Hamlet expresses obscure thoughts about his father’s death and his feelings towards it.
Later, when Hamlet is joined by his friend Horatio, and then is left again, he considers the notion of a conspiracy to kill his father. He shouts, “My father’s spirit in my arms! All is not well. I doubt some foul play. Would the night were come! Till then sit still, my soul. Foul deeds will rise; Though all the earth o’erwhelm them, to men’s eyes. (I :iii: 260-63) Further on he speaks of baseness once more when he states, “Shall in the general censure take corruption from that particular fault.
The dram of evil Doth all the noble substance often dout to his own scandal. ” (I : iv: 35-38) When the ghost of Hamlet comes to his son, whether in sight or in mind, he too tells of a shady character that his son must beware. He first calls his brother a “incestuous, adulterate beast” (I : v : 43) and then “[A] villain, villain, smiling, damned villain! ” ( I : v : 107) This is just a blatant demonstration of what character Claudius really is. Instead of the honorable king whose brother was devastatingly killed, he is in fact the man who committed the crime.
Other side comments were also made by other characters in the play, such has Horatio, Marcellus, and Laertes. Hamlet’s closest friend, Horatio tells Hamlet in a conversation they have together that people are using “toys of desperation” (I : iv: 75) which means desperate acts, such as murder. Marcellus makes the assumption that “Something rotten in the state of Demark” (I : iv: 90) when referring to the king. And Laertes tells his sister Ophelia, “The canker galls the infants of the spring” (I : iii: 39) which speaks of destruction.
Throughout the entire Act, Shakespeare composes imagery that paints a picture of complete and utter corruption within the characters of Hamlet. Love, death, grief, and betrayal are all major factors in the first act and lead to the climax of this Shakespearean play. Hamlet leads the strong cast of characters in this story that’s plot has a foundation based upon destruction of integrity. Through his diction and use of symbolism, he describes an account of a son’s grief and the road to vindication over his father’s death.