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Corruption and Injustice in Hamlet

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Emily Kamienik

on 16 October 2013

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Transcript of Corruption and Injustice in Hamlet

Corruption and Injustice in Hamlet
Thesis Statement
In the play Hamlet, we learn the consequences of corruption and injustice shown through the characters which contributes to their ethical downfall.
Natural Order
Claudius is a prime example of corruption and injustice within the play.
He allegedly kills the king for his own gain which tampers with the natural order of things within the play.
Through corruption and injustice in Hamlet, we learn that revenge does not solve anything and it leads the characters to their tragic downfall.
This is shown through Hamlet and Claudius’ character many times within the play.
Inequality of Women
In the play Hamlet, Polonius exploited his daughter, Ophelia, for his own interests which leads to his ethical downfall.
Polonius’ corruption was his hunger for power and status.
The corruption and injustice shown throughout the play contributes to the ethical downfall of the main characters.
The corrupt and unjust actions illustrated by the characters dictate their fall from grace.
Secondary Source
"It is interesting to note that every death that takes place is of unnatural origin (except for that perhaps of the jester, Yorik, many years previous). We see deaths of poisoning, murder, injury, execution and suicide. This coincides with the view of righting the natural order. As the Kingdom of Denmark is being ruled by this government that was not truly appointed, chaos ensues and each one of the ‘unnatural' or ‘morally corrupt' players are killed. By this, the ‘diseased nation' will once again return to health."
Quote #1
"You do not understand yourself so clearly/ As it behooves my daughter and your honour" (1.3.96-97)
Quote #1
“And, England, if my love thou hold’st at aught-/ As my great power thereof may give thee sense,/ Since yet thy cicatrice looks raw and red/ After the Danish sword; and thy free awe/ Pays homage to us, thou mayst not coldly set,/ Our sovereign process, which imports at full,/ By letters congruing to that effect, The present death of Hamlet.” (Hamlet 4.3.58-65)
Quote #2
“It is not very strange, for my uncle is king of/ Denmark, and those that would make mows at him/ while my father lived, give twenty, forty, fifty, a/ hundred ducats a-piece, for his picture in little./ ‘Sblood, there is something in this more than natural/if philosophy could find it out. (Hamlet 2.2.362-367)
Quote #1
“Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindles villain!/ O, vengeance!/ Why, what an ass am I! This is most brave,/ That I, the son of a dear father murder’d./ Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell,/ Must like a whore unpack my heart with words.” (2.2.582)
Secondary Source
"Some of the literature I've been looking at," Skelton says, "oftentimes, it will refer to 'Hamlet' as a revenge play with a conscience. ... the idea of revenge is, what is revenge? What levels of morality do you have to wrestle with in order to make peace with the fact that you may commit murder just like somebody did against you? Is it right to seek an eye for an eye, or is it right to turn the other cheek? Which testament are we looking at?" (Hughes, Revenge should have no bounds)
Quote #2
“Revenge should have no bounds.” (4.7.128)
Quote #2
“At such a time I'll loose my daughter to him: / Be you and I behind an arras then; / Mark the encounter [...]" (2.2.162-164).
Secondary Source
"Polonius molds Ophelia's identity to fit his own needs, taking advantage of her relationship with Hamlet to improve his own relationship with Claudius" (Brown).
1. How does Claudius reflect on his brother`s death?

2. Why does Hamlet not kill Claudius sooner? Does it symbolize his restraint for murder and death?

3. Does Polonius view all women as objects for manipulation or only his daughter?

Thank you for listening to our presentation!
By: Emily Kamienik, Sabrina Palazzo, Kyrillos Zaki, and Anto Adragna
Full transcript