.. or like. Hamlet is shocked that this “intruding fool” should have come to such an end by his hand. Hamlet is excused for this murder , it being done so passionately, however the two that follow it are so treacherous and cold it seems Hamlet has lost his former compassion and truly begun to act willingly in the brutal world that surrounds him. These two murders are of those who would be murderers themselves; Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.
On their way to England, carrying letters from the King which include Hamlet’s death warrant, Hamlet displays a villainous cunning matching that of his uncle. Whilst his old school friends sleep Hamlet switches the original letters with counterfeits and escapes back to Denmark. When Rosencrantz and Guildenstern arrive in England they hand over their own death warrants. This act is one of the most interesting as it portrays Hamlet as being without conscience or guilt, traits I which would be more typical of Claudius. “Why, man, did they make love to this employment. They are not near my conscience.” (Act5, Scene2) However Hamlet does not attempt to hide what he has done which shows that although he did become a part of the “unweeded garden” he was never totally bound by it. Hamlet’s two final murders were simply revenge.
He slew Laertes or else be slewn himself. Yet the tragedy unfolds, as the scratch he receives from Laertes poisoned sword carries his own death sentence. His final murder of Claudius was right in it’s wrongs. Hamlet achieved his wish of becoming executioner instead of assassin. “Treachery! Seek it out.” (Act5, Scene2) In this near-final scene we see that Hamlet has indeed been caught and strangled by the weeds that he had no choice but to exist among. Hamlet’s relationships with the other characters in the play demonstrate how he begins to act differently as he goes deeper into his uncle’s world.
His relationships with Claudius, Gertrude and Ophelia are all markedly different but all show symptoms of Hamlet himself becoming an unwilling part of Denmark’s doom. It is understood that Hamlet greatly dislikes his Uncle Claudius even before the ghost’s revelation. “A little more than kin, and less than kind!” (Act1, Scene2) After Hamlet’s acceptance of the command to revenge his father this dislike turns to hatred. “O, villain, villain, smiling, damned villain!” (Act1, Scene5) He also burns with a great shame and jealousy that his mother shares such “incestuous sheets”. However, Hamlet is careful to mask his feelings from his enemy, mostly using the veil of madness.
Whilst Claudius knows Hamlet is a threat, especially after the “Mousetrap” incident he can only hope to use his deceit to prevent the truth from coming out. Claudius is the epitome of villainy yet Hamlet cannot bring himself to kill him. The irony is that the longer Hamlet delays, the more he finds himself becoming part of Claudius’ brutal world. Hamlet’s relationship with his mother, Gertrude is the deepest and most complex of the play. Hamlet hates her and yet loves her at the same time and judges all women by her actions. “Frailty, thy name is woman.” (Act1, Scene2) At the beginning of the play we are shown that she is troubled by his melancholy and is frivolous at the same time. “Thou knowest it common, all that lives must die,” (Act1, Scene2) As the play progresses it becomes clear that the mere fifteen year age difference between the two has caused an unnatural bond to be built. From this comes Hamlet’s intense but supressed jealousy and great shame that she would so quickly forget the “wholesome” Old Hamlet for his “mildewed” brother.
These feelings which he does express to her in near madness are the driving force behind his revenge, As Gertrude is undeniably a part of Claudius’ brutal world Hamlet’s intense relationship with her only entangles him further. Ophelia, Hamlet’s true love, is doomed in her relationship from the moment Hamlet takes on the task of revenge. Whilst Hamlet only reveals at her death that, “I loved Ophelia.” his treatment of her immediately before shows how once inside his uncle’s world he did become an unfortunate creature of it. From his love letters to Ophelia, Hamlet has idealised the idea of perfect love and Ophelia with it. “Doubt truth to be a liar, But never doubt I love.” (Act2, Scene2) This can be paralleled with Hamlet’s idea that his father’s and mother’s love was perfect also.
“So excellent a king………so loving to my mother.” (Act1, Scene2) After Hamlet’s entrance into his uncle’s world, Ophelia becomes an unknowing pawn to aid Claudius and Polonius, who are under the false impression that Ophelia is the source of his madness. In Act Three Scene One Ophelia is set up to meet with Hamlet so Polonius and Claudius may observe. When Hamlet realises he is being watched he assumes Ophelia has betrayed him and is part of the scheme. He proceeds to abuse her physically and mentally under the act of feigned madness, causing her great confusion and angst. Hamlet urges her “get thee to a nunnery” for he wishes her not to be corrupted as his mother is and spawn something evil, such as he himself.
His soliloquised line spoken just before their meeting ” Oh what a noble mind is here o’erthrown” (Act3, Scene1) could be fairly applied to Ophelia overthrown by Hamlet’s hand. Hamlet’s continued mistreatment of her coupled with her father Polonius’ death, by his hand, cause Ophelia to go mad and drown, perhaps in suicide whilst Hamlet is on his way to England. To blame Hamlet entirely for Ophelia’s death would be unfair but as surely as Ophelia madly handed out her herbs Hamlet strangled them within the garden of weeds. Never intentionally did our tragic hero mean to cause those he loved harm but in his quest for revenge all were entwined in the dark garden of Denmark. Throughout the play, as Hamlet sinks deeper into the brutal world of his Uncle, he experiences revelations on life and consequently death that he would never had come by had he not entered into the brutal world. In Act 4, Scene5 Hamlet is amazed by what little a man’s life can count for and how quickly it is lost in death.
He taunts the King about Polonius’ whereabouts while talking about the degradation that comes equally with death. “Nothing but to show you how a king may go a progress through the guts of a beggar.” Act 5, Scene1; the infamous grave scene Hamlet is shaken with the morbid fascination of finding the skull of his fathers jester. Apon finding this abhorring thing coupled with the lighheartedness that the grave-digger displays causes Hamlet to contemplate the tragedy “that that earth which kept the world in awe should patch a wall t’expel the winters flaw!” Hamlet becomes increasingly disturbed throughout the play by the idea that life is but a mere prelude to death, which in turn is forgotten. Without becoming a creature of Claudius’ world Hamlet could have never have come to such baneful conclusions. Through his madness, his murders, his plots his relationships with other character and his discoveries about life and death, Hamlet becomes inevitably part of his uncle’s brutal world. Even though he may never have been inclined to enter, his acceptance that he must to achieve his revenge proves that however unwilling Hamlet did indeed become a creature of the “unweeded garden, that grows to seed.”.