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I got the question on corruption in the play hamlet for homework. I wonder should I focus on the Danish court in general (for example the way Hamlet refers to the world around him as 'an unweeded garden' or containing 'things rank and gross in nature', the way corruption spreads as infection in the court etc ) or could I go about this question by describing the corrupted side to characters of Claudius, Polonius and Hamlet to certain extent?

I am also not really convinced would it be a good idea to describe Ophelia to contrast the corrupted world with her innocence?

  • English -

    "the question on corruption"

    Exactly what is that question? No one here has access to your course materials except for the text of the play, of course.

  • English -

    The question is 'Disease, corruption and death characterise the world of Shakespearian Hamlet' Discuss this statement, supporting your view with the aid of suitabe reference to the text.

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    Deaths -- King Hamlet, Polonius, Ophelia, and almost everything else at the very end.

    Disease -- ?

    Corruption -- Claudius, for sure!

    Yes, I'd stick with corruption for this assignment. I'd choose one or two characters (the most corrupt?) to concentrate on, and then bring in other characters to magnify the most corrupt.

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    what do you mean to magnify the most corrupt?

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    Bring in other characters as needed to explain/expand on/illustrate how corrupt your chosen characters are. Examples:

    Claudius is corrupt (killed his brother in a sneaky way, grabbed the throne AND his brother's widow...), and his corruption affects Gertrude and Hamlet in differing ways. How would you contrast G and H with C? How would you explain how C's corruption affects G and H?

    Etc.

    http://nfs.sparknotes.com/hamlet/

  • English -

    Ok i think i get it now. Thank you :)

  • English -

    You're welcome. And remember you can include "second generation" corruption if you wish.

    Claudius's corruption affects Hamlet, who becomes somewhat shady himself (although it seems to be in self-defense, in a way) -- and Hamlet's deception (pretending to be mad) affects Ofelia, a completely innocent character in the play.

    Don't be afraid to go beyond the "first generation" of corruption. It's that complexity that makes the play so enduring.

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