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Word Count: 1,386
In Hamlet imagery of disease poison and decay are used by William Shakespeare for many purposes Marcellus line in Act I illustrates the use of this imagery very well Something is rotten in the state of Denmark Corruption is rampant like a contagious disease infecting the court The atmosphere of disease serves to heighten the audiences disgust for the events that are taking place in the play Secondly disease leads to death so the diseased society of Denmark is doomed Because of this sense of doom there is a slight foreshadowing of the plays tragic ending The tragic atmosphere is enhanced by the motif of disease and decay These descriptions of disease poison and decay help us to understand the bitter relationships the anxious chaotic atmosphere and also the emotional and moral decay of the characters existing in the play The image of decay is first used at the end of Act I to help comprehend the depression Hamlet feels in his first soliloquy about suicide When Hamlet releases the words O that this too sullied flesh would melt thaw and resolve itself into a dew Iii 129-130 he communicates how he wishes to not exist in this world anymore An image of Hamlets flesh rotting and combining with the soil is produced At this moment Hamlets true emotions liberate and his pain and his yearn for death can be felt Hamlet continues to say How weary stale flat and unprofitable seem to me all the uses of this world Fie ont ah fie tis an unweeded garden that grows to seed Things rank and gross in nature possess it merelyIii 133-137 Here Hamlet feels that the world around him is useless and in constant chaos By creating these vivid images of death and decay Shakespeare lets us peer into Hamlets soul and recognize his real underlying motivations Claudius relationship with Hamlet is harsh for he harbors a great hatred for his nephew and even
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