The Moral Corruption Of Family In William Shakespeare's Hamlet

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In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the moral corruption that occurs between family members causes animosity that results in their downfall, and eventually their ultimate demise. More specifically, the tainted view of an individual in a family may result in the downfall of the other family members involved. Evidence of tainted view of a family member causing undue harm can be found in the relationship between Hamlet and Claudius, Hamlet and Gertrude, and Hamlet and Old King Hamlet.

The relationship between Hamlet and Claudius is problematic, largely due to the fact that they both wish death upon the other. They view each other as a threat, which is a foreboding sign within a royal family. When Hamlet learns that his father was murdered by his
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And is ’t not to be damned To let this canker of our nature come In further evil?” (5.2.68-76) Hamlet is debating the morality of his thoughts to murder Claudius. He believes it is moral to avenge his father due to the circumstances Claudius has mounted onto Hamlet’s family, such as stripping Hamlet from the crown, whoring Gertrude into incest, and plotting to murder Hamlet is sufficient evidence for his murder to be justified. Due to the corruption of King Old Hamlet in asking Hamlet to murder for revenge, it results in Hamlet’s decay as well, and ultimately, his death.
Hamlet’s relationship with his mother Gertrude is one filled with corruption. Hamlet is devastated by his mother’s decision to marry Claudius, her brother-in-law. This taints his view of his mother in an extremely negative way. Hamlet views this marriage as not only an act of betrayal upon his father, but incestuous as
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O, most wicked speed, to post With such dexterity to incestuous sheets! It is not, nor it cannot come to good. But break, my heart, for I must hold my tongue.” (1.2.161-164) Hamlet is clearly disgusted by his mother’s actions. He thinks she remarried too early and disagrees with her decision to have an incestuous relationship. “So excellent a king, that was to this Hyperion to a satyr.” (1.2.140-141) Hamlet is comparing his father to a god and Claudius to a beast. Hamlet thinks Claudius is unfit to rule Denmark for his shameful actions, and not a rightful husband for his mother, Gertrude. “Mad as the sea and wind when both contend Which is the mightier. In his lawless fit, Behind the arras hearing something stir, Whips out his rapier, cries, “A rat, a rat!” And in this brainish apprehension kills The unseen good old man.” (4.1.8-13)
Gertrude agrees that Hamlet is insane and a threat to everyone around him. Rather than helping out Hamlet by speaking to him or finding out what was troubling Hamlet, she simply agrees with king Claudius’s plan to ship Hamlet to England. She believed it would result in everyone’s safety and well-being. These immoral actions done by Gertrude, and the actions Hamlet has done that follows, leads to their downfall throughout the

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