Example research essay topic: Hamlet’s Reign Ruined By Coruption – 1,482 words

One of William Shakespeare’s most profound works
is the tragic play Hamlet; this tragedy involves
many themes and subplots of which includes
corruption. The chief corruption is of Claudius,
the new king of Denmark; his corruption begins,
but not ends with, the murder of the late King
Hamlet for the throne. Claudius is conniving,
manipulative, and spurious, doing everything for
his own benefit. He causes those who believe his
caring and understanding facade to become
entangled in the web of deception and corruption
that he has created because of his own faltered
characteristics. Claudius’ unscrupulous behavior
in efforts to pursue the throne make him the
antagonist of the play as shown through his
thoughts and actions; it is his demeanor of
manipulation and depravity that lead to the demise
of Gertrude, Ophelia, and Rosencrantz and
Guildenstern and also yields his own death. The
second scene of Act I introduces the new king of
Denmark, Claudius, in a formal appearance at
court.

He makes a speech and sincerely expresses
his regret and sorrow for his deceased brother.
Through yet of Hamlet our dear brothers death The
memory be green, and that of us befitted To bear
our hearts in grief, and our whole kingdom To be
contracted in one brow of woe, Yet so far hath
discretion fought with nature That we with wisest
sorrow think on him Together with remembrance of
ourselves. (1.2.1-7) Claudius here in this
statement, shows himself to be caring and sincere
of his mourning for his brothers death. However,
when he is alone with Gertrude and Hamlet in the
chambers, he shows a different side of himself. He
tells Hamlet to accept his fathers death and move
on. […..] But to persever/ In obstinate
condolement is a course/ Of impious stubbornness.
Tis unmanly grief (1.2.98-100). Claudius is quick
to act differently to fit his purpose to bare
himself to be true of his feelings.

First he tells
his supporters that they will be together with
remembrance of ourselves (1.2.7), then tells
Hamlet to move on from mourning on his fathers
death. Claudius uses people to get the effect that
he desires, which is to not be found out about his
murder of King Hamlet. Gertrude is a victim of
Claudius foul ambition and improbity and is
manipulated to think unsettling thoughts of her
own son. When Polonius confronts the king of what
he believes to be the cause of Hamlets lunacy,
Claudius reports this to Gertrude. KING. He tells
me, my dear Gertrude, he hath [Polonius] found The
head and source of all your sons distemper.

QUEEN.
I doubt it is no other but the main His fathers
death and our o’erhasty marriage. (2.2.54-57)
Claudius makes her think that what Polonius has
found is true of Hamlet’s condition. Previously,
during the King and Queen’s visit with Rosencrantz
and Guildenstern, he appears to be, to Gertrude
and the spies, that he is genuinely worried about
Hamlet. Though he is troubled by not knowing
Hamlet’s reasons for acting peculiar, it is for
his own advantage to continue to conceal his guilt
and not for the sake of bettering his step-son’s
grievance. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are to be
considered only pawns in Claudius’ pursuit of
retaining his undeserved reign as king. He uses
them to spy on Hamlet, but says his reasoning to
be all in concern for Hamlet’s strange behavior.
Moreover did we long to see you, The need we have
to use you did provoke Our hasty sending.
Something you have heard Of Hamlet’s
transformation, so call it, Sith nor th’ exterior
nor the inward man Resembles that it was.
(2.2.1-7) Claudius goes on to tell them that he
called upon them because they are childhood
friends of the prince and therefore, might have
more persuasion over Hamlet to find out the cause
of his so-called madness.

They are sponges and
they should but “soaks up the King’s countenance,/
his rewards, his authorities” (4.1.15-16).
Claudius uses them to get what he wants, as Hamlet
tells his traitorous friends: “[….] When he
needs/ what you have gleaned, it is but squeezing
you,/ and, sponge, you shall be dry again”
(4.1.19-21). It is obvious that the king will do
anything and exploit anyone to find out what it is
exactly that Hamlet has been thinking about.
Another one of his victims is the innocent
Ophelia. Claudius uses his pressure over Ophelias
father, Polonius, to make him tell her to spy on
Hamlet. He again uses his supposed worry about
Hamlets condition to convince Ophelia to question
Hamlet. Claudius then makes an aside that again
shows his character to be treacherous and
remorseless. O, tis too true! How smart a lash
that speech doth give my conscience.

The harlots
cheek beautied with plastring art Is not more ugly
to the thing that helps it Than is my deed to my
most painted word. O heavy burden! (3.1.50-55) The
king shows himself characteristically to be
spurious with this quote. He compares himself to
this harlot because like her, he conceals his true
ugliness with painted words, in Claudius’ case. He
has hidden his veritable self by using words to
manipulate the thoughts of people and benefit from
there gullibility. There is a scene where Claudius
appears to have a change of heart. In his bed
chamber he says: “O, my offense is rank, it smells
to heaven;/ It hath the primal eldest curse upon
‘t,/ A brother’s murder” (3.3.36-38).

Claudius’
praying is to serve the purpose of prevent sinning
and to gain forgiveness once one has fallen. “To
be forstalled ere we come to fall,/ Or pardoned
being down? Then I’ll look up” (3.3.48-50). It
seems as if Claudius’ character could have a
drastic transition. Only a few lines later,
though, we see the true King come out. He is too
concerned with his ambition to truly regret his
crime and pray for forgiveness in fear of losing
his position in society. “May one be pardoned and
retain th’ offense?” (3.3.56).

The king wants to
leave behind his guilty conscience, but not his
wealth nor his crown. His praying scene is nothing
but him kneeling and debating the consequences of
asking for forgiveness. So it is that he should
say: “My words fly up, my thoughts remain below;/
Words without thoughts never to heaven go”
(3.3.97-98). Claudius exploits these characters’
willfulness to cooperate with him in his scheming.
Since Hamlet has taken a point to have his revenge
on Claudius, the walls come tumbling in around the
king and those who have also helped him in his
devious plans. However, the characters that do
help Claudius do not meet their end in the order
that the king has violated their trust. Ophelia
dies as a result of her lunacy as an after affect
of her father’s murder by Hamlet.

The only reason
Polonius is killed is he is a pestilent,
meddlesome man whom Hamlet presumes is Claudius
behind a curtain when he throws the dagger out and
stabs the spy. When she finds out that her former
love has murdered her father, she goes insane;
while picking flowers she falls into the lake and
drowns as a result of her heavy garments.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Claudius’ puppets
in the sense that they do anything to get on his
good side, anything being their willingness to
murder their own friend. After the murder of
Polonius, they are sent with Hamlet to England to
have him killed. when Hamlet finds this out, he
changes the names on the note to their names, and
they instead, are killed. Their death is only a
product of their own stupidity and eagerness to
advance themselves with the royals. Had they not
agreed to help in the murder of their friend
Hamlet, they would not have ended up dead.

It is
Claudius’ abuse of these men that lead them to
their death. The Queen is gullible to the King’s
word in the beginning of the play. As it
continues, though, she finds out that she has been
lied to and loved a murderer. She complies with
Hamlet in trying to catch Claudius in a trap and
she also meets her death. Gertrude is killed when
she drinks from the poisoned cup that is meant for
Hamlet. “It is the poisoned cup.

It is too late”
(5.2.298). Claudius receives his reign as king
unfairly, by murdering his own brother for the
crown. To conceal his horrible guilt and shame, he
manipulates people to make him seem as if he is
truly sincere of his emotions. He also uses his
manipulation to get people to do his spying on
Hamlet for him. This inevitably leads to those
certain characters death as well as his own. The
web of lies and deceit that he has created tangles
those who chose to walk to close to this object
and withholds them all to their bitter demise.
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Research essay sample on Hamlets Reign Ruined By Coruption