He must take his revenge one step at a time and tread very carefully, because if Claudius got the impression that Hamlet was out to get him there is no doubt that Hamlet would meet a premature death by way of Claudius’ hand. Hamlet uses his intellect as his most precious weapon. He uses clever wit to try to encourage a confession out of Claudius. Hamlet wants, more than anything else, for justice to be done, but he needs to find the right time and the right place to make this happen. He wants to do right by himself, in the way that he performs his revenge, so that he can suffer as little regret about it as is at all possible.
Hamlet eventually resorts to living as if in an antic disposition, in order to force Claudius into admitting the grievous wrong that he has done. Scholars who have studied the character of Hamlet, have long debated over the question of whether or not this “antic disposition” was merely to get a confession out of his uncle, or whether it was caused by the trauma he suffered due to the revelations he had recently received from the ghost about his mother and Claudius’ actions, combined with the pressure put on him to exact revenge for them.
When the play within the play brings on the confession by Claudius, the corruption becomes real and proven. This brings on yet another bout of corruption by the new King. He knows he has been found out and so he must act quickly and without mercy to remove the threat to his position as King and to his life, that is his nephew. Hamlet’s determination and intelligence enables him to avoid the death his uncle had in mind for him and allows him another chance to destroy the moral and political festering sore that is corrupting their state.
He no longer needs to prove to himself that he is doing the right thing by himself or the people of Denmark. Claudius has cleared that matter up for him by way of his confession. “In fighting his uncle, Hamlet is doing more than seeking personal revenge: he is fighting a source of evil, a rankness, a focus of corruption which will infect all Denmark and destroy it spiritually. ” [Twentieth Century Interpretations of Hamlet, David Bevington.
] The corruption in the play grows and grows from the beginning of the play to the bloody end, and throughout we can trace the progression of a corruption, which eventually leads to the death, through ‘disease’ in the characters of Polonius, Claudius and Hamlet. Their deaths (physical corruption), is a precursor, signifying to the audience the ultimate fate of all those characters exhibiting signs of corruption.
We can see from the conclusion of the play, the damage that the lies, and the cheating has done to the leadership of the state of Denmark, not to mention the effect that the incest, adultery, usurpation, and murder has done to the family themselves. In the end, however the corruption has festered and grown to the extent that it has destroyed itself, and it no longer exists. The result was a massacre, which purged a corrupt state. Denmark was left with a brand new King, Horatio, whom, it could be said, is worthy of the title as he has been loyal throughout and is one of very few who was not corrupt from the outset.
“Hamlet dies as King Hamlet dies, Polonius dies, Ophelia dies, Gertrude dies, Laertes dies and Claudius dies. They all become dishes for worms, beggars and kings in their privileged society”.
BIBLIOGRAPHY HAMLET AND IDEOLOGY. Heejung Cha. http://www. cmsu. edu/writingcenter/HCessay. html WHAT HAPPENS IN HAMLET. J. Dover Wilson, C. H. Cambridge University Press. 1967 SHAKESPEARE’S HAMLET John Jump Essay by Jahn Kott page 200.