Desmond family as dysfunctional: one brother kills another

Desmond HarrisMrs. PriceEnglish IV7 December 2017          Hamlet Essay “To be or not to be that is the question”. exclaimed by Hamlet in the moments he was sadly considering life or death.

In 1603, William Shakespeare published Hamlet, which is a play concerning a royal’s family’s wicked ways and it’s strange persona. A family is typically thought to be a complete unit, a unit that supports and loves each individual with no regards to past mistakes and affairs. “Family is love, even if love can be a weird thing.

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Family is acceptance. Sure there are disagreements and arguments, and those holidays that have mashed potatoes thrown, but it doesn’t go away”, said by an anonymous source. Family doesn’t go away, no matter how annoying at times. However, Hamlet portrays his noble family as dysfunctional: one brother kills another brother due to jealousy, a loving mother betrays her son and marriage oath and the family unit is simply deteriorating.

Hamlet ,whom is the main character, is the biological son of Denmark’s king, but he faces a dynamic alteration once his mother chooses to wed his father’s blood brother Claudius. In this piece of literature, the family dynamics is destroyed within days. Although Hamlet and Claudius appear alike by their rudimentary similarities, they differ in individual nature: the manner in which they act, the loyalty to the family, and method of destruction are drastically different in the two noble men.Hamlet and Claudius are products from the same blood line; thus, they are going to share some rudimentary similarities.

Both men are descendants of a noble family, and possess manipulative characteristics. Claudius and Hamlet belong to the parliament of Denmark, the men in their family become kings while the women become queens. Also, since they are nobility, their collection of attire and other personal belongings  are elaborate. Everything that the men own is fancy and expensive. Moreover, Hamlet and Claudius both only desire what is best for themselves, they are very manipulative. Claudius only cares about fulfilling the throne of Denmark, he does not care the method in which he chooses to obtain the throne. While Claudius is busy destructing Denmark’s residents, Hamlet is doing everything in his power to get justice for his late father’s tragic death. Even though both men appear similar, especially according to their appearance and personality, they are prime examples of what happens with jealousy intervenes.

Even Though Hamlet and Claudius are from the same bloodline, the way they conduct themselves is polar opposites to one another. In the beginning of the play, Hamlet is thought to be a compassionate, loving son. He would go to extreme measures to please his royal mother and father. Unfortunately, Hamlet experiences a great hardship. His father is suddenly murdered, he learns that he is not able to take the throne, and his mother remarries days after the King’s tragic death. He experienced a dynamic character shift at this point. Now in the story Hamlet conducts himself in a revengeful, nonchalant manner. For instance, Hamlet contemplates suicide, he believed his life was so horrific that the only thing that was beneficial to him was to take his own life.

He was nonchalant, he did not care of what Denmark residents had to say about him nor did he take in consideration of what his family said. He was made aware that his Uncle Claudius was the actual perpetrator of his father’s death, at this instance he wanted only wanted revenge on his beloved uncle. Hamlet attempts to mislead others in order to get justice for his late father and to ensure his hateful uncle receives the touch of the devil. Also, Hamlet went mad! He stopped the daily bathing ritual and even stuck into his lover to be bedroom window. He also believed that his stepfather and mother were trying to set his up; therefore, he acted insane on purpose so the public would not catch on to his devious plan. While Hamlet changed his character identity, Claudius was arrogant and wanted to be entitled to the family’s riches from the beginning. When his brother passed, he took the throne within days, and he also did not give any sympathy to grieving Hamlet, he actually encouraged his nephew to move on from the death.

The most valuable justification of Claudius taking the throne and marrying his brother’s widow was in order to gain the family’s jewels.One should be loyal to his or her family at all times, even if the family is experiencing turmoil. Claudius is a hateful, greedy man. He did not have any loyalty to his family, he only desired what would make him great. Thus, Claudius betrayed his own brother, assassinated him in order to obtain the throne of Denmark. He poisoned his brother, King Hamlet, in a pasture, but he made the murder appear as a natural death. After he killed King Hamlet, he persuaded his sister in law to join him in a marriage.

Once King Hamlet was dead and his window, whom in Gertrude, was remarried, Denmark’s people found Claudius as a suitable person to take throne. In the end, he took Hamlet’s life out of greed. He betrayed his family and threw away family values in order to become king. While Claudius was destructing his family’s loyalty for the throne, Hamlet busied himself to destroy the family’s reputation to get justice for his late father. Hamlet turned against his mother because she was infatuated with her new husband and was only seeing his point of view, appeared insane in the public’s eye, and ruined his reputation. Hamlet did not care that his actions were destroying the loyalty to his family, he only wanted to help his father. Also, Hamlet murdered Polonius, the father of Laertes and Ophelia, by accident, but the incident actually aided his motives. The method of abandoning loyalty were different in Hamlet and Claudius.

While Hamlet and Claudius are both manipulative, they both take different approaches in their method of destruction of their friends, family, and colleagues. Claudius works to gain people’s trust so they would be willing to go beyond the extreme measures in order to give attributions or please him. For example, Claudius hires Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to spy on Hamlet. In order for the spies to agree to work for the king, trust and obedience had to be earned. Hamlet purposely chooses to alter his entire demeanor. Hamlet purposely causes Denmark’s residents to not adore him anymore and pretends his has gone mad to disguise his plan to revenge his father’s death. For instance, Hamlet accidentally murders polonius with his sword while he was behind the curtain spying on him. Also, he has suspicion that Ophelia, his love interest, was hired by the king and queen to obtain information, so he decides to perform insane acts while she is present.

The method of madness differs between Hamlet and Claudius. Hamlet is a play that interprets the definition of a broken family unit. God designed a family to be helping, loving, and caring. However, this certain royal family is only concerned with their own selfish desires. The dynamic characters of Hamlet and Claudius did not take in consideration of anyone else when they were scheming up their master plans to achieve their “goals”. The two men did whatever in their power to obtain their own selfish desires.

The original King Hamlet, Claudius, Gertrude, and the son Hamlet are all involved in the fact that the family can not act right. Claudius murders his brother, then marries his sister in law only a few days after. Although Hamlet and Claudius appear alike by their rudimentary similarities, they differ in individual nature: the manner in which they act, the loyalty to the family, and method of destruction are drastically different in the two noble men.


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