• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Downward Spiral of Hamlet.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Downward Spiral Hamlet is one of the great tragedies written by Shakespeare. It is the story of a young man and his struggle to deal with the recent death of his father. This death he soon learns was no accident, and that his mother is now married to the man who killed his father. This man being the late kings own brother, Hamlets Uncle. While reading this play it becomes apparent that nothing really is what it seems. The court of this castle is two faced. Several characters hide who they are and their actions, lies, and deceptions add to the plot and make the ending so tragic. Many characters in the play hide behind masks to hide their true selves and true motivations. Some of the characters being Polonius, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and the king Claudius as well. They hid behind these masks to protect themselves from the lies they have told, the tricks they have done, and the evil that manifests in them. For starters Polonius is the kings royal assistant, and he appears to be like a loving and caring person. Not only does he appear to be a loving and caring person but also a loving and caring father. Polonius shows us he is not who he would like us to think he is with his son Laertes. ...read more.

Middle

To see why is acting so crazy, Claudius wants to know the root of Hamlets actions. Hamlet welcomes his old friends, yet he knows why they have come to visit him. Hamlet is very careful not to allow them to see or hear what is truly wrong with him; he wants everyone to think he has just lost his mind. Hamlet being aware of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern purpose for their visit abuses them verbally. He makes fun of them when he can. And he calls them on their lie. After the play when they act sad and upset that Hamlet won't tell them what ails him, Hamlet gives it to them. "You play upon me, you would seem to know my stops, you would pluck out the heart of my mystery, you would sound me from my lowest note to the top of my compass. And there is much music, excellent voice, in this little organ, yet you cannot make it speak." (III, ii, 372-376) Hamlet knows why they are there and is careful not to let them in on his madness. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern add to the tragic ending because Hamlet feels betrayed by someone else, and his portrayal of madness goes on until the end. It is a spiral of destruction, and every characters lies, and deceptions add to it, making it spin faster, and get bigger. ...read more.

Conclusion

He plays on Laertes emotions, his grief and anger. Claudius uses these emotions to lure Laertes into a plan to kill Hamlet. After Claudius playing on Laertes emotions he asks him, what will you do when hamlet returns? And Laertes now filled with ideas and rage responds" to cut his throat I' the church." (IV,vii,126) Claudius acts a caring friend in this time of grief, acting as someone Laertes can talk to help sort things out, yet he is tricking him to conspire to murder Hamlet. Claudius hiding behind a mask through out the play help add to the spiral, and tragic ending because for starters he killed the king causing this whole thing to begin with. Then plots to have hamlet killed, see that didn't work, so sets up a dual between Laertes and Hamlet and rigs it so Hamlet will die, of poison. Though the cup that Claudius poisoned for Hamlet, his loved wife drinks, creating the end the come quickly in the play and with a more dramatic ending. In conclusion, the characters of Hamlet hid their true personalities and motives in order to gain more for them, yet by doing so they propel the downward spiral, and greaten the tragic ending. The constant betrayal, lies, and manipulations in this play cause each character to act almost hysterical so quickly it all collides and the end is the end for almost everyone. The Downward Spiral By, Morgan Keenan Edwina Trentham Introduction to Lit. Tue. am ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Hamlet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

There are lots of points in this essay but they are not connected with any real structure which means the writing lacks direction.
It is important to remember to analyse the key points; language, structure, form and the impact these all have on the audience. This essay slips into the narrative on too many occasions.

3 Stars

Marked by teacher Laura Gater 26/04/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Hamlet essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Explore the "loving mother-son" relationship between Gertrude and Hamlet, with focus on language.

    4 star(s)

    Gertrude lies to herself about the consequences of her actions, and she lies to those around her. But she lies to protect. Hers are not cruel and wicked falsehoods; hers are white lies that she feels she must tell in order to keep her and those around her safe physically and emotionally.

  2. Write a Critical Analysis on Hamlet Act 3 Scene 4

    Hamlet uses a fable to illustrate to Gertrude what will happen to her if she tells anyone; she will gain nothing by it and that if she imagines that she can act with the king as cleverly as he can, independently of him, then she will be like the ape trying to fly and so will come to grief.

  1. The Dramatic Function of Ophelia in Shakespeare's 'Hamlet'.

    Hamlet has been responsible for her feelings- if he loves her, she is happy, and if he does not, she is not. It is through these relationships that she knows how to live, and in the absence of this direction she commits suicide.

  2. Discuss Hamlet's attitude to death and the afterlife, giving indications to how both contemporary ...

    In spite of this he cannot kill himself because God gave him his life, therefore he has no right to take it. 'The Everlasting 'has' 'fixed / His canon gainst self-slaughter'. 'To be, or not to be-that is the question', Hamlet wonders whether to live or die.

  1. In what ways does Shakespeare create sympathy for Hamlet in the first two acts?

    He is thus able to successfully deceive them that he is mad whilst he seeks to carry out his revenge on Claudius. However, his intelligence further stresses his isolation as he is on a different playing field from the other characters.

  2. Hamlet's Tragic Flaw leading to his Demise

    Just as his previous soliloquy foreshadows, Hamlet over thinks and fails to act, fearing that his uncle will go to heaven if he kills him in the church while he is praying. It is this at this point in the play where, due to his failure to act, there

  1. Compare and Contrast theCharacters Hamlet and Laertes.

    in scene 3 of act 1 from line 95-141. Hamlet does admit to Ophelia that he did love he and deep down he still does, however he is put off by her deceit and lies when Ophelia says that she doesn't know where her father is: "(Hamlet) Where's your father?

  2. An Analysis of Hamlets Philosophy of Life and Death in William Shakespeares Hamlet

    Even though Hamlet?s view on life and death is still quite pessimistic, Shakespeare exposes Hamlet to the idea that humans may not be in control of their fate.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work