Before Hamlet, the world appears as a “wild garden overgrown with weed,” in which everything that is evil and rough is ripening in nature. The reason for such a worldview is that he discovered a “universal” evil in scope: “all things seem to me barren in this world”; “Not one of the people pleases me.”
What are the causes of this evil that has plagued modern Shakespeare society? In his opinion, reality brought “damage” to a person: his nature became “sick”. A perversion of human nature led to a violation of social harmony, to social chaos.
Personal relationships no longer exist outside of society, beyond social responsibility. Personal and public interpenetrate. One of the greatest sins of man – the desire for greatness, glory, power, wealth. These “vicious virtues” give rise to cunning, heartlessness, flattery, treachery, treachery, cruelty, pride, contempt for subordinates in a person.
Under the rays of glory and wealth, all Christian virtues evaporate and the human heart stiffens.
A vivid image of a man whose nature is perverted is the king of Danish Claudius.
The crime of the king becomes known from the ghost story. It is symbolic that all the intrigues of the power-hungry and treacherous fratricide reveals the spirit. Such a worldview was characteristic of the Renaissance.
At that time, man remained religious, Christian virtues remained the highest values, but medieval obscurantism was a thing of the past. The ghost, although it did not possess a higher power, was “between heaven and earth.” However, the fact that earthly people could see him, hear, speak with him, once again testified: the earthly firmament is only a temporary refuge for man.
Divine power, divine love, divine justice, divine good are all-embracing and eternal, not subject to time. If not human, then the divine court will sooner or later evaluate all the acts of the individual and pass a fair sentence. Most of all, the Ghost regrets that he lost his life, the crown and the queen, being taken by surprise: “without settling accounts, he was called to account under the burden” of his imperfections.
What was the crime of Claudius? He trampled upon all universal laws, Christian morality, striving for greatness, glory, power, wealth. Claudius killed his brother, seduced his wife:
But no virtue will ever flinch. At least sin flattered her in the guise of paradise; So lust, be with her a radiant angel, He will be fed up on the box of heaven, yearning for garbage.
But the greatest responsibility lay with Claudius for the fact that he dragged everyone around into his criminal plans. Society begins to perceive evil as an ordinary phenomenon, a norm. None of those around Claudius knows the truth, but they are all ready to help him get rid of Hamlet as one, they all renounce the rightful prince as one, recognizing him insane. The native mother sees only madness in her son’s words, having previously admitted that he had touched her for the living, and therefore, spoke only the truth:
Oh, enough, Hamlet: You sent my eyes straight to the soul, And in it I see so many black spots, That they can not be removed.
On the side of the crime, evil is the lover of Hamlet Ophelia. The love of Hamlet and Ophelia is sincere, but the sad example of his mother leads him to the disappointing conclusion: women are too weak to withstand the harsh trials of life. Hamlet scoffs at Ophelia in order to ease their gap for her: let him think that he is insane and cruel. His advice – to go to the monastery – is dictated by despair and disappointment: “… if you are chaste as ice, pure as snow, you will not escape slander.”
Some commentators believe that Hamlet advises Ophelia not to become a nun, but, on the contrary, to go into debauchery (in the Shakespearean jargon “a convent” is a brothel), Hamlet’s following words about “painting” a woman’s face confirm this.
Ophelia’s father, Polonius, is a scammer and instigator. Although the position held by him is not named, according to the position he is the chief minister of the king. The words of Polonius are proof that he did not care about the good of his daughter, but about his own. He unceremoniously intervenes in the personal life of the girl, deciding for her who is allowed to love and who is not.
For Polonius, Hamlet, mad or in love, becomes an enemy who must be neutralized. The death of Polonius became a reflection of his whole life: he was killed by Hamlet at the time when he overheard his conversation.
The brother of Ophelia Laertes is first represented by a young man who simply wants to enjoy life in full. But when he is possessed by a thirst for revenge, he discovers such malice and the ability to treachery that he is among the minions of the king. Although, in my opinion, the actions of Laertes are no less fair than the actions of Hamlet.
Hamlet killed Laertes father, caused the madness and death of his sister Ophelia. On top of that, in the midst of a funeral ceremony, the prince insulted the feelings of a grieving brother. Such behavior deserves condemnation, and actions – due vengeance.
Reflection of the reigning orders in the kingdom are images of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. What these two are, could not be conveyed with the help of one character: quiet habits, obsequiousness, dodging, groveling, earnest cryo-wry, mediocrity. According to Goethe, “they only manifest themselves in society, they are society, and Shakespeare showed great modesty and wisdom, deriving only two such samples.”
If the previous characters are more or less sources of evil or the creation of evil, then Prince Hamlet knows evil. He is implacable to evil, but does not know how to deal with it. He is cunning and deceiving, trying to find out the secret of his enemy, but Hamlet’s deception and cunning are forced.
He feels alone with evil, believing that only he knows the truth, only he is the arbiter of justice in this crazy world. Justice must triumph; Hamlet, after long and painful deliberation, is finally convinced. A person who lives one day, whose dreams are focused only on achieving material well-being, is not worthy to be called a person:
Looking forward and backward, he put in us Not a godlike mind, So that he idly moldy …
The evil against which Hamlet fought was not eradicated, but the history of Hamlet at all times will serve as an example of a noble rush of the soul, longing for justice and good.