The Degradation Of Physical Decay In Shakespeare's Hamlet

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Not only did the corruption of Denmark lead to death and insanity but also the physical decay of the kingdom and the people within it. **** Hamlet displays physical decay by not only contemplating physical aspects associated with death but rather his deterioration as well. Ophelia tells Polonius that Hamlet “doubts all fouled, and down-gyved to his ankles, pale as his shirt, his knees knocking eachother. And with a look so pitiful in purport. As if he has been loosed out of hell” (2.1.88-93) Hamlet acts like someone that saw a spirit–but he’s also depicted as a ghost himself hence his “pale” and distressing look, Ophelia’s contrast of Hamlet as “loosed out of hell,” positions Hamlet in the same perspective of his father. It’s as if he’s symbolizing his father’s “most horrible” experience…show more content…
Everything is in the process of decay and nothing will remain forever. Hamlet hits this realization in act five scene one when looking upon Yorick’s skull. He speaks to Horatio of Yorick’s colourful life, filled with joy and merriment and the stark contrast of what he is now – anything but merry. Hamlet endless menacing about death and morality (“’to be or not to be’ soliloquy”) reaches a conclusion when looking at Yorick’s skull – a physical reminder of the definiteness of death. He compares the jester’s condition to Alexander the Great who both meet the same end and become nothing but dirt and understand this end is inevitable.This revelation echoes the theme “memento mori” – remember thy death, reminding the readers that all humans meet the same fate in death portraying physical

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