William Shakespeare embeds betrayal into most of his plays. Betrayal is a dramatic device that can lead to many horrible tragedies. Betrayal is one of the worse things a young teenager can experience. Loyalty and trust can be majorly torn upon betrayal. It can toy with the young mind and can cause confidence and trust issues. In the play Hamlet, betrayal does just that by showing Hamlet his loved one’s true colors. The characters prove that humans are not perfect and make life changing mistakes. This interactive flaw subsidizes to Shakespeare’s overarching meaning of the nature of loyalty and betrayal. In today’s modern society, many people look for something real fulfilled with trust and loyalty, something Hamlet did not so much receive.
In the opening act, Claudius and Gertrude notice Hamlets deranged behavior. Within just months of Hamlet’s father’s death his mother moves on unseeingly fast. “Within a month, ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears had left the flushing in her galled eyes, she married. O, most wicked speed, to post with such dexterity to incestuous sheets” This is beyond betrayal to Hamlet. Having a parent particularly a mother betray you can feel as if your world is ending. To a modern reader, they can relate to the disloyal aspect. In today’s modern life relationships are still built on trust and loyalty. If these key items are broken relationships will not have trust. Trust in a relationship is a major key for a healthy relationship. Between a mother and a son, it can be very vital on their relationship. Gertrude and Hamlet’s relationship is ultimately tainted forever due to these circumstances.
To many readers Hamlet can be seen to over dramatize most of his situations. But this situation feels like the utmost betrayal to young Hamlet. In Hamlet’s eyes his own mother; his father’s own brother, have just completely moved on. Hamlet begins to think about suicide. “Flesh would melt, thaw and resolve itself into dew” and wishing for “His cannon ‘ganist self-slaughter! O God. O God” . Due to his religion prohibiting suicide he decides to enable himself from doing so. Even though, he questions suicide and why God has made it a sin, ultimately it still seems like the best option then living his painful life. Most teens today experience the same feeling. Being betrayed is almost like your world is falling apart. Many contemplate suicide just like Hamlet but do to sinning, most rethink.
Furthermore, Shakespeare implements a ghost into the story. The ghost who is indeed the late King, appears to tell his son about his vengeful death. Hamlets worse fear of Claudius murdering his father becomes true “O, my prophetic soul! My uncle! The ghost informs Hamlet to have mercy on his mother and to avenge his death by killing Claudius. A brother killing a brother is the biggest form of betrayal. It is even reference of the first ever own blood killing of Cain and Abel.” O, my offence is rank it smells to heaven; It hath the primal eldest curse upon ‘t, A brother’s murder”. This gives the allusion of comparing the first original sin to Claudius guilt.
Although, Gertrude and the King are happy newlyweds it is not really that way. Gertrude and the King are both facing their incestuous actions which is ultimately guilt. Guilt can very much eat a person alive and it did just that to these characters. The line “My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent, and like a man to double business bound, I stand in pause where I shall first begin and both neglect “. He is implying his guilt is stronger than his original intentions. Claudius has internal conflict inside himself because he knows he is wrong for killing his brother. The guilt is inevitable, and he cannot escape it. In today’s modern society, readers can understand the simplicity of betrayal and loyalty. Betrayal will forever connect to any type of reader, it is the inevitable that you cannot escape. Betrayal will always be applicable and many people’s lives. All and all, this is one of the many themes a reader can pick out an analyze within Hamlet.