The Power of Nature


Within Hamlet, the mention of nature occurs throughout the entire play. Going from Handing them to elders, to being placed over a grave, flowers are brought up at pivotal points in the play.

”Fie on ‘t, ah, fie, ‘tis an unweeded garden / things rank and gross in nature / Possess it merely” (I.ii 136-137)

Starting in the first act of Hamlet, the idea of nature is brought up through Hamlet's mini-speech to his parents, the king (Claudius) and queen (Gertrude) of Denmark. This double entendre presents Denmark in a different perspective. It presents the country of Denmark as a country starting to fall apart. there is no organization in Denmark. Hamlet says that it is "rank" and "gross in nature". by saying that Denmark is "rank" he is posing the question of does he mean by smell, which is one definition, or is it more of a figurative meaning of unsettling?
To Hamlet, Ophelia is a pure soul compared to those of the rest of the tainted earth.

"Was yet one flower, his love of Ophelia..." (Knight 144)

Throughout Hamlet, Hamlet's perception of death enhances as different events change his life. In a society of death and corruption, Hamlet viewed Ophelia as a flower; pure and without taint. many people perceive Hamlet saying, "Get thee to a nunnery" (Hamlet, III.i 129) as an insult directed towards Ophelia. In Shakespearean times, a nunnery was not only referred to as a convent, but also as a brothel. It can be believed that Hamlet was calling Ophelia too pure to live in a tainted society and that she should flee from it all, living a pure life.

“There’s a daisy. I would give you some violets, but they / withered all when my father died. They say ‘a made a / good end” (IV.v 193-195)

In act IV-i, Polonius was slain by Hamlet. Hamlet and Gertrude were talking about his odd behavior, and Hamlet confessed to a plot to kill Claudius. While talking, they heard a noise behind a banister hanging from the wall. Hamlet panicked and plunged his sword through it, and into the chest of Polonius. Although Ophelia does not know who killed her father, she still resents his death. As compared by Hamlet to be pure, when Polonius died, Ophelia lost her innocence in the world, and joined the rest of the tainted population.

“say you? Nay, pray you mark. (sings) / "He is dead and gone, lady, / He is dead and gone; At his head a green-grass turf, / at his heels a stone." O, ho!” (IV.v 29-34)