Evil affects everybody in their own way. It can cause a person to act in a way that they would normally not. Evil dates back to the first couple that existed and has been around ever since. Evil is no stranger in the Shakespearean play “Hamlet”. Showing its dark face in many of the people involved in the story, it causes a mix of behavior which ranges from rash to outrageous. This force also comes across through several metaphors which are presented throughout the play “...tis an unweeded garden”(Act 1, Scene 2, line 135). One can see that Hamlet is presenting the idea that the world, life in general, when corrupted with evil is like a garden overwhelmed by weeds. This theme can be traced throughout the play by who it affects, how it is self destructive as well as how it can be sometimes lifted.

Evil casts its shadow on many of the characters in this play. The most prominent character would be the villain Claudius. By being affected he killed his own brother to gain his throne and everything that came with the kingly title. Because of his need to be king, Claudius can never be saved from the evil which posseses him. “My words fly up, my thoughts remain below! Words without thoughts never to heaven go” (Act 3, Scene 3, lines 98-99). His soul is now forever damned to hell. Another character which evil smiles upon is Laertes. Enraged with the news of his father’s murder and his sister’s fall into madness, he becomes desperate for vengeance on the guilty party. While in this state of rage his common sense is shaken and Claudius decides to use him as a pawn in his plot to have Hamlet killed. Young Hamlet himself has had evil take a liking to him. This occurs in a lesser way than the case of Claudius however one does see that, during the unfolding of the play, his actions become sporatic and rash. An example of this is seen in the death of Polonius. As soon as Hamlet heard the sound coming from behind the drape in his mother’s room, he immediately struck at it with his sword. He could have merely drawn back the curtain and revealed who it was however at this point he is in such a conflict with evil that he losses his self-control.

Evil also shows itself not only through the characters but also in the general atmosphere which is being presented. By hearing comments such as “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark” (Act 1, Scene 4, Line 90) as well as “...so the whole ear of Denmark is by a forged process of my death rankly abused” (Act 1, Scene 5, Line 36-38) the reader sees that the whole state is under a dark cloud that desperately needs to be lifted.

One of the effects of evil is that it is a self-destructive entity. It is seen in that most of the characters which evil uses, end up loosing their lives in or near the end of the play. For example, Leartes, who becomes a partial villain, dies through his own plan. This example of nemesis also arises with Claudius. Not only was he stabbed by the poisoned sword that he endorsed having used but he was also made to drink the very wine he poisoned. Gertrude is also affected by this destructiveness of evil. Claudius, having poisoned the wine hoping that Hamlet would have drank it, allows Gertrude to sample it as well. He, in fact, only put up a mild protest when she was about to drink “Gertrude, do not drink” (Act 5, Scene 2, Line 97-98).

Once tainted with the dark tint of evil, characters seems almost unable to redeem themselves. However absolution does occur in the play. Leartes, having been given the fatal blow, redeems himself in the eyes of God as well as those of the audience. This is accomplished by placing the blame solely on Clauduis where it belongs and by genuinely asking forgiveness from Hamlet “..I can no more: the king, the king to blame” (Act 5, Scene 2, Line 313) “Exchange forgiveness with me noble Hamlet: mine and my fathers death come not upon thee. Nor thine on me!” (Act 5, Scene