Relation of religion with "HAMLET".
Claudius's murder of King Hamlet, the act catalyzing the drama of the play, is presented as a sin of primordial character and cosmic implications. Claudius confesses that his fratricide parallels the murder of Abel: .
O, my offense is rank, it smells to heaven;.
It hath the primal eldest curse upon 't,.
A brother's murder (3.3.36-38). .
Hamlet's description of his psychological condition at the beginning of the play pushes the imagery back to the beginning of biblical history: .
How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable .
Seem to me all the uses of this world!.
Fie on 't! Ah fie! 'Tis an unweeded garden, .
That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature.
Possess it merely (1.2.135-37). .
Claudius has not only committed fratricide, but regicide. The king being peculiarly the image of God, regicide is a kind of deicide. At least, it is an act of rebellion against divine authority. Claudius is thus not only Cain but Adam. Claudius's sin has, for Hamlet at least, turned Denmark into a fallen Eden; thorns and thistles dominate the landscape. .
The ghost's description of the murder confirms that Edenic motifs are in the background: .
Now, Hamlet, hear:.
'Tis given out that, sleeping in my orchard,.
A serpent stung me; so the whole ear of Denmark.
Is by a forged process of my death.
Rankly abus'd. But know, thou noble youth,.
The serpent that did sting thy father's life.
Now wears his crown.
Sleeping within my orchard,.
My custom always of the afternoon,.
Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole,.
With juice of cursed hebenon in a vial,.
And in the porches of my ears did pour.
The leperous distillment, whose effect.
Holds such an enmity with blood of man.
That swift as quicksilver it courses through .
The natural gates and alleys of the body.
And with a sudden vigor it doth posset.
And curd, like eager droppings into milk,.
The thin and wholesome blood (1.5.34-39, 59-70). .
It is possible that "poison in the ear" is an image of temptation.