Hamlet is a Political Tragedy
This essay will argue that Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” is not only a personal tragedy but also a political one. It will explore how the play reflects on issues of power, leadership, and the state, examining the political implications of Hamlet’s actions and the play’s commentary on the nature of governance and royal duty. At PapersOwl, you’ll also come across free essay samples that pertain to Hamlet.
How it works
The country is in the political disturbance. The King who everyone loved is dead. The political system is currently headed by Claudius. The country is in the hands of a man who is untrustworthy, unfair and a murderer. Claudius has killed his own brother. How can he be trusted? There’s no balance in the political system. There is no balance in the political system. In Act 1, Scene 2 this is obvious. Even Claudius concedes that the country is disorganized in the death of his brother, or that Fortinbras is young. There must be some truth in this; otherwise, the idea would not have been raised by Claudius. Hath in the skirts of Norway here and there Shark’d up a list of lawless resolutes, For food and diet, to some enterprise That hath a stomach in’t; which is no other As it doth well appear unto our state but to recover of us, by strong hand And terms compulsatory, those foresaid lands So by his father lost: and this, I take it, Is the main motive of our preparations, The source of this our watch and the chief head Of this post-haste and romage in the land. The power struggle between Hamlet and Claudius is one of the major themes in the Hamlet.
The main issue is between Claudius and Hamlet; they are in an escalating battle during the play to see who rises with the power of the throne. Claudius is the antagonist in the story, and there are many people who follow every rule( Innes). He is a manipulative person who seeks revenge on Hamlet by others he knows. On the other hand, Hamlet is the protagonist of the story, and after finding out how his father was killed he is very unsatisfied. However, he is overtaken by the ghost of his father, Old Hamlet, and is seen to be angry as a result. So the whole ear of Denmark Is by a forged process of my death Rankly abused: but know, thou noble youth, The serpent that did sting thy father’s life Now wears his crown. (1.5.42-47) The spirit had said the soliloquy to show how Claudius ‘ actions affected the city of Denmark.
How it works
The calling of Claudius was a symbolic moment, symbolizing the serpent as an introduction of sin into the world. He is now known to be causing sins to the world beginning with incest and marrying the wife of the King. Even though Claudius is seen to be a serpent to others, he knows he has done wrong. In his one and only soliloquy of the whole play he is praying and says: O, my offense is rank it smells to heaven; It hath the primal eldest curse upon’t, A brother’s murder. Pray can I not, Though inclination be as sharp as will: My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent (3.3.40-44) In the soliloquy, he shows that he has done wrong and now feels that the guilt he witnesses is stronger than the reason why he kills his brother. He feels terrible about his brother’s death, but he must continue his plan to stay in power rather than allow Hamlet to have it. He manipulates Laertes, who Claudius has turned against Hamlet, to assist in the murder of Hamlet. He coaxes Laertes into a duel with Hamlet in order to kill Hamlet, Laertes asks to cut his throat i’th’ the church (4.7.123). One part of the role played by the political situation is to add to the danger and suspense. During the time of the play, Denmark is not without enemy’s. Fortinbras, the Prince of Norway, smolders against Denmark because Hamlet’s father, the King of Denmark, killed his father, the King of Norway.
This is definitely a political situation that adds intensity and suspense to the play. Also, Laertes is so outraged against the murder of his father, Polonius, that he throws aside his loyalty to the Prince of Denmark, Hamlet, in an attempt to have revenge. The political situation is extremely important. The fact that Claudius is such a corrupt and immoral king makes this play not only a personal tragedy for most of the major characters (especially Hamlet) but also a political tragedy for the Danish nation as well. The same selfishness and pride that have corrupted Claudius threaten the welfare of his people. The political situation adds to the stress that is being felt by Hamlet and by Claudius. Everyone is kind of on edge because there is so much uncertainty. There are issues over who should be king. There are problems in Denmark’s relationship with Norway. All of this plays a role in the play because it adds to the generally dark and unstable mood. The mood helps to create tension in our minds, which makes us more receptive to the tension and uncertainty that is going on in Hamlet’s mind.