Abuse Of Power In Shakespeare's Hamlet

Superior Essays
According to Businessdictionary.com the definition of abuse of power is, “The act of using one’s position of power in an abusive way. This can take many forms, such as taking advantage of someone, gaining access to information that shouldn’t be accessible to the public, or just manipulating someone with the ability to punish them if they don’t comply”(BusinessDictionary.com). Today we see this kind of behavior in North Korea with dictator Kim Jong-un and even in the past in Germany with Hitler. In William Golding 's ¨Lord of The Flies¨ and Shakespeare 's ¨Hamlet” the theme of abuse of power is present amongst few characters. Jack from “Lord of the Flies” and Hamlet and King Claudius from “Hamlet” all show signs of misuse of power, which will …show more content…
“Innocent” Hamlet actually isn 't so innocent his misuse of power results in the death of a few people. The first victim of Hamlet’s power abuse is sweet Ophelia a lover to the young prince. Just like Celine Dion’s 90’s hit Hamlet uses the power of love to help him avenge his father’s death. Hamlet acts crazy in front of Ophelia hoping she will buy into the fact that he has gone mad because she knows that Hamlet has never been like that around her. The fact that Hamlet is using Ophelia is betraying her and abusing the power of love between them. Hamlet also disrespects and misuses his power of love when, “He kills Polonius by thrusting a rapier through the arras” (Shakespeare III.iv.29). Polonius is the father of Ophelia and now he is deceased by the hands of Hamlet. Hamlet does not even give one care that he killed Polonius he did not even consider how Ophelia would feel. Hamlet betrayed her and abused his power of love between Ophelia and him. This event then leads to the madness and death of Ophelia who dies by drowning, but it was a domino effect caused by Hamlet’s abuse of power. While on his way to England Hamlet discovers that his uncle had sent Rosencrantz and Guildenstern with a letter that contains orders for him to be murdered. Hamlet comes back to Denmark but allows Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to continue the journey with a new letter he wrote himself. In the letter Hamlet writes instructions to England to kill Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. He abuses his power in this case because now that he can write a new letter he can choose keep Rosencrantz and Guildenstern alive but decides to murder them. Even though King Claudius is the villain in “Hamlet” , he was a victim of Hamlet’s misuse of power during the play. Hamlet says “the play’s the thing wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the King” (Shakespeare II.ii.633-634).Hamlet used

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Hamlet couldn 't control his actions and killed Polonius thinking that he was Claudius; however Hamlet felt no remorse or guilt. He hated his mother for marrying Claudius right after his father’s death and couldn 't trust his friends. The only person that was loyal to Hamlet in the end was Horatio; Horatio was ready to die along with Hamlet when he was poisoned. Hamlet indirectly was the cause to everyone else 's death. The murder of Polonius caused Ophelia to go insane and drown herself, and the death of Laertes 's sister and father caused him to take action and plan with Claudius to kill Hamlet.…

    • 1428 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Dan adams ms.walter A.C.A 12 3/2916 And You Thought Your Family Reunion Was Bad In William Shakespeare's tragedy Hamlet. Laertes allows his desire for revenge cause him to behave irrationally Throughout the book hamlet many of the characters are consumed with the desire for revenge. Laertes father is killed by hamlet, after he was caught spying on hamlet. Laetes puts up a revolt to make him king. His plan failed when the king told him who killed his dad (hamlet) and trick him to stop his war and kill hamlet.…

    • 431 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Laertes grieves the death of Ophelia while criticizing the femininity of it, “It is our trick; nature her customs holds, Let shame say what it will. When these are gone, The woman will be out” (4.7.185-187). Laertes undermines the act of crying by comparing it to a cheap trick because it is inevitable. In favor of looking heroic and manly Laertes challenges Hamlet to a duel to avenge his late father and sister, but this leads to his downfall. His desire for revenge turns him into a dishonorable man fueled by rage and hatred; one swipe of Hamlet’s poisoned sword has Laertes joining his late father and sister.…

    • 887 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    After Polonius is killed by Hamlet, his mother is quick to ask why he would commit such a sin. Hamlet quickly responds by belittling, insulting, and making fun of his mother for what sins she has committed. The ghost of King Hamlet then appears and reminds Hamlet that his mother is not the problem and that he must seek revenge for his father’s death. The violent act of Hamlet…

    • 1500 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    When Polonius is eavesdropping on Gertrude and Hamlet’s conversation, he is accidentally killed by Hamlet, who mistook him for Claudius. Claudius also recruits Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Hamlet’s childhood friends, to spy on Hamlet, and “to gather / So much as from occasion you may glean” (33). Hamlet does not reveal any information to them, forcing Claudius to take extreme measures with Hamlet. By deceiving Rosencrantz and Guildenstern and sending Hamlet to England, Claudius ensures their deaths. In Denmark, Hamlet is more popular than Claudius, and sending him to England to be killed forces the people of Denmark choose a new possible leader.…

    • 1215 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Great Essays

    In the occurrence of these events Hamlet is in England, where he has been sent by his mother and uncle to recover from his insanity. Upon Hamlet 's return he discovers Ophelia 's grave and is stricken with grief. Laertes sees that Hamlet has arrived back home and devises a plan to murder Hamlet with the help of King Claudius. The plot will take place in the form of a fencing match, where Laertes believes he can deceive Hamlet with poison and end Hamlet once and for all. The symbolism of poison is significant in “Hamlet” because it was the same substance used by Claudius to kill the first Hamlet (former…

    • 1514 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Superior Essays

    The ghost of his father, King Hamlet appears to warn Prince Hamlet about the corruption in Elsinore and Hamlets needs to avenge his murder, so Prince Hamlet made a vow to kill his uncle who was the current King. As time went by Prince Hamlet pretend to be crazy, in order to push everyone away including Ophelia, his girlfriend. He then ordered a play enacting his father’s murder. This made Claudius really angry and storms out of the area of…

    • 1061 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    With the purpose of reordering his world, Claudius murders King Hamlet to ascend the throne. Claudius becomes the king of Denmark; however, the actions he takes to achieve this position make him the ‘something’ that is “rotten in the state of Denmark” (I.iv.67). As his actions are discovered by Hamlet, Claudius’s attempts to reorder his world begin to lead to chaos instead of the power, wealth and class that he desired. In order to keep the power of the throne, Claudius becomes responsible for the deaths of all members of his family. Gertrude, his wife that he supposedly loved, is killed by the poison that Claudius poured.…

    • 1162 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Mousetrap In Hamlet

    • 1477 Words
    • 6 Pages

    The first opportunity for Hamlet to kill Claudius was right after Claudius ran out the play. Hamlet had a chance to kill him right there, but his own personal tragic flaw has stopped him from completing his responsibility. Hamlet admits to being a coward in the play. This portrays a theory for Hamlet?s procrastination. He says ?And yet, conscience doth make cowards of us all?…

    • 1477 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Without thinking, Hamlet 's one bout of impulse leads to a fatal error in judgement, the murder of Polonius. When Hamlet finally has the chance to speak to his mother, conflict ensues as Hamlet stabs the king 's counselor and Gertrude cries, “O, what a rash and bloody deed is this!”(III.iv.28). The one moment when Hamlet acts without thought, he creates a domino effect of emotional tailspins triggering Laertes ' quest for revenge and a massive body count. Although, the death of Polonious may seem like a tragic mistake; Hamlet had reason to think that the man behind the curtain was King Claudius. Realizing his error, Hamlet exclaims, “Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell!…

    • 1538 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays