The Acts Of Government In Hamlet By William Shakespeare

Andrew Jackson once said, “It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their own selfish purposes” when William Shakespeare was writing The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, he applied Jackson’s words to his tragedy. Shakespeare made it clear in his writing that he wanted there to be many themes, but the one theme he wanted to stick out the most was the government will selfishly do things even if it does not benefit the people. Shakespeare does this through characters such as Claudius. He also shows through Claudius covering up Polonius’ murder by Hamlet how the government can be corrupt and not care about their people. Shakespeare wanted the world to see, through Fortinbras, if the government …show more content…
Claudius becomes King shortly after Hamlet’s father (the original king) dies. What the kingdom does not know is that Claudius killed his own brother only to become the King of Denmark (Shakespeare, trans. 1864, 1.5. 776-7). Shakespeare writes in Claudius to become the new king after Hamlet’s father’s death to prove that people will go to many lengths just to benefit himself. This shows the people in charge do not always care about anyone else’s well-being as long as they receive what they want. Hamlet was extremely depressed after his father died, even suicidal, but he was very angry with his mother marrying his uncle (Shakespeare, trans. 1864, 1.2. 356-63). By marrying Hamlet’s mother, and not caring about how Hamlet felt about the marriage shows that once again Claudius was only looking out for himself. Once he married his sister-in-law he would become King of Denmark, and no one’s feelings were going to stop him from achieving this …show more content…
When Hamlet kills Polonius, Claudius covers up the murder to ensure that he will not be blamed “It will be laid to us, whose providence/ Should have kept short, restrain’d, and out of haunt” (Shakespeare, trans. 1864, 4.1. 2644-5). Claudius knew it was his fault for Hamlet killing Polonius, but did not want to be known for his step-son killing someone. Claudius covered up the murder to protect himself and the image which he holds. By protecting his own image, Claudius is inconsiderate of Ophelia and Laertes feelings after the death of their father. Claudius informs Laertes that Hamlet was behind the entire death of his father in order for them to kill Hamlet (Shakespeare, trans. 1864, 5.1. 3642-3). By letting Laertes believe only Hamlet was involved in the death and burial of Polonius, it shows how the government, Claudius, is only doing this in order to protect himself. He does not truly care about how it will affect Hamlet as long as he protects his own reputation. Shakespeare adds in these little details to show readers how the government will cover themselves before thinking of the people and how it will affect anyone other than

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