The Importance Of Corruption In William Shakespeare's Hamlet

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The play, Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, begins and ends with death by poison, but furthermore poison is a powerful tool that Claudius utilizes to murder, figuratively taint minds, and cause political corruption. The play grows out of a serious murder, the poisoning of the king. The former king, King Hamlet, was not only murdered, but murdered by his brother who has now taken over the throne. The man who now sits on the throne begins his reign built on lies and deceptions, ruling as a result of the most unforgiving sin, fratricide. Despite his evil actions, Claudius is able to remain in power by being inventive, charismatic, willful, and manipulative. Claudius not only poisons a king, but he also poisons the minds of the royal family, and …show more content…
This is notable in 4.5, where Claudius manipulates Laertes’ violent emotions away from himself. Laertes arrives at Elsinore prepared to overthrow the king, which poses a direct threat to the power Claudius recently obtained. However, Claudius cunningly directs Laertes’ rage towards the true culprit, Hamlet. However, Claudius’s interest is not in upholding the solemn truth, but rather, he is preserving his power and position as the king by planting the idea that Hamlet was the true culprit in Laertes’ mind (Tiffany 2005). Claudius is able to appear trustworthy and as a father figure in Laertes’ weakest moments, but Claudius’s only interest is dissolving the immediate threat that Laertes poises to his …show more content…
Claudius rightly tells Laertes that Hamlet is the culprit in his Polonius’ death, but Claudius also convinces Laertes that Hamlet should answer for his crimes in blood. In the height of his emotions, Laertes seeks revenge without a specific victim. Claudius takes advantage of Laertes’ need for revenge to eliminate another of his threats. Through his skillful language, Claudius plants the seed that convinces Laertes that Hamlet is the true perpetrator, killing his father and hurting his sister (Tiffany 2005). Hamlet presents a considerable threat to Claudius. After all, Hamlet is the rightful ruler of Denmark, but Claudius is aware that he cannot openly kill Hamlet without a public revolt. Therefore, Claudius cunningly plays Laertes to where he will kill Claudius’s biggest threat, Hamlet, but Claudius’s public persona will remain intact. To Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother and Claudius’s wife, and the rest of the kingdom, Hamlet’s death will appear as though Laertes is avenging his father, and the king’s image remains untarnished. In the end, Claudius’s plan takes root in Laertes’ mind and consumes him until he accomplishes his revenge. However, in his last moments of life, Laertes realizes the power of Claudius’s

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