Theme Of Ambition In Hamlet

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In Shakespearean plays it is a prominent technique to portray a character having ambition to obtain power, which leads to them making selfish decisions and committing evil actions. This was seen in Macbeth, as Macbeth killed King Duncan in order to achieve his goal of becoming King, and in this play, Hamlet, Claudius’ desire to become King of Denmark triggered him to kill his brother and start making decisions in order to sustain his power. The hunger to maintain authority motivates Claudius to make choices for personal benefit, and this puts the lives of others in jeopardy, thus evoking chaos. Also, the obsession to keep power causes Claudius to weaken the relationships between those around him, leading to the demise of several characters. …show more content…
The main conflict that starts in the play is between Claudius and Hamlet and it begins through the ensuing quote, “Tis sweet and commendable in your nature, Hamlet/ To give these mourning duties to your father:/ But, you must know, your father lost a father/…Of impious stubbornness; tis unmanly grief:” (1, 2, 87-89, 94) It is evident that Claudius feels no guilt for the pain and sorrow he has generated. He wants Hamlet to get over his father’s death by claiming that people die and calling it “unmanly” to mourn for a long period of time. It is also evident here that Claudius is neither caring nor supportive, clarifying that he is prepared to sacrifice the relationship with his “son” in order to remain in control. The chaos that results from this conflict occurs for the duration of the play as both characters want to develop plans with the goal of removing each other from society. In addition, a conflict is established between Hamlet and Gertrude as a consequence to Claudius’ action of killing the previous King and becoming Gertrude’s new husband. The rivalry is first noticed when Hamlet questions his mother’s quick remarriage and how he is disappointed by her action. Hamlet states, “…You are the queen, your husband’s brother’s wife/And-would it were not so!-you are my mother.” (3, 4, 16-17) Hamlet is claiming that he is displeased that Gertrude is his mother because she went against her previous husband, Hamlet’s real father. This is also evidence of Claudius’ evil identity because the opportunity to gain and sustain power clouds his mind to the extent where he is comfortable with surrendering the important mother-son relationship. According to Kate Stone Lombardi, “Teenage boys who are close to their moms engage in less risky behavior.” This conflict acts as a catalyst for chaos because Hamlet becomes furious over Gertrude’s quick remarriage, and

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