The Theme Of Power In Hamlet By William Shakespeare

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The topic of power has always been a controversial topic. But what exactly is power? Power is seen as having a heavy influence over somebody else, or a group of people. Kings are viewed as people who have heavy influence over their kingdom and people, because of the power with which they hold office. In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, a dramatic tragedy, the case is one in the same. The king, in this case King Claudius, has the most power in the entire play because of how he took the throne and the wife of his late brother King Hamlet, puppeteered his nephew into where he was allowed to go, and also, turned some of Hamlet’s friends into his own personal spies. Moving into a seat of power, like the king’s throne, is a very bold move for …show more content…
He can control where he gets to go and when he gets to go. This infuriates Hamlet to no end and he feels he has to stick around whenever the king or queen asks him to. For example, Hamlet tries to go back to school after his father’s death, but he got this answer upon asking, “Do I impart toward you. For your intent/ In going back to school in Wittenberg,/ It is most retrograde to our desire,/ and we beseech you, bend you to remain” (I.ii.116-119). After saying that, Hamlet had no choice but to stay, even though it is against what he wanted to do. Unwillingly though he was, he decided to stay, which almost made him submissive of whatever Claudius orders. Even in the heat of current events, such as the murder of Polonius, Claudius still has the power to send Hamlet wherever he wishes, “With fiery quickness. Therefore prepare thyself. /The bark is ready, and the wind at help,/Th’ associates tend, and everything is bent/ For England”(IV.iii.48-51). Claudius is actually sending Hamlet to his death in England. This is the power of life and death once again. The first time with the late king Hamlet, and now the Prince. The power of who can live and who can die is perhaps the greatest power one person can have, because without life, there can be no power …show more content…
they might believe it because he manipulates everybody with his madness and he also kills the king himself. The proof of Hamlet 's madness lies within Act one, scene five, line 192-193, “As I perchance hereafter shall think/ To put on an antic disposition”. Just because Hamlet is holding a false attitude is not make him a powerful being, for anybody has that power within them to do that. This actually made the King have more power over Hamlet for the King had Hamlet 's own friends to be spies against him because of his madness. This life and death power happens again when Hamlet discovers the King 's treachery, and kills him for it, “ the point envenomed too! Then, venom, to thy/work”(V.ii.352-353). Hamlet had many different chances to kill the King but he only took this one time because he was almost killed himself. This is not the action of a powerful figure but rather one of a coward. Claudius was the driving force of the entire play and without Claudius’s power as a king and as a person, many of the events would never have

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