Hamlet Kingship

Introduction… Shakespeare through ‘Hamlet’ exposes the corruption amongst rulers both through his use of disease imagery and in Hamlets continous comparisons between Old Hamlet and King Claudius. Shakespeare portrays Claudius as a typical Machiavellian king, in his exploration of the necessary qualities of a King, made clear in Claudius’ astuteness as a politician. Shakespeare brings to question the traditional view of the King being above the law, punishment and correction, exposing Claudius’ human faults, as well as pushing the audience to morally question whether Claudius’ means of accession was acceptable. A Shakespearean king differs from that of the Revengers Tradegy, as unlike the Duke, Claudius still has some acknowledgment of his wrongs as seen in his prayer scene, whereas the Duke is openly lecherous and unjust seen in the delay the Youngest sons punishment despite his lack of remorse.
Kingship (1) Shakespeare exposes through Hamlet the corruption amongst rulers.
Kingship (2) Shakespeare explores the different types of kings through Hamlets continous comparison of Old Hamlet and Claudius.
Kingship (3) Shakespeare through Hamlet puts up for the debate the rights of a king to the throne, allowing the audience to question whether Claudius’ accession to the throne was acceptable.
Kinghsip (4) In ‘Hamlet’ Shakespeare explores the necessary qualities of a king and compares and contrasts these with the necessary qualities put forward by King James I, Machiavelli and Erasmus.
Kingship (5) Shakespeare questions the traditional view of whether or not the king was above the law and so could do whatever he willed.
Kingship (6) Shakespeare draws connections with th state of the court and kings land and the state, with the power of a king and his control over his people.
Kingship (7) Shakespeare looks at whether a morally inept king is beyod punishment or correction.
Kingship (8) Shakespeare criticises above-humanity and the almost super-human view of kings and through Claudius reiterates the human element of Kings…
Kingship (9) Through the violence and the way in which Claudius gained the throne, Shakespeare presumably is questioning/criticising the conventional view that Kingship is a God-given right…
Machiavellian Reading on Kingship A03
Corruption of the king ‘The body is with the king, but the king is not with the body.The king is a thing…’ (Hamlet) (Act 4 Scene 2)
‘Not where he eats, but where he is eaten, a certain convocation of politic worms arre e’en at him.Your is your only emperor for diet. We fat all creatures else to fat us, and we fat ourselves for maggots.. (Act 4 Scene 3) (Hamlet)
When sorrows comes, they come not in single spies but in battalions…(Act 4 Scene 5) (King Claudius)
‘To bear out hearts in grief, and our whole kingdom. To be contracted in one brow of woe…’ (Claudius)
‘Therefore our sometime sister now our Queen. The Imperial jointess to this warlike state..’ (Claudius)
With mirth in funeral and with dirge in marriage. In equal square weighting delight and dole, taken to wife.. (Claudius)
‘I like him not, nor stands it safe with us, to let his madness range’ (Claudius to Rozencratz and Guilderstern’
Let four Captaine/ Bear Hamlet like a soldier to the stage,/ For he was likely…to have proved most royal..’ Fortinbras
‘The cess of majesty dies not alone, but like a golf doth draw whats near to it’
‘His greatness weigh’d, his will is not his own. For he himself is subject to his birth…For on his choices depends the sanity and health of this whole state. Laertes
Each small annexment, petty consequences, Attends the boist’rous ruin..’ Fortinbras
‘Never alone. Did the King sigh, but with a general groan..’ Fort inbras
‘Theres such divinty doth hedge a king’ Claudius to Laertes
Let the world take note.You are the most immediate to our throne..Claudius to Hamlet…
Led by a delicate and tender prince, whose spirit with divine ambition puff’d..Hamlet

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