The Tool of Manipulation; Hamlet

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The Tool of Manipulation By attaining the admiration and faith of others, one can easily control followers to achieve one’s goal. Within William Shakespeare’s tragedy Hamlet, this sort of exploitation causes unanticipated consequences. The manipulative King Claudius, the imprudent Polonius and the shrewd Hamlet all attempt to take advantage of others for their own personal gain, whether it be political or social. In the face of each of their intentions, their stories all ended alike, in death. King Claudius, Prince Hamlet, and Polonius all shared the common trait of cunning fabrication, and while useful at times; it ultimately led to internal conflict in themselves and others, the irrational resolution of Laertes, and their premature deaths. While the reasons behind their actions force them into unfavorable situations, Claudius’, Hamlet’s and Polonius’ manners do not go without regret. No move made goes unseen, creating angst within themselves or others in their lives. Claudius’ own belief of Hamlet’s madness is questioned by his own remorse over his brother’s murder and pressures him to think that his “offense is rank […] to heaven,” despite prior certainty he would be “sweet and commendable” in the affair (Hamlet III. iii. 40, I. ii. 90). This misspeaking of heaven is oppressed through the proceedings of Hamlet’s play, making the offense of the king more obvious as the show proceeds. Claudius then starts questioning the “argument” in the play and speculates if there is any “offense in [it]” against him (III. ii. 256-257). The King’s feeling of guilt is shown within itself during the play, showing his development of compassion, even though it disagrees with his image as a conspirator. Although caused by different evils, Hamlet also struggles with internal conflict, just like his uncle and stepfather. Hamlet, opposed to his uncle, controls how people perceive

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