Power Struggle Between Hamlet and Claudius
By the end of Act II, of Hamlet, the power struggle between Hamlet and Claudius has actually heightened. Claudius, the existing king of Denmark is constantly on edge. The concern enters into play, does Hamlet know of his uncle’s actions prior to taking the throne and his objectives for Hamlet. Hamlet however, is deeply despaired by the unexpected death of his daddy and the incestuous marital relationship of his mother. The ghost of his daddy appears to Hamlet, informing him to avenge a murder.
With Hamlet’s unfavorable view of his uncle it is possible that this “ghost” is simply a fantasy of his imagination, an excuse for Hamlet’s hatred toward his uncle.
So, who has the upper hand at this point? Claudius who has actually simply murdered his sibling, is a coward in fight, and is insecure with Hamlet running out his sight, or Hamlet who, in mourning, is approached by a ghost, possibly goes ridiculous, but is still able to thoroughly outline versus the king.
Hamlet is depressed over his daddy’s death. Throughout the beginning of the play he wears nothing but black. His mom also weds shortly after his dad’s death. This changes his outlook on woman. In his soliloquy, “Frailty, thy name is female,” he contests his mother for being weak. Hamlet sees the ghost of his departed daddy worn armor.
His dad desires Hamlet to avenge the snake that poisoned him. Hamlet sees the ghost worn armor as an omen; even a spirit does not feel safe in Denmark. Hamlet knows that Claudius is using Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to spy on him. He devises a plot where he is to act mad so that those around him might reveal details about his dad’s death. He likewise, prepares to show Claudius’ guilt through a play in which a nephew kills his uncle. Hamlet views himself as a coward because of his failure to act, however he should way out the consequences if Claudius is truly innocent Hamlet will be maltreated for treason.
Claudius has murdered his brother and married his “sister”. As king he has proved to be a coward in times of war. Claudius chose to write letters to Norway begging the king to halt further action by Fortinbras. Claudius has asked Hamlet to stay in Denmark, so that he could watch over him. He is insecure with his reign; Claudius is fearful that Hamlet could seize the crown from him. He has asked Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to pretend to be friendly to Hamlet to find the source of his madness. By the end of Act II, Hamlet has the upper hand in the power struggle between him and the king.
Claudius is fearful of Hamlet even before Hamlet devises his plan, he will soon be sent over the edge. Hamlet has the most to lose; he cannot approach the kind without evidence because he will be tried for treason. Also, Hamlet is aware of his flaws. He says that the ghost could’ve have been contracted in his mind. Also, by calling himself a coward he is aware that he is procrastinating. Hamlet shows evidence as a leader in his cunning ability to gather information before he acts. He is aware that he is going through hardships and wishes to have concrete evidence, instead of acting out of instinct.
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