The story of Hamlet brings out interesting character with interesting characteristics that are shown throughout the tragic story. Many characters have their own motives and goals that they ultimately want to accomplish by the end of this story. These motives can have somewhat of malicious or o innocent intent as each character is only doing the things they do in benefit of themselves. Whether it be for more power or just happiness these characters cunningly scheme their way to their objective. That being said characters of Hamlet follow what Machiavelli argues in his book the Prince; and that is that they do cunningly and violently acquire their power as a part of their human nature.
In the story Hamlet there are a few notable characters that scheme their way to gain power. Claudius is the main character uses the power of deceit and violence to attain his power king. Hamlet, though his interest is not in gaining power, tries to attain his goals through deceiving certain characters and outsmarting them in strategic ways. Gertrude can be seen a woman who just wants to maintain power and position in the throne and goes through the whole story as a woman who tries to perceive herself as innocent and oblivious of everything around her. When you look at it from the outside you find that it is really Hamlets family they play around and scheme for power or attainment for self goals against each other. Each family member is doing something for themselves and take on action to basically get rid of one another.
King Claudius is the first to start off with use of deception and violence to kill his own brother the former king and to take the throne and marry his own brother’s wife. Claudius life basically define Machiavelli’s concept of “the ends justifies the means.” Claudius plots and schemes his way to the top through deception and malicious actions towards people of his own blood just so he can secure his place as the new king. He had an affair with the Queen and did necessary actions so he can rightfully marry her and live happily with her as the new king. His ends are the happiness that he finally attained as a king and marriage to the Queen; on the other hand, his means is to get rid of anyone that gets in the way even if they are family. The people of Denmark seem to have no problem with the status of Claudius and
Gertrude, which only makes it justifiable for both of them. Once Claudius attains power he any means necessary to keep to that power. This ties back in to Machiavelli’s concept of maintain power once you get it. Claudius goes back and forth with Hamlet, trying everything he can to kill and get rid of him. For example Claudius sends a letter to England ordering the death of Hamlet and in another case Claudius tries to poison Hamlet’s drink during Hamlet’s duel. He never once thought of not using violence to maintain his control which is why his nature is close to what Machiavelli depicts.
Hamlet is a bit different from Claudius but he is not too far off. Hamlet desire was not power or control but justice instead. Hamlet seeks justice in the death of his father but he acts violently as a part of his nature to do so. Hamlet cleverly schemes his way to finding out all of Claudius’ motives and kills a few people in the way to do so. Hamlet causes the death of his own friend Rosencrantz and Guildenstern when he…