No Such Thing as a Perfect King

1129 WordsFeb 22, 20184 Pages
It is difficult to say if Hamlet would be a fit king for Denmark because there is not a specific model of what a virtuous king should be in the text. How should a king act? What are the strengths they should maintain? Which weaknesses are minute enough to look over and which weaknesses are dangerous to have? These are all questions that are not directly answered by one character. However, each character does maintain certain strengths, that together could form a worthy king for Denmark, and weaknesses that could be dangerous. These characteristics are demonstrated by the outcome of certain situations that each of the characters experience and how Hamlet, Claudius, and Hamlet’s father are viewed by other characters in the text. Horatio briefly describes Hamlet’s father as being ambitious, specifically when he combats Norway. This is an important strength to note because it could imply that Hamlet’s father cares about expanding the empire (Shakespeare Line 61). However, this ambition can also be dangerous. When Hamlet’s father returns as a ghost, he states that Hamlet must “revenge his foul and most unnatural murther,” (32 Line 25). The text displays ambition in a negative and positive light; if used in a positive way, ambition can be beneficial for a society. Claudius is a difficult character to like in the text, but he demonstrates many strengths that a king ought to have. That being said, his weaknesses may overshadow the strengths he maintains. Claudius illustrates that
Open Document