Sacrifice of Values to Please Authority in Shakespeare's Hamlet

1052 Words5 Pages
Sacrifice of Values to Please Authority in Shakespeare's Hamlet It seems that it is human nature to want to please others, but compromising ones values in order to do so can result in people getting hurt emotionally or physically. In William Shakespeare's Hamlet, the desire to please those in authority overweighs the judgment of many characters. These characters are more interested in pleasing those in power than doing what is in their best interest. This is seen in Polonious' eager attempt to use Ophelia, in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern's being coerced into spying on a good friend, and finally in Laertes' all too easy manipulation by Claudius to take revenge on his fathers' death. In all these instances, the characters put their…show more content…
Polonious uses his daughter almost like one would use a horse, with his "loosing" of her and does so just to try and get on the good side of Claudius and Gertrude. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern also looked to the King and Queen for approval. They didn't resort to the use of a daughter, but on the use of a close friendship. They used their bond with Hamlet to get information that the Court wanted. Claudius and Gertrude were very convincing in telling Rosencrantz and Guildenstern of how Hamlet was suffering, telling them that "[Their] visitation shall receive such thanks as fits a king's remembrance (P.34)". At first Rosencrantz and Guildenstern weren't too keen on selling out their friend. But instead of standing up to the King and Queen, Guildenstern told them that "we both obey and here give ourselves to be commanded (P.34)". They were more interested in doing what was right in the eyes of the Royal Court than doing what right in their eyes. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern weren't just Hamlet's friends; they were greeted by Hamlet as his "excellent good friends (P.40)". Hamlet viewed them in the same regard as he viewed Horatio, one who Hamlet stayed with and loved all through the play. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern didn't seem to care, and used this trust and love by their friend to please Claudius and Gertrude. This neglect of heart by these two characters was not something that they wanted to do for themselves, but something that they did

More about Sacrifice of Values to Please Authority in Shakespeare's Hamlet

Open Document