Hamlet Essay, Research Paper
Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark and the rightful heir to the thrown of his dead father,
should have been King of Denmark and would have been King, but his Uncle married
Hamlet?s mother before he could claim his place. In the final act, Hamlet kills his uncle
to avenge the murder of his father, but is poisoned and dies. If Hamlet had not been
poisoned, survived the final act, and took over the thrown then he would of been the
perfect Machiavellian ruler. Hamlet had all the attributes described by Niccolo
Machiavelli to be a leader of Denmark?s monarchy. In Machiavelli?s famous document,
The Ruler, the leader must show that he is a good man, but when the time comes he must
be prepared to act ruthless and conniving, when ever he is too speak he must be constant
in showing good faith, kindness, godliness, and honesty, he must be greatly loved by the
people, and the rulers actions must always appear to be honourable and for the good of
the state. Hamlet shows all of these attributes and therefore if he had lived past the fifth
act he would have been one of the best King that Denmark ever had.
When ever Hamlet is in public, he appears to be the most nobel and moral of men.
Hamlet shows how great of a guy he right off the bat when we first meet him in act one.
The scene takes place at the wedding of Hamlet?s Mother and Uncle who are entering
into marriage right after the death of the King. Even though the Queen is doing
something as disgusting and unholy as to marry the brother of her dead husband when his
corpse hasn?t even become stiff, Hamlet is able to keep his cool in front of everyone. The
Queen asks Hamlet something and he responds calmly to her , ?I shall in my best to obey
you, madam.?(I, ii l.120). This is an amazing feet that Hamlet accomplishes to hold back
his anger. Later in the play Hamlet has no trouble being merciless. At one point, his
friends, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, are taking him to England to be killed, but
Hamlet sacrifices them to save himself. Although Hamlet seems to be the most
honourable of men to the people of Denmark, he has no trouble being ruthless.
If there is any one that show good faith, it has to be Hamlet. Through out the play Hamlet
is just exploding with good faith because he is deeply troubled by the impious deed in
which his mother married her brother inlaw. In the first act when he is alone, Hamlet
goes on one particular incensed rant, yelling out, ?O God, a beast that wants discourage
of reason/ Would have mourned longer-married with my uncle,/My father?s brother, but
no more like my father then I to Hercules. Within a month,…she(the Queen) married. O,
most wicked speed to post/ With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!?(I, ii l.150-157).
Hamlet just says that a stupid animal would have mourned longer then his mother did and
that his uncle is not even half the man that his father was that it is very disgusting that his
mother married so quickly to his uncle. The fact that Hamlet is so put off show that he
has good faith.
Machiavelli also states that the ruler must always appear honourable and do what is the
best for the country. Hamlet appears honourable through out the play and always does
what is for the good of the state. In the last scene Hamlet shows the best example of
being noble and doing the best for Denmark. Hamlet is poisoned and is about to die,
Horatio wants to kill himself, and there is no one to take over the thrown so Hamlet says
to Horatio, ?…I am dead;/Thou livest ; report me and my cause aright to the
satisfied.?(V,ii l.339-341). All Hamlet is saying is that he wants Horatio to stay around to
tell the story of Hamlet avenging the murder of his father, so his name is not tarnished.
To fix the matter of no one on the thrown of Denmark, to this Hamlet tells Horatio, ?But
I do prophesy th? election lights/ On Fortinbras. He has my dying voice.? (V, ii l.356-357)
which means that Hamlet has now left Fortinbras, the Prince of Norway, in charge of
Denmark. Also in killing the murderous King, Hamlet does a great deed for the good of
the country. The fact that Hamlet had Horatio stay alive to tell Hamlet?s story to keep his
reputation and to have Fortinbras put in charge shows that Hamlet follows the code set by
To fit the Machiavelli mold of a ruler, Hamlet must also show that he is honest. Hamlet
is very blunt person. One particular scene where Hamlet is particular honest is with
Ophelia when he tells her what he really thinks of her. ?Get thee to a nunnery. Why
wouldst thou be a breeder of sinners??(III, i l.121-122). This is a perfect example of
Hamlet?s honesty where he is telling Ophelia how disgusted he is of her and all women.
For Hamlet to be so blunt and honest with someone he loves shows he is particularly
open. His openness with Ophelia just another attribute to add to his credentials to be a
Machiavelli also declares that to be great leader, the man must be greatly loved by the
public, which is the case for Hamlet. The King decides to send Hamlet out of the country
to England, not for a change in scenery, but so to he can be killed. The Kings reason for
this is, ?Yet must not we put the strong law on him: He?s loved of the distracted
multitude.? (IV, iii l.3-4). In other words Hamlet must be treated well in Denmark for if
something happens the people wouldn?t be too happy, but if he is sent to England and
killed it wouldn?t seem as suspicious to the masses. The fact that people would rise up
over the murder of Hamlet, shows that he is greatly loved be the people.
Kindness is another attribute that Machiavelli says that the ruler must have. Hamlet
shows a great deal of kindness when he is reminiscing of his dead childhood friend
Yorick. He says, ?Alas, poor Yorick!I knew him, Horatio, a fellow of infinite/ jest, of
most excellent fantasy. He hath borne me on/ his back a thousand times.?(V,i
l.185-188).Just reading these lines, one is able to invision this poor man, who has lost
everything he has loved, his mother, father, lover and this old friend, with deep
compassion for Yorick. It is almost impossible for anyone to think of Hamlet as anything
but kind hearted.
Godliness is the hardest to find in Hamlet, but it is there. It is particularly present in the
seen where he speaks to the ghost of his father. Horatio advises Hamlet not to follow the
spirit but Hamlet says, ?Why, what should be the fear?/ I do not set my life at a pin?s fee,/
and for my soul, what can it do to that,/ Being a thing immortal as itself?/ It waves me
forth, I?ll follow it.? (I,iv l.64-68). All Hamlet is saying is that there is nothing to be
afraid of and that he will follow. The fact that Hamlet would follow something that, if it
had appeared by anyone else, they would run away from it, shows that Hamlet has a bit of
godliness about him.
So, if Hamlet had survived the final act of the play he would have been the greatest King
because he fits the Machiavellian view of a ruler. As described by Niccolo, Hamlet
always appears to be a good man, but is able to act ruthful when it is needed, he is greatly
loved by all of Denmark, his manners are always honourable and for the good of the
state, and he is steady when ever he speaks in exhibiting good faith, honesty, kindness,