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Free Hamlet Essays: Prince Hamlet and Machiavelli comparison compare contrast essays

Hamlet and Machiavelli 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 Hamlets 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 Denmarks monarchy. In Machiavellis 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 Hamlets 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 hasnt 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 fathers 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 Hamlets story to keep his reputation and to have Fortinbras put in charge shows that Hamlet follows the code set by Machiavelli. 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 Hamlets 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 great King. 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: Hes 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 wouldnt be too happy, but if he is sent to England and killed it wouldnt 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 pins fee,/ and for my soul, what can it do to that,/ Being a thing immortal as itself?/ It waves me forth, Ill 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, and godliness.

Good and Evil in The Devil and Tom Walker

Good and Evil in The Devil and Tom Walker

The concept of evil in the short story “The Devil and Tom

Walker” can be shown in many ways, by Irvings’ symbolism.

In the short story, Tom Walker symbolizes all of mankind by

portraying him as being “sinful” and evil. When there is an intent

to destroy, then we get a different level of hatred. We see that

good vs. evil has been a theme that is ubiquitous in many


The story “The Devil and Tom Walker” is a story about a man

who lives an immoral life of greed. Walker lives in a wooded area,

where it is solemn, and quiet area of New England. Walker runs

into the devil and sees that the devil is cutting down someone

else’s timber. The evil is shown, by the devil in how he is

premeditating the murder of a “Deacon Peabody”. Walker

contemplates this meeting with the devil, and recognizes that evil

is wealth is the first priority for him.

Tom Walker’s wife, was filled with cupidity and wanted to

acquire the gold that the devil had promised. Walker hadn’t

obliged to his wife, and due to his wife’s acute cupidity set out

on her own journey to acquire that gold. She had been killed

because of her greed, and lack of morals for self-prosperity,

which resulted in her death. This is an important example of the

use of evil within “The Devil and Tome Walker”.

Walker is told from the devil that he could earn money

through usury and extortion. Walker commits to usury and makes a

generous sum of money. Walker has no repentance for such a sin

and continues to his usury. The evil accumulates in the story as

Walker accumulates more and more money, resulting from more and

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