Hamlet the Politician

By Bob Morrell on October 5, 2021

This play was first written and performed between 1599 and 1601 – so it is over 400 years old. At that time, people believed in the ‘divine right of Kings’ and it was also the time of the wars of religion between Catholics and Protestants. So, the idea of a brother killing his own brother to claim his crown and Queen, wasn’t just treason, it was an afront to God. That cultural timing means Hamlet, our hero, not only deals with the crime, but the emotional baggage that is attached to it.

He must face the class related prejudices. He may well have loved Ophelia, but as a Royal Prince he could not have married her, when at that time royal marriages were all about land and alliances. We know that Denmark is in conflict with Norway, and Poland, and that England paid tribute to the Danish King.

This story is steeped in politics that Hamlet must get his head around in order to work out how justice and his nation are best served – also believing that removing his Uncle would mean he would be King which would correct the terrible wrong done to the land ‘something is rotten in the state of Denmark’ is more than a casual remark – it is based on the true fears of an entire country being cursed.  

His is managing his decisions, working out who can be trusted, and who can’t, and laying traps to catch out his enemy. He is in fact prosecuting a political campaign which sadly leads to his death, but importantly restores right and justice to his nation.

Check out our latest Podcast episode Hamlet – The Persuader. It might just be the drama you need to inspire a new approach to your persuasion skills.


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