Hamlet: An Allegory of War in Our Time
Deceit is the key device used in politics and everyday life to acquire power, status, success, and in many instances, revenge. Deceit and revenge are often repeated in Shakespeare’s Hamlet through many of Hamlet’s actions and of those of the play. Hamlet’s hesitation in killing Claudius, and Hamlet’s eventual death are a direct result of deceit in the court, and the futility of war be it domestic, as in Hamlet, or with in the world, as with the wars being waged both in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hamlet tries to deceive everyone into thinking that he is crazy. He believes that with this "manic disposition" he can seek his revenge on Claudius without any consequences, and avenge his father’s death. This has been argued to be of similar view of why the United States went to war with Iraq. Many have said and argued that the real motives behind George W. Bush’s reasons for going back to war with Iraq was justly for the vengeance for the attempted plot to kill his father, the former president George Bush by Sadaam Hussein, the former dictator of Iraq. (CNN News September 27, 2002) This serves as the basis of the true futility of any war waged be it on foreign soil or in our own homes. The new king, Claudius, sends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to engage conversation with Hamlet to figure out why he is acting this way. Through this Claudius learns that Hamlet is dangerous, and a threat to him. Hamlet’s trickery also leads to the death of Polonius and then Ophelia. This triggers Laertes to seek revenge on Hamlet for causing the death of his family. Eventually, the Queen is yet another innocent death in the feud between Claudius, who has teamed up with Laertes, and Hamlet and accomplishes nothing more than more unnecessary death. Each of these plans directly or indirectly causes Hamlet’s death. This is the very same sense of the legacy left after Bush left office of the “fatal” mistakes, half-truths, and premature celebrations he...
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