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The Connection Between Niccolo Machiavelli and King Claudius

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Aaron Perreault

on 1 March 2013

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Transcript of The Connection Between Niccolo Machiavelli and King Claudius

The Connection Between Niccolo Machiavelli and King Claudius Based on the information we’ve looked at, it is safe to say that Shakespeare effectively captured Machiavelli’s ideal political model with the character of King Claudius. Conclusion “I entreat you both…to draw him on to pleasures snd to gather / so much as from occasion you may glean / whether aught to us unknown, afflicts him thus?” –Claudius (II.ii.10-18).

Here, Claudius is enlisting the help of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to spy on Hamlet.

According to Machiavelli, Claudius is wise to take this precaution in order to make sure his power is not threatened. Quotes and Comparison “By letter congruiing to that effect / the present death of Hamlet. Do it, England”- Claudius (IV.iii.66-67)

Claudius is writing the letter to the King of England, instructing him to kill Hamlet.

Once again, Claudius is attempting to kill off the former ruling family and consolidate his own power, an action supported by Machiavelli. Quotes and Comparison King Claudius is often referred to as diabolical, manipulative, and deceitful.

His plans to murder the royal family, with the exception of Gertrude, are very much interpreted as evil.

However, Machiavelli would view Claudius’s actions as methods to consolidate his power and bring about stability. King Claudius Given that Hamlet was written around 1602, Shakespeare would have been able to read Machiavelli’s works.

Argal, it is very possible that Shakespeare adopted the Machiavellian model for his villain, King Claudius.

From here, we will analyze King Claudius and compare him to the Machiavellian Model Shakespeare and King Claudius The main reason is that his works were misinterpreted, but also because of the basis of his theories.

The Machiavellian Theory revolves around the idea that the ends justify the means.

The Church believed that Machiavelli was making a direct attack on them with these theories, and so he was punished. The Machiavellian Theory cont. Why do you think all these political figures disapproved of the Machiavellian Theory? The Machiavellian Theory cont. Machiavelli wrote several different political works, The Prince being the shortest and most well known.

Unfortunately, several authority figures, such as Pope Clement VIII did not agree with Machiavelli’s theories.

Because of this, he was excommunicated and his works were outlawed. Machiavelli cont. To explore this connection, we must first know a bit about Machiavelli.

Machiavelli was a Florentine, born in the year 1469 AD and dying in 1527.

He is most infamously known for his activism in politics and strong support of the Medici family in Italy. Niccolo Machiavelli Throughout this presentation, we will explore the how Shakespeare effectively captures the Machiavellian model in the character King Claudius. Purpose of This Presentation Shakespeare, William. No Fear Hamlet. Crowther,
John, ed. New York: Spark Publishing. 2003. Print.

Machiavelli, Niccolo. The Prince. Trans. W. K.
Marriot. Lexington: Heritage Cross Classics, 2010. Print. Bibliography “But know, thou noble youth / The serpent that did sting thy father’s life / Now wears his crown” –The Ghost (I.v.38-40)

Here, the former King Hamlet is revealing how Claudius killed him to take control of Denmark.

Machiavelli argues that this sort of action is acceptable, since Claudius is consolidating his power. Quotes and Comparison Machiavelli’s theories became very important to political thinkers during the Renaissance and Enlightenment eras.

Later on, Machiavelli was even regarded as the father of political science.

However, the classic villain in many stories revolves around a twisted perception of his theories. Influence of The Prince Inspired by the firm Borgia family in Italy, Machiavelli wrote that sometimes politicians need to put ethics and morality aside.

In other words, Machiavelli is saying that leaders must do whatever they must to preserve stability.

Machiavelli defends this even when it comes to wickedness. The Machiavellian Theory A Presentation By Aaron Perreault
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