Hamlet’s Discretion

“If at any point in the deception you practice, people have the slightest suspicion as to your intentions, all is lost.” (Robert Greene’s “The 48 Laws of Power”) This was a piece of advice Hamlet should have heard. When he puts on “The Mousetrap” for Claudius, and the play exactly duplicates what happened to Hamlet’s father, Claudius now has no doubt as to Hamlet’s knowledge of father Hamlet’s murder. This makes Claudius have a personal vendetta against Hamlet as he is a threat to his reign. He sends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to accompany him to England where he almost meets an earlier demise. Hamlet shows to lack discretion in putting on this production, and it does create more obstacles to his revenge, but admittedly he is a man of passion [not discretion] as he explains that he holds Horatio in his “heart’s core.” Hamlet knows that this is a fault in himself and holds Horatio in high regard for not falling into the mindset of the multitude. As soon as he escapes from death in England, the King and Laertes are already contriving the next plot against him. Once Hamlet knows that the King knows his secret, his madness runs unrestrained: why I think he ends up killing Polonius. He’s got nothing to lose anymore. “What is’t to leave betimes? Let be.”


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