In Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet,” Act 5 demonstrates that the regulations of society are usually determined by wealth and power instead of equity. This is demonstrated through the characters and their activities, particularly through the unscrupulous activities of Claudius and the social repercussions for Hamlet’s activities. One quote that emphasizes this theme is when Claudius says, “Though I am not naturally honest, I am sometimes so by chance.” (Act 5, Scene 2, Lines 107-108). This statement shows that even someone who is corrupt and not inherently fair can still have a position of power and control in society. Claudius’s power and wealth have enabled him to escape punishment for his wrongdoings, indicating that the rules of society are often swayed by those with wealth and power. Additionally, the consequences faced by Hamlet serve as further proof that the rules of society are often unjust. Despite Hamlet’s motivations being rooted in seeking justice for his father’s murder, he is ultimately punished for his actions. As he says, “The courtier’s, soldier’s, scholar’s, eye, tongue, sword, Th’ expectancy and rose of the fair state, The glass of fashion and the mould of form, Th’ observed of all observers, quite, quite down!” (Act 5, Scene 2, Lines 96-99). This quote highlights how Hamlet, who was once a respected member of society, has been reduced to nothing because of his actions, even though he was seeking justice. To sum up, Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” emphasizes the theme that the rules of society are often based on wealth and power rather than fairness. This is evident through the corrupt actions of Claudius and the unjust consequences faced by Hamlet. These elements demonstrate that even those who are not inherently fair can hold positions of power and control, while those who seek justice may be punished for their actions.
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