Secondly, through emotion and trust, manipulation shaped many of the character’s decisions. Hamlet’s actions were guided by his acknowledgment from the ghost. It was through this acceptance of what he believed was true, enabled Hamlet to act as he did throughout the play.”Yea, from the table of my memory I’ll wipe away all trivial fond records, All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past That youth and observation copied there, And thy commandment all alone shall live Within the book and volume of my brain, Unmixed with baser matter.” Hamlet’s soliloquy shows how Hamlet’s emotion and trust are Manipulated by king Hamlet’s ghost in the Play. After hearing what the ghost had to say, Hamlet had every right to act emotionally and revenge his father right at that moment. Hamlet in the heat of all this spiteful and malignant news is calm and comes up with a master plan, a plan in which he’ll “have the players/Play something like the murder of his father/Before thine uncle….” And observe his looks.
Hamlet let the truth reveal itself patiently, unlike he did when he killed Polonius, and learned that the ghost’s story was true, giving him justification for seeking revenge. Claudius is the consummate manipulator. In order to keep his crown on the throne of Denmark, he manipulates events, people’s life and relationships.
In this, he makes use of his power, other’s emotion and their trust. Manipulation of people’s emotion and trust are cleverly used by Claudius in his scheme of gaining power and authority. Claudius has put Gertrude, The Queen in total deception.He married the Queen as a strategic move to help him seize the throne away from Hamlet after the death of the King. Without knowing the crime that Claudius has murdered her former husband, Queen Gertrude trusts in Claudius’s feigned motive of saving the nation and agrees to marry him.
Claudius also disguises himself as a loving and caring stepfather to Hamlet in order to gaining Gertrude’s love and trust.For instance,Claudius shows his fictitious love for Hamlet in front of the Queen,”This mad young man but so much our love…”(4,1,20) Claudius shows his concern for Hamlet’s mental illness, but in his true mind, he has lose his patient with Hamlet and having the intention to kill him.Critics generally regard Gertrude as a weak willed, highly dependent on Claudius and easily manipulate by him.
Claudius considers Ophelia as a weakness of Hamlet that will tempt him to reveals the reason for his madness. Since Polonius is the father of Ophelia, he has the ability to restrains her daughter to accept Prince Hamlet’s love. And by doing that to Hamlet, he could easily breakdown and lose his sanity. Claudius has manipulates both Ophelia and Hamlet’s emotion through his subordinate.