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Power. It is defined as the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior of others or the course of events. Throughout time, certain individuals have acquired power in their society as a way to govern and keep order among their community. Power is not a new concept; it was used in the past by many emperors, kings, and queens, and is still being used by presidents, prime ministers, and dictators. Although, it has been used to further progress societies into what the world is like today, not all power has been used for the best of mankind. But what goes awry to make power turn corrupt? In William Shakespeare's Hamlet, it is illustrated how power can turn corrupt, when authoritative figures, who possess power, abuse it for their personal gain, rather than for the common good of the society.
In general, the work shows the best and worst ends of power, by including contrasting ruling kingdoms that each have very different ways of using their power. The kingdoms in which power was not corrupt and was used to better the society as a whole include those of Fortinbras, as well as the kingdom where King Hamlet ruled before Claudius had intervened. It can be concluded that when King Hamlet was ruler, he led with a just hand and his power was not corrupt. Throughout the play it is mentioned that Prince Hamlet is deeply loved by the kingdom of Denmark, as seen in the following quote: “He’s loved of the distracted multitude” (IV.iii. 4). If the kingdom was ruled in a tyrannical manner, what reason would the people of Denmark have to adore young Prince Hamlet? As additional evidence, these words spoken between Prince Hamlet and Horatio further show that King Hamlet was a great ruler who did not let personal motives turn his power ...

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... and for the betterment of society. King Hamlet was able to be avenged by the killing of Claudius, and Fortinbras was crowned the king of Denmark. In contrast, Claudius, who used his power for personal reasons, did not succeed in the end, but rather died while he still needed to confess his sins, a fate similar to that of his brother.
To conclude, power itself is not corrupt by its nature. Power turns corrupt when people use it for their self-interests instead of for the good of many. Shakespeare shows that the corrupt power does not triumph with the death of Claudius as well as those affected by it, including Hamlet, Gertrude, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and Laertes. Overall, Shakespeare was trying to show that power is not corrupt until an individual abuses it for wrong reasons. It is man's free will that allows the human race to choose how power will be used.

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