Compare And Contrast Hamlet Under The Elder Hamlet

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Though we see nothing of the elder Hamlet on the stage, except his ghost, he really is the main-drive of all the action of the play. It was the desire to regain his crown that had obliged Claudius the murder, and it is almost a duty of Hamlet to his father that urges him to his revenge upon the king. This conflict, then, of the murderer and the avenger of the elder Hamlet constitutes the main plot of the play, and from this grows the entire narrative.
There are many scenes in the play where it shows that the elder Hamlet was very different compared to Claudius, his brother. Not only he was the innocent victim and the other the “cold-blooded fratricide” (Shakespeare 37), the rule of the two kings was very distant. Under the elder Hamlet, the kingdom of Denmark seemed to be a very successful government -- it was widely respected abroad. It seems to have been a kingdom which both citizen and alien recognized as strong and good. However, under Claudius, the name of Denmark was lost. Corruption stalked through the land, and foreign powers in Denmark became noticeably weak and debased. The change that has come over the country is but an index of and the effect of the difference of the two kings. The younger Hamlet has made most striking contrasts between his father and
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He was not the type of the aggressive and conquering hero, who made war for the sake of war and conquest. He was, however, the dramatist 's ideal king, who loved peace, and would almost never make war, but who would not hesitate to go to war in defence of his right and of his nation. He would not wage an aggressive war, but was valiant enough to defend his kingdom when attacked. This is the only kind of hero Shakespeare recognizes, and for this kind he had the most profound admiration. Few of the critics have appreciated this character of the elder Hamlet, or have seen in the account any significance for the
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