Learning Truth from Fiction: A Powerful Political Lesson from Shakespeare’s Hamlet

Hamlet and Claudius

Hamlet sneaks up on Claudius.

But, O, what form of prayer
Can serve my turn? ‘Forgive me my foul murder’?
That cannot be; since I am still possess’d
Of those effects for which I did the murder,
My crown, mine own ambition and my queen.
May one be pardon’d and retain the offence?
In the corrupted currents of this world
Offence’s gilded hand may shove by justice,
And oft ’tis seen the wicked prize itself
Buys out the law.

King Claudius from Hamlet, Act 3, Scene 3

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