Post by Ryan Murtha
Parallels in Shakespeare and the Anti-Machiavel of 1576: www.antimachiavel.com
To me it does seem that Shakespeare in his works does a tour of the kinds of evil appearing in tragedy. Seems pretty clear that Claudius in Hamlet is Machiavellian in his machinations, supposedly for the benefit of Denmark. At a different level, we see Iago in Othello, whose motivations seem egoistic and opportunistic, operating in stealth mode to subvert the system. I doubt if Shakespeare wants to characterize him as jealousy, but leaves him saying nothing in his defense at the conclusion, as if signifying how evil in an abstract sense he is, simply praying upon the good.
Can survey many of Shakespeare's tragedies and histories, looking for various kinds of evil there, because he seems analytical about presenting different sorts, especially those that threaten England and the court system; lackeys, spies, intriguers, courtiers, yes-men, etc.. "Chimes at Midnight" is interesting because it seems to show Falstaff being used instructively in Prince Hal's education among the people, before assuming kingship. Falstaff is the type that can sort out Machiavelians.