Pub. 3 2021-2022 Issue 3
By Rikki Hrenko-Browning, President of the Utah Petroleum Association
In Act 2, Scene 2 of Hamlet, Hamlet says, “The play’s the thing / Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king.”
In case it’s been too long since high school English class, here’s the context: Hamlet seeks to stage a play to help confirm his suspicions that his uncle Claudius killed his father. Dramatic presentations allow for an expression of ideas taboo or dangerous in direct conversation or other forms of communication. Essentially, Hamlet can outright accuse his uncle of murder in the context of a play and then watch his reaction to it. That reaction will inform Hamlet’s understanding of his uncle’s innocence or guilt.
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