What was the balance of law and royalty? It’s hard for me to imagine from this democratic society I live in how these things interacted. It would seem that royalty, being “divinely” selected and so on are technically above the law. That is, Claudius seems to have a choice here about whether or not to let the laws work. And maybe, at the time, there’s not, like, a system in place – it’s like – it’s the law not to kill people but it’s sort of up to the king if that law gets enforced. Is that the deal?
I mean, in our society, there is, at least, the illusion that no one is above the law. A highly privileged well connected person can work the system to his advantage but he still has to run it through the system. He can’t just skip it at the whim of the King.
This line does, though, make me wonder if Claudius doesn’t actually mean throwing Hamlet on a legal system – but “strong law” as code for execution. That is – is the law of the land that murder leads to execution? That the death penalty is the strong law?
That’s what this line feels like to me.
And of course this is an old old system.
I wrote this bit about a year and a half ago and it has felt in recent months that a highly privileged well-connected person has been working the system so hard that he has actively undone the system to suit him. But today it feels as though the rule of law will catch up with him. If we’re lucky, all that he has undone will not have been enough to keep him from the law. Michael Flynn pled guilty today and hopefully it’s all going down from here.