“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 is seen the wicked prize itself
Buys out the law.” (Hamlet act 3, sc. 3)
Tips for Use. Examples of this unfortunate truth are too many even to attempt a partial listing. Take for example the contributions by powerful interest groups who ‘lobby’ the politicians who, in turn, craft laws benefiting the contributors. The bitterly amusing fact is that we all are aware of it but cannot do anything about it. And sometimes even those who are in a position to do so are prevented or forbidden by the unshakable chain of circumstances. Eisenhower warned about the tentacles and the evils of the industrial-military complex, to no effect. Sixty years later the same ‘complex’ is busy fighting and inventing ‘enemies’ so as to kill en mass and make a handsome profit – and all for the sake of a most elusive ‘democracy’. King Claudius was an amateur. On a more personal level, these lines are a befitting comment on any situation where money prevails, directly or indirectly, over justice.
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In the Play. The usurper king, (Hamlet’s father) meditates. He is torn by the remorse for the killing of his brother – money may buy justice but not soothe the pangs of conscience