Essay Example on As seen in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet Claudius is the King of Denmark

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As seen in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet Claudius is the King of Denmark and the main antagonist of the play He is a deceitful morally deficient and manipulative man Claudius has a significant effect on the outcome of the play because of his desire for fame and power Throughout the play Claudius s deception towards Hamlet his nephew and the whole state of Denmark reflects how greed and villainy can result in the death of many innocent people and ultimately the death of Claudius himself At the beginning of the Hamlet Claudius is introduced as a powerful and respectful King of Denmark In Act 1 Scene 2 he gives speeches regarding the grief of King Hamlet s death and the joy of his new marriage with Gertrude who is the widow of his dead brother When he sees that Hamlet his nephew still mourns for his beloved father he gives him a speech suggesting that Hamlet should cease grieving and get on with life He begins the speech by saying that Tis sweet and commendable in your nature Hamlet to give these mourning duties to your father But you must know your father lost a father that father lost lost his 1 2 87 89 The true intention behind Claudius s speeches to Hamlet and to his people in general is that he wants the mourning part to be over quickly As he lies about the true cause of King Hamlet s death to his people he fears that the longer king Hamlet is remembered the more people were to look into it Claudius confesses the murder of King Hamlet when he prays to God in Act 3 Scene 



3 He admits that his offence is rank it smells to heaven 3 3 39 In Act 2 Scene 2 Claudius invites Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Hamlet s childhood friends over to his castle to help discover the true causes of his sorrow and distress Later in Act 3 Scene 1 a meeting between Hamlet and Ophelia takes place This meeting is plotted by Claudius and Polonius to investigate further into the reasons for the mental disturbance Hamlet had encountered recently Claudius appears to care for his sorrowful and melancholy nephew as he says that What it should be more than his father s death that thus hath put him so much from the understanding of himself I cannot dream of 2 2 7 10 But the true motive behind these two suspicious actions is to ensure his future safety He wants to be aware of Hamlet s next moves He uses Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to spy on Hamlet and recount every of his action back to him Ophelia is used as a bait to let Hamlet reveal himself while him and Polonius spy Hamlet killing Polonius in Act 3 Scene 4 provides Claudius a reason to send the mentally deranged Hamlet away for the sake of public safety Little does Hamlet know that Claudius already has a plan of assassinating him once he arrives at England Our sovereign process which imports at full by letters conjuring to that effect the present death of Hamlet 4 3 67 69 As King of England owes Claudius a favor he has to return that favor by capturing and beheading Hamlet immediately 



Hamlet only knows that he is sent for business Having read the secret letter Claudius sent to King of England Hamlet rewrites the letter so that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern will be executed instead of him Taking advantage of Laertes being upset and devastated about Polonius and Ophelia s deaths Claudius set up a plan for Laertes to kill Hamlet when he returns as a way to revenge and show his love to his father and sister Laertes will use a poisoned sword to injure Hamlet during the sword fight Between rounds of the fight Laertes and Hamlet accidentally switch their swords results in Laertes getting stabbed by his own sword Before he dies he tells Hamlet that he is also stabbed and he will die soon after Amid the chaos Gertrude falls to the ground She drinks from the poisoned cup Claudius had intended for Hamlet Laertes confesses with Hamlet about how he is a victim of Claudius s deception and manipulation and how Gertrude's death is all on Claudius Filled with rage and anger Hamlet stabbed Claudius to death and pour his own poisoned wine into his mouth What goes around comes around The poison Claudius intends to harm others is now in his mouth He strives for the throne power and fame and he achieves it Not by his talent but by taking advantage and killing his own brother in his sleep By achieving his goals he is also responsible for the death of many people around him In the end he may achieve all the things he ever strives for but only at the cost of his own life


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