Ambiguity In King Claudius

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In this first encounter with King Claudius he is both depicted as a compassionate and insensitive father towards his nephew Hamlet. For example, King Claudius displays signs of affection when he tells Hamlet “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” (1.2.90-93). In this quote King Claudius is depicted as a very caring man towards Hamlet’s lost. Claudius displays sign of sympathy trying to relate to Hamlet's grief. He attempts to heal Hamlet’s broken contrite heart by relating his lost of his father to the lost of his father when he was young. In doing so, Claudius is trying to feel Hamlet’s sorrow and support him in his grieving process. Claudius…show more content…
Depending on the point of view the king can be seen as caring or uncompassionate and even both. In this ambiguity it allows the reader to look beneath the surface. The king is depicted as both a genuine and superficial man. Between this zone of ambiguity the reader can read between the lines to find the true motives of the king. The truth lies within this zone and Shakespeare is able to make the reader dissect the surface of the king to find his secret motives. Further, Shakespeare does not depict the king in one manner to make the reader critically analyse both the interior and exterior of the king. The vagueness of this character captures the attention of the reader and helps show that the king is more than what he appears to be. The king might be more than a sympathetic or unsympathetic ruler or even both. These contrasting ideas sit uneasily with the reader and Shakespeare uses his speech to give an uncomfortable first impression of the king. This is a crucial aspect that Shakespeare included to make the audience gain their own perception of the king. By this undefined nature of the king the reader is left unsure about how the king truly feels about Hamlet. It allows room for predictions and foreshadowing of how the king will treat Hamlet as the play
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