Character Analysis Of Claudius

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Claudius, the King of Denmark, takes over his brother’s throne after his death. After Claudius becomes king, he marries the former King Hamlet’s widow, Gertrude, his sister-in-law (Sobczak, Magill, Long, eds. 805). Queen Gertrude and the rest of Denmark do not know that Claudius murdered King Hamlet to not only take his place as king, but to also take his queen. Prince Hamlet, the former king's son, being the only one aware of Claudius’ terrible sin which causes turmoil throughout the play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, becomes outraged (Nelson-Cave. 42). Several different sides to Claudius’s character make up his demeanor throughout the play. Some of them being guilt, deceit, and selfishness. Guilt, being something Claudius struggles with…show more content…
Claudius cannot hide his guilt, but he does well at hiding what he’s feeling guilty about. Along with guilt, his deceitfulness can be found throughout the play as well. Claudius hides the truth from everyone and uses this to his own advantage. His deceitful methods enable him to become king which ends up hurting him in the end. Lastly, selfishness, Claudius’ most recognizable characteristic, controls his decision making. You can see his selfishness in everything he does. He doesn’t want good for anyone except himself. He not only disregards what's best for others, but he also puts others in harm's way just to get what he wants (Wilson par. 5, 8, 10, 14 & 16). Claudius’ character, revealed in Hamlet, shows how evil rulers will go to great lengths by using deceptive and manipulative ways to obtain and retain power at all costs. Claudius is thought of as a good king at the beginning of the play because of his great speeches makes to Denmark. All of the information stated in his speeches makes it seem that he cares about the people and wants what’s best for them. He makes known his concern for Denmark…show more content…
It mostly portrays how relentless he can be to the people of Denmark, but there are a few times he shows gentleness and feelings of remorse. Hamlet sees Claudius’ true character more than anyone else in the play. In the beginning, Prince Hamlet’s reveals his disapproval with King Claudius and his incestuous marriage to Claudius when Hamlet’s says, “A little more than kin and less than kind” (I. 2. 65). Hamlet, being the only one that knows the truth about Claudius, has strong hate for him that no one else understands. Not only has Hamlet’s uncle incestuously married his mother, but he also killed his father, King Hamlet, and uses manipulative speeches to get everyone to do things that benefit himself. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are two good examples that show Claudius’ manipulative ways. Guildenstern said in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, “There must have been a moment, at the beginning, where we could have said -- no. But somehow we missed it” (Stoppard. 125). This shows Claudius’ skill in manipulating people in doing things that could put them in danger. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are doing what they were told, but they should question why they are being sent to England. He uses them for his benefit and it ends up costing them their lives. Even though Claudius does these terrible things, he feels extremely guilty about them. When Hamlet puts on the play reenacting King Hamlet’s death,

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