King Claudius Selfish

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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 greatly, can be found several times throughout the play. Prince Hamlet wants Claudius to reveal…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

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