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How Does Claudius A Devil Figure In Hamlet

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Lame. Crippled. And a dead emperor is the results one will obtain when looking up the meaning behind the name Claudius. In Hamlet the character Claudius is the antagonist, or people could also argue that he is the devil figure in the play. The play Hamlet is about a teenage boy who avenges his father 's death on his uncle who kills him. The uncle of the boy then marries his mother and becomes more greedy throughout the entire play. In the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare the mysterious character Claudius has a craving for power which leads to events showing his lack of emotion for his actions, and family. Claudius’ apathy is shown throughout the play, although in Act I scene ii Claudius is portraying his lack of sympathy towards his son and…show more content…
Furthermore, Claudius has no emotion towards his family, this is because his mind is only focused on obtaining power. This trait that Claudius displays shows by how he did not initially kill Hamlet. Before Claudius develops a plan to kill Hamlet, he tells Laertes, “O, for two special reasons, which may to you perhaps seem much unsinewed, but yet to me they’re strong. The Queen his mother lives almost by his looks and for myself… She is so conjunctive to my life and soul... The other motive why to a public count I might not go is the great love the general gender bear him” (IV.vii.11-20). In this quote, Claudius talks to Laertes and reveals the only two reasons why he will not kill Hamlet which was because his mother, Gertrude, is his wife who loves her son Hamlet, and that he is admired by all the citizens of Denmark. Also anything Claudius says against Hamlet will end up hurting him and his power, rather than the one he was targeting for. Additionally, when Claudius is planning the murder of Hamlet, he is showing intelligence because he thinks ahead to all outcomes of the fencing match against Laertes and Hamlet. He decides that having another plan would be smart to make sure his plan is fully accomplished. While thinking, Claudius says, “When in your motion you are hot and dry, and that he calls for drink, I’ll have prepared him a chalice for the nonce, whereon but sipping, if he by chance escape your venomed stuck, our purpose may hold there” (IV.vii.179-185). In this quote, Claudius is going through actions in his head as to what he believes should happen after the match. Claudius thinks that after the match, he will be dehydrated and ask for a drink. Claudius will then hand Hamlet a chalice containing poison that will kill him, if the original plan does not go well. Additionally, Claudius displays his unthoughtfulness by trying to put his plan of killing Hamlet but he ends up killing his wife Gertrude instead, along with Hamlet and Laertes. Gertrude picks up
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