Shakespeare's King Claudius: An Evil Politician

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Dandan Lin Professor Rowe English 220, Section 26 30 October 2015 Claudius, An Evil Politician Hamlet, one of the greatest tragedies written by William Shakespeare, is an impactful play where soliloquy plays a significant role. Characters reveal their intentions, inner thoughts and emotions by expressing their feelings out loud that helps advance the plot and also enrich the characters personality. King Claudius, as a primary antagonist and perhaps the most guilt laden person of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, his soliloquy in Act 3 Scene 3 is the essential part of the play as it highlights his inner conflicts caused by his guilt and reveals his true characteristics and emotions under his public appearance. As well as it…show more content…
My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent, And, like a man to double business bound, I stand in pause where I shall first begin, And both neglect” Through the metaphor “as sharp as will” Shakespeare alludes that the remorse Claudius feels is not because of his brother death, but actually for he no longer wants to bear the weight of the consequence he faces that 's caused by his action, which reflects Claudius is self-centered. By comparing Claudius’s “guilt”: killed his brother and “intent”: desire to get the power, Shakespeare points out that Claudius intention of the murder is evil. Shakespeare helps readers to understand Claudius’s inner most conflicts through a series questions and alliteration. Claudius desperately tries to seek reasons to be forgiven, he questions: can God not just left this one slide and forgive him? Isn’t prayer supposed to keep us from sinning and relieve us from previous sins? “What if this cursed hand? Were thicker than itself with brother’s blood? Is there not rain enough in the sweet heavens To wash is white as snow? Whereto serves mercy but to confront the visage of offence?” “To be forestalled we come to fall Or pardoned being…show more content…
Which echoes his behavior in the earlier of the play, he pretends to be a loving stepfather to Hamlet while sending him off to England to be killed. However, Claudius knows that he should repent and he starts relying upon to angels: “Yet what can it when one can not repent? O wretched state! O bosom black as death! O limed soul, that, struggling to be free, Art more engaged! Help, angels! Make assay! Bow, stubborn knees; and, heart with strings of steel, Be soft as sinews of the newborn babe!” What Claudius is longing for is ridiculous, because the thing he is going to do are sinful, in the coming act his sneaky and manipulative ways eventually lead to the death of Polonius in Hamlet’s hands, moreover, he capitalizes on the grief and anger of Laertes for the death of his father and sister to destroy Hamlet and he also lets Gertrude, the queen he said he loves, drink a goblet of wine he knows is poisoned. By comparing Claudius’s soliloquy and his actions we can see that he is both a cunning, incestuous, dastard usurper and a manipulative, commanding and evil politician who would do anything that will help him in achieving his

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