The Ambiguity Of Claudius In Shakespeare's Hamlet

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In William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, Claudius is portrayed as a ruthless king, hiding himself behind a charming façade in order to conceal his driven passion. Therefore, within his soliloquy, the ambiguity surrounding his character disappears as he reveals his true nature. While the other characters within the play remain oblivious to Claudius’ committed crime, it is emphasized to the reader, through Shakespeare’s use of allusions, imagery and the universal theme of internal conflict.
As a pivotal point within the play, Claudius finally confesses the depth and severity of his crime. When Claudius remains alone, in a confessional setting, the audience is able to confirm their suspicions of his murderous act, as guilt begins to overpower his rationality. This provokes him to reveal that both his passion for Gertrude and power dominates his quest for salvation. Claudius himself as his guilt consumes him, describes his brother’s death using disease imagery, highlighting the
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His feelings of remorse are thus overlooked by the audience as he finds himself not at fault but his driven passion. The image of blood acts as a physical symbol of his ambition and intent. Shakespeare then juxtaposes blood and rain, in order to create a contrast between redemption and sin, “What if this cursed hand were thicker than itself with brother’s blood, is it here not rain enough in the sweet heavens to wash it white as snow?” Shakespeare uses hyperbole in Claudius’ speech in order for Claudius to exaggerate his brother’s death as a more noteworthy feat for the crown and almost begs for pity for his consumption into power. The blood is juxtaposed with rain, where water is symbolic of spiritual and physical cleansing. Claudius thus expects to spend the rest of eternity in hell as he finds himself in an internal conflict whether to seek forgiveness or continue his life in

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