The Character Of Hamlet And Claudius

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dentified as the philosopher, thinker, and troubled adolescent, Hamlet’s dynamic character poses a challenging question as to whether he is defined by his heroic or villainous qualities. The embodiment of evil is commonly perceived through Claudius’s character and Shakespeare attempts to emphasize his corrupt manner throughout the dialogue in the play, mainly appearing in Hamlet’s many soliloquies and exchanges concerning his disgust for Claudius. However, the scale of evil in Hamlet is relative, and when comparing the two characters, it can be argued that Hamlet’s callous pursuits outweigh the characteristics that define Claudius as the true villain of the play. When comparing Hamlet’s actions to Claudius’s, Hamlet commits a greater act of evil due to the nature of his killings, his subsequent responses to murder, and the lives in which he takes indirectly. Ultimately, Hamlet’s powerful desire for revenge and his lack of sympathy towards the death of his victims demonstrates how he slowly embraces the evil he once sought to destroy.
A majority of Hamlet’s victims have no apparent relation with the death of his father and yet stems from his personal vendetta towards Claudius. When viewing the nature of Hamlet’s murders compared to Claudius’s, they appear to be relatively much more sadistic and personal. Hamlet’s private statements of delirium when saying, “To be, or not to be: that is the question” (3.1.56) displays his fragile state of mind and provides an explanation

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