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Bloody bawdy villain! Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindles villain.

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Introduction

"Bloody bawdy villain! Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindles villain." Is there anything more to say about Claudius's role and characterization in the play? Hamlet was written by William Shakespeare in the Elizabethan era. It is widely believed to be one of his greatest plays, although not everybody agrees, T.S.Eliot calls it an 'artistic failure' and contrasts the play to that of Mona Lisa, claiming that Hamlet is the "Mona Lisa of literature." Nevertheless, Hamlet has been debated over the centuries by the greatest scholars of the generations. The play revolves much around the corruption of the State and Crown of Denmark; Hamlet calls Denmark "an unweeded garden". Claudius is the central antagonist in the play, and is the focus of revenge throughout the play. Not only did Claudius commit regicide and patricide, but he also effectively stolen Hamlet's God given right to rule and married his mother hastily after the death of his father. ...read more.

Middle

Hamlet decides not to kill Claudius at the chapel for while he is in a state of grace, he may be entered into heaven, which clearly would not be just revenge. Although, Claudius cannot pray for he is still in possession of the rewards of his murder, the Crown and the Queen, "My words fly up, my thoughts remain below. Words without thoughts never to heaven go". Therefore in order to repent and to be admitted into heaven, Claudius must give up his thorn and his wife, since Claudius is unwilling to do either the audience must assume that he is not truly remorseful of his crime. To add insult to injury, Claudius is married to Hamlet's mother. Hamlet therefore doubts whether or not his mother had any involvement within the murder of his father considering their hasty marriage hereafter. Not only has Claudius murdered his brother and the former king, he also attempts to kill his nephew and the rightful king of Denmark. ...read more.

Conclusion

He could have spared her life by declaring the cup was poisoned or by forcibly taking the drink from her, instead Claudius watches as his wife drinks from the poisoned cup which he had prepared, she died by his hand. It is not until Laertes proclaims "Thy mother's poisoned- I can no more- the king, the king's to blame" that Hamlet gains his just revenge. There are no positive qualities of Claudius evoked throughout the play. He is indeed a 'bloody bawdy villain! Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindles villain." Claudius deserved his fate, he was a tyrannical dictator who achieved his throne through bloodshed and dishonor. Hamlet remains one of Shakespeare greatest works due to the realism and diversity of the play. Shakespeare uses the image of rottenness in the play to suggest to the audience that a rotten king makes a rotten country and the greed and ego of one man can bring the country to its knees. Shakespeare achieves this by using metaphors; "unweeded garden" "serpent" and "maggots", Shakespeare uses the theme of corruption to evoke to the audience that "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely" ...read more.

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