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Does Claudius Portray An Average Machiavellian Villain Coursework

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Does Claudius Portray An Average Machiavellian Villain? In the play "Hamlet" by William Shakespeare, the character of Claudius is a near perfect example of a Machiavellian character. Claudius began as the brother to King Hamlet, stepbrother to Queen Gertrude and Uncle to Prince Hamlet. However this situation obviously does not suit Claudius so he takes measures to change it. After doing what he had to too become King, Claudius's brother is dead, he is married to Gertrude and Prince Hamlet is now his son-in-law. In this fashion he has demonstrated the golden rule of Machiavelli. That rule is to obtain power by all means necessary and to keep that power by all means. However after Claudius gains his power he does not do a good job of keeping it. There are things Claudius could have done to keep a grasp on the Kingship that he does not do and the result is his death. So in some ways Claudius is a perfect example of a Machiavellian character, but in other ways he is far from it which suggests he may not be as ruthless as Shakespeare makes him out to be in the beginning. ...read more.


To assure the people Claudius sends a strong message to the son of Fortinbras, who plans to wage war with Denmark. "He hath not failed to pester us with message importing the surrender of those lands lost by his father, with all bonds of law, to our most valiant brother. So much for him." Claudius shows everyone that he is strong by ignoring the "idle" threats of Fortinbras. This shows that he will lead, and lead with strength. Like a true Machiavellian character, Claudius has done all things necessary to obtain his power, and has begun to do the things necessary to keep the power The only problem is that Claudius does not continue as strong as he began. He did do all that he must to obtain his power. "I say at once there are fewer difficulties in holding hereditary states, and those long accustomed to the family of their prince..." However when the time comes to keep his power, he is not as decisive. ...read more.


Claudius however regains his determination and sets a plan to kill off Hamlet. "For that purpose I'll anoint my sword. I brought a unction of mountebank...a chalice for the nonce, whereon but sipping, if he by chance escape your venomed stuck..." and his new tool, Laertes have devised away to rid themselves of Hamlet. Hamlet and Laertes will fence, Laertes with a poisoned sword and if that does not kill him, then Claudius with a poisoned drink will kill Hamlet. Claudius has forgotten his misled dependence on people like Gertrude and has resolved to kill his enemy like a Machiavellian character would. Throughout the play "Hamlet" by William Shakespeare, Claudius plays the role of a Machiavellian character. He does what he has to too obtain the desired power, and in the end does what he must to keep it, although to no avail. There are a few instances where Claudius strays from the path, but he corrects his mistakes and does, or at least tries to do what he must to secure his position. So for the majority of the time Claudius is the perfect example of a Machiavellian character. ?? ?? ?? ?? Will Marsh Page | 1 ...read more.

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