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Explore Shakespeare's Presentation Of Claudius In Hamlet.
The first 200 words of this essay...
Explore Shakespeare's Presentation Of Claudius In Hamlet
'Hamlet' opens with the death of Old King Hamlet, Father of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. The new king, Claudius, brother of the previous king has married Gertrude, the dead man's widow and has taken the throne.
Shakespeare presents Claudius as the plays 'damned smiley villain' although he does allow him some redeeming features; leading an audience to view him as a complex and contradictory figure within the play.
After Old King Hamlet dies Claudius is crowned king of Denmark and talks to the people as though he has sympathy and is saddened by his brother's death 'and that it is us befitted to bear out hearts in grief, and our whole kingdom to be continued in one brow of woe.' However, he comes across as insincere as he marries his brother's wife so soon after the funeral. Claudius is sly and clever as he counters possible opposition to his marriage by flattering his court; thanking them for their better wisdoms, which have freely gone with this affair! For the same reasons he turns his attention to the threat of invasion by Fortinbras and shows himself
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