• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explore the thoughts and feelings of Hamlet and Claudius in Act 2 Scene 1.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Explore the thoughts and feelings of Hamlet and Claudius in Act 2 Scene 1 To many people William Shakespeare's Hamlet is the most vivid and descriptive tragedy that he has ever written. In all classic tragedies the hero suffers, and usually dies at the end. Othello stabs himself, Romeo and Juliet commit suicide, and like them, Hamlet kills the traitor but also dies himself. The speeches of Claudius and Hamlet are one of the main features of the play that focus on their own personal feelings and the ways in which the audience react to them and their actions. Claudius makes his speech in the Great Hall of Elsinore Castle surrounded by his lords and associates. The purpose of his speech is to make everyone aware that he is King and he is now the new ruler of Denmark. He starts off by addressing the crowd by talking about his late brothers death. His use of 'our dear brother' makes it seem he was a close relative of the King and not one who had hatred towards him or indeed one that would kill him. Throughout the addressing he reflects back to his brother but then adds himself afterwards by ensuring everyone knows that he is now King. The use of the word 'our' is repeated frequently, 'our hearts...' 'our whole kingdom...' ...read more.

Middle

His mother has no empathy towards Hamlet and is not sympathetic to her sons' grief. He expects his mother to be in mourning as well but she shares her views with Claudius. His disbelief causes him to be angry towards her. Claudius tries to belittle Hamlets death and tells him he is next on line to the throne and to forget about his father and take him on as the fathering role. Claudius then brings round to the subject about not wanting Hamlet to go back to Wittenberg, 'we beseech you bend to remain'. He doesn't want Hamlet to leave his sight and wants him where he can keep an eye on him 'in the cheer and comfort of our eye'. He makes it seem he doesn't want him to go and that he is part of the family and that he should stay because of his mother, she to, thinks he should stay, 'I pray thee stay with us'. Hamlet replies to this, 'I shall in all my best obey you madam'. This is a slightly different connotation to that that have been used and it seems that Hamlet will only obey his mother and not Claudius. Claudius tries to end on a high note celebration, 'no jocund health that Denmark drinks today'. In his speech Claudius has managed to attain himself as the rightful monarch and allay any fears of people or subjects about the war with Norway and his future as King of Denmark. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is as if Hamlet cannot deal with or, indeed, stand the physical side of life anymore; he needs to get rid of his body to be able to deal with the inner conflict going on in his head. The poetry of these lines and the image that is expressed serve to reveal not only the tragic nature of his problem, also highlighted by his allusions to suicide, but also create a link between him and the audience. In fact, the entire soliloquy establishes a connection between the audience and Hamlet, a concept that is essential in the play. The structure of the piece also communicates the nature of Hamlet's thoughts as he is constantly changing subject, 'let me not think on't, frailty thy name is woman', and is doing so by using short, broken sentences. These help reveal and suggest the depth of Hamlet's thoughts; he has so much going in his head that he wants to commit suicide and is therefore trying to rationalise his feelings. This soliloquy shows the communication of the emotional state of Hamlet to the audience because it reveals the true nature of Hamlet's feelings not only through the diction itself but also through the imagery, language and underlying messages of the text. His true feelings contrast highly to that of Claudius's. Siobhan Maine ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Hamlet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Hamlet essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Discuss the dramatic significance of Hamlet Scene 1 Act 1

    4 star(s)

    An air of intrigue is created by this: it is not known what it is is actually being referred to. It is Marcellus who then goes on to explain to the audience what Horatio's views are: 'And will not let belief take hold of him' - this means that he

  2. Scene by Scene - Hamlet.

    Contemporary readers who are puzzled by this should remember that in Hamlet's era (and Shakespeare's), a father would probably get less money from his future son-in-law if his daughter was not a virgin. Polonius, of course, pretends he cares only about Ophelia's well-being.

  1. How does Shakespeare use language to describe Claudius as a villain?

    The Queen has chosen to marry Claudius, and she defends him even to her son. In fact, she never opposes Claudius in anything. Were he dark and sinister in all things, she would fear and despite him; she follows him willingly even when he arranges to send her beloved son into the jaws of death.

  2. An exploration of the ways in whichShakespeare presents Hamlet's changing thoughts and feelings in ...

    thinks aloud through a stream of consciousness, almost as if he were in a dream. The poetry Shakespeare uses portrays the torture of Hamlets thoughts; the heavy syllables all the way through the soliloquy convey Hamlet's utter state of depression.

  1. Compare the two soliloquies of Act 2 scene 2, and act 3 scene 1. ...

    For this reason he starts to question his devotion to his father and goes on to say, "Am I a coward? At this point he has no self-belief and has very negative thoughts of himself. This is merely due to him not taking action against Claudius.

  2. "Shakespeare skilfully weaves political and personal themes an issues ion the opening act of ...

    We also learn in this act that Claudius is a hypocrite, Hamlet calls him 'smiling damned villain,' and he proves himself to be an untrustworthy king. This is also shown through the behaviour of the citizens as the audience immediately get a strong sense of mistrust and unease from the first scene as there are cries of 'Who's there?'

  1. Criticism on Hamlet

    "Ham. A little more than kin, and less than kind. King. How is it that the clouds still hang on you? Ham. Not so, my lord, I am too much i' the sun." Hamlet opens his mouth with a playing on words, the complete absence of which throughout characterizes "Macbeth."

  2. Hamlet - themes and speeches in Act lll

    It can be said that events simply conspire against Hamlet and that he is simply an opportunist in the action. This idea of Hamlet as responsive rather than initiating can be supported throughout the text. It is easy to derive from Hamlet?s demeanour and words in Act I Scene II (?A little more than kin, and less than kind?)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work