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Hamlet calls Claudius a king of

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Q. Hamlet calls Claudius a king of "Shreds and patches", " a vice of kings", " a murderer" and "a villain". Do you agree with this picture of Claudius? Ans. 'Hamlet, Prince of Denmark' is perhaps Shakespeare's best tragedy. It was written between the years, 1600-1601. Hamlet's character in the play is one of introspection and reflection. He is a person who thinks too much before he acts and also expresses a lot of his feelings before actually doing something. All of Shakespeare's tragedies concerned people in high positions in a country and his fall would affect every one in the country too. As we see in, "King Lear" and "Macbeth". Hamlet's fall is due to one major flaw, which is his tendency to postpone action. His fall leads to death and destruction of such magnitude that the audience is moved by pity and terror. Hamlets tragic flaw brings about his downfall due to the peculiar situation he is in. This situation is revealed to the audience when they discover about Claudius, the late king Hamlet's brother, killing the king and then quickly taking control over the state of Denmark. He also marries Gertrude, the queen of Denmark and starts to rule over the country. We find the character of Claudius in the play a very complex one, which is woven by Shakespeare to play an important role in the play. Claudius is a very cruel villain in the play, who also leads to the death of many people, including himself, with his pitiless acts. He proves himself to the audience to be a murderer, villain and one of who indulges in incest and cruel actions. ...read more.


"Take thy fair hour, Laertes and thy best graces spend it at thy will." We also see him flattering and very smooth talking, when it comes down to tricky and embarrassing situations. He deals with these situations in skill and perfection, hence showing the precision Claudius takes when dealing with his affairs. Claudius is also a ruthless and brutal king, as he formulates plots to kill just for power. He shows his ruthlessness when he kills his own brother just for reign on the throne of Denmark, and also how he uses conniving tactics to kill his nephew, Hamlet. Hence we see Claudius to show very hostile characteristics to anyone who stands in his way of power. We can compare his power hungry attitude to that of Macbeth's as he too also kills the king to be the next in line to the throne. Hence Claudius and Macbeth are alike in their flaw and are both motivated by uncontrolled ambitions. They will stoop to any level to get what they want. But it seems that Claudius also killed for love. This is evident as he truly shows affection to Gertrude, "Away my dear Gertrude" showing that he talks to her always in a kind and loving way. Claudius is also a king of pretence and false origin. Hence we see his court to be spoilt and full of corruption. Everyone is "rotten" and is spies to the king. We see Claudius to be two-faced about his concern towards Hamlet when he deceives the two courtiers Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. He flatters them, just to make them spy on Hamlet, to find out why he is acting mad these days. ...read more.


He cannot let go of the earthly gifts tempting him, which shows us another flaw of his, which is to give in to temptations. Thus is the character of Claudius in the play 'Hamlet'. In my personal view I see Claudius to have a very complex character. He has a lot of emotions mixed up at times and proves to be quite unsettling at times. He is all in all a murderer and a villain with the sly, manipulative and unreliable characteristics present in him, but also is very shrewd and intelligent. He too like Hamlet, plans very carefully for every decision involving his kingdom. In this way we see Claudius at a very alert man, never letting his guard down. He makes it his business to know exactly what's going on in other peoples mind. He isn't trustworthy, nor does he trust many people in the court, and expresses suspicion towards every thing that could be hazardous to him being king. Claudius is a man who can't control his greed or lust for something even if it goes against moral values. He shows great calmness in tense situations and is completely capable of getting himself out of them. He uses his intelligence to manipulate people and also is quite courageous in this way. He is also very affectionate at times when he shows real true love for the queen. He also gives us the idea that he does have a conscience, but due to temptation he can't follow his moral judgment. This shows that Claudius is tempted too easily yet. He is not a "vice of kings" as he shows himself to be completely capable of handling the court and its issues. ...read more.

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