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In the play Hamlet, I think that Claudius is the central figure in the play and that his attempts to govern well are hampered by his nephew Hamlet.

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Introduction

In the play Hamlet, I think that Claudius is the central figure in the play and that his attempts to govern well are hampered by his nephew Hamlet. Claudius is the most true to life character from the play. His character has many good points but has his bad points as well. This makes him more credible. He is driven by ambition, which is still very appropriate to our current way of life today. He is a very capable leader in addition to being a very loveable character to most people in the play. The most important activities in the play all seem to rotate around him. Claudius always seems to be the most dominant in all the scenes while Hamlet mostly appears to be in the background sulking and in general being obstructive and troublesome towards Claudius. When we are first introduced to Claudius, he is at his wedding banquet. This is the first of merely a few times, when we can see and hear Claudius without Hamlet interrupting and being obstinate. This allows us to see enough of Claudius to help us realise that most of Hamlets views on him are extremely biased. ...read more.

Middle

However, Hamlet is still bitter towards him and later in the play, he gives a reason as to why he has such a strong dislike for Claudius when he says "Popped in between the election and my hopes". Is Hamlet just jealous and trying to sabotage Claudius being a good king? Hamlet puts on an antic-disposition in front of the king. We know that he is pretending when he says, "I must be idle". However, Polonius, the kings adviser notices that there is a "method" to the madness. Claudius deeply loves Gertrude "She is so conjunctive to my life and soul". However, Hamlet places him in a difficult position when he realises that "Madness in great ones must not go unwatched" and that he is a danger to the state "How dangerous is it that this man goes loose." Claudius again has to decide whether to choose the safety of the state and govern well or choose the love of his life and not be a good king. He chooses the safety of the state, which again proves that his attempts to govern well are being hampered by his troublesome nephew but he as the central figure in the play can overcome this to do what is right - protect the safety of the state. ...read more.

Conclusion

Claudius' most admiral quality is perhaps his sense of conscience. "How sharp a lash doth give my conscience". He may have killed his brother but at least he is full of guilt for his wrongdoings "My offence is rank". After the Mousetrap, play Claudius goes to the chapel to pray. He admits is wrongdoings and is full of remorse "O bosom black as death!" Hamlet on the other hand after killing Polonius says "Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell! I took thee for thy better ". Hamlet shows no remorse and is just sorry that it isn't the king. When Hamlet is telling Horatio of how he sent Rozencrantz and Guilderstern he says, "they are not near my conscience". If he feels no remorse for sending three people to their deaths then how could that, the kind of person be central figure in any play? I feel that Hamlet could not be the central figure in this play and that Hamlet was just trying to hamper Claudius' attempts to govern well. Claudius is the only plausible central figure in the play. He may have his flaws but then so does everyone; they just make him more credible. "A limed soul struggling to be free" Sinead Carr ...read more.

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