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Comparasion of King Claudius' speeches in "Hamlet".

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Rodolfo Martinez King Claudius is seen in Hamlet, written by William Shakespeare, as both an intelligent and well-spoken man, complementing his manipulative and dangerous nature. In fact, it is his conscience that makes Claudius such a multifaceted antihero. Even though his rise to the power seemed to have been carefully planned and executed, his conscience at later in the play some guilt tricks on him, leading the audience to a more unknown and mysterious plot, where the outcomes are still unknown for the country of Denmark. Still, by the very end of the scene we learn that in fact Claudius is still the same person, with his ambition for power being greater than his will to accept guilt and repentance. In Act 1 Scene 2 Claudius starts by giving out a general speech about current events, however later focuses completely on Hamlet, probably fearing that the more his father was remembered the more people would suspect about him. Thus this speech appears to be very well planned in order to be effective on Hamlet, who had probably been mournful about his father?s death for quite some time now. ...read more.


in other cases, such as, in baptisms and the great flood, where water was used also to cleanse all of our sins. Yet again making a reference to God and the church, showing how much Claudius is really close to religion, making his sins completely driven by his desire for the crown and the Queen, ignoring what he believed in. Then he gives one of the most honest lines in the play, ?May one be pardon'd and retain the offence?? He is aware that if he cannot leave the things he gained from his committing this sin, and then he cannot truly beg for repentance to God. Also he knows that there is no corruption in heaven, that ?Offence's gilded hand may shove by justice? here on earth ?but 'tis not so above?. This can certainly be contrasted with what he said at the opening of Act 1 Scene 2, ?Though the memory of our dear brother, Hamlet?s death is still fresh, and that it was proper for us to grieve for him in our hearts, and our whole kingdom?, which was a total and complete lie, he was, in every way, acting this. ...read more.


Claudius doesn?t want to feel guilty, but he also doesn?t want to go back to not being King and husband. He has made a judgment about what is more important to him, and it isn?t forgiveness and repentance. As he says ?Words without thoughts never to heaven go?, thus God has not heard him. In conclusion, we can see a change in attitude towards his deadly sin, killing his own brother and how has that affected his state of mind so much he has to admit to free some of the guilt, whereas in Act 1 Scene 2 he was completely false with this. However, in both cases, even though he is trying to repent for what he has done afterwards, his ambition of power and sexual desires overcome his will to be forgiven, he is aware of it. The audience is left with the doubt of whether the King has actually changed or not, but can probably deduce he will rapidly forget this guilt and continue on with whatever plans he has to stop Hamlet from taking his throne. Word count: 1178 ...read more.

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